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Dragons: The World Through My Eyes

The Death of the Self, a world full of dragons, and a view through my eyes

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The story that caused me to build a blog in the first place will come in a later post, but i have realized that in order to actually understand it, you need to be able to see the world through my eyes, and so some context is needed.

I really like the series How to Train Your Dragon by DreamWorks. I was lucky enough to have grown up alongside the movies, and i feel that they quite literally changed my life.

How to Train Your Dragon

When the first movie came out, i was 14. I liked to design and build things, and due to being born when i was, i was too young for the older generation, but also too old for the younger generation, meaning i never really felt like i fit in. So naturally upon seeing the first Dragons movie about an awkward 15 year old tinkerer and social outcast trying to find his place in the world, i instantly connected with it. To this day i can still remember leaving theatre 6 in our local cinema and the almost overwhelming feeling of joy and wonder it left with me. This of course being mid 2010, the internet did not exist in the capacity that we know and love today, and so over the next couple of days without anyone who shared my interest to talk to, it faded away, but little did i know that this movie would hit me in a way that i wouldn't truly understand for several years.

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Fast forward to 2014 and the release of the second movie. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a story about a then 20 year old main character finding who he is as a person, choosing his path in life, and becoming the person who he needs to be. At the time, i was 18, had what felt like my first real job, of which i was finding it very difficult and physically exhausting, and as all 18 year olds do, was wondering what my life and my future was going to be. Upon watching the second movie, it resonated with me hard and relit that initial flame left deep inside from the first movie, but being the awkward teen i was, i let it fade away again.

How to Train Your Dragon 3

2019 then rolls around and brings with it the third and final Dragons film. By sheer luck more than anything else, i was the only one home, had been for four days, and would continue to be for another week or so. Also, although i didn't know it at the time, i was right on the edge of going through what CGP Grey describes as 'The death of one's Self'. This is the belief that your life happens in steps and that at each step your old self 'dies' and a new 'you' is born. you can listen to a more detailed explanation of this concept in the Cortex podcast, episode 79, available here (skip in an hour and 10 minutes to Grey's yearly theme), or for a quick overview, on CGP Grey's blog.

Anyways, some friends were going to go see the third Dragons movie which had just come out, and asked if i wanted to come along. Of course i agreed, but as we were planning this a couple days in advance, and also remembering my love of the first two films, i decided to rewatch the first two movies before i went to see the third. this was what really made the difference.

The first movie brought with it a sudden wave of nostalgia for the world as seen through the eyes of a child, the second then hit that wave of nostalgia with the importance of learning who you are, of becoming an adult, and with hope for the future. Together they opened a door in my mind, and left it wide open for when i went to go see the third movie...

A movie about letting go of your childhood, taking control of responsibilities, and stepping into the future to become the adult that you are meant to be.

I'm not an emotional person, ever, especially in public, but this hit me very hard. That plus the beautiful 1-2-3 punches of the ending had both me and those with me in tears. This final scene is what pushed me over the edge and triggered the 'rebirth of one's self' as mentioned earlier.

Dragons: Race to the Edge

Over the next week, my priorities changed, preferences shifted, habits, hobbies, even my identity of 'self' began to change as i began to re-evaluate where i was in my life and what i wanted it to be. at the same time, while still riding the high of the third movie, i discovered the Dragons: Race to the Edge series on Netflix and began watching that too. I began to build a road map of how to move forward with my life, and getting wrapped up in all this mess was DreamWorks: Dragons.

I came out of the other side of that experience a new person, filled with new thoughts and ideas, new preferences and opinions, and a different outlook on life, but also with a deep connection to the dragons, the characters, and the world they built. I don't know if i fully understand what happened that week, but i now know and understand that this is just who i am now, and i'm ok with it. I know that some day, a future Me will look back at this post and wonder just who the mad man writing this was, but at least for now, the dragons are here to stay.

So at the end of last post, when i wrote in reference to my mind, 'Here be Dragons', there was more truth in those words than one would expect.

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Posted Tuesday 11th of January 2022 01:07:23 AM

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