Breakups: Nick Valdez vs. The World


[In this month’s Bloggers Wanted Response, Nick Valdez tells us an inspiring story of love, loss, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Check out this month’s Bloggers Wanted Assignment for your chance to get a blog on the front page!]

If the old adage goes “when life gives you lemons you make lemonade,” Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is the sugar that helps me to make it. I’ve seen it an appropriate seven times and I discover something “new new” about myself each time. Scott Pilgrim is my comfort film with a sweetness that gets me through the rough patches of junktacular proportions. A film that deals with failed relationships all the while keeping a smile on its face rescues me after a break up. When I think of how bad my situation is, at least I know I don’t have “evil exes”.

Although, someone broke my manly, manly heart and it ruined me to no end. Scott Pilgrim was almost unable to save me. Until I figured out that I needed to become just like Scott.

Scott Pilgrim

Two years ago, I transferred to a university in San Antonio, Texas to finish up my bachelor’s degree. The problem being that it was a university that was only starting to get its bearings, meaning that the maximum class size was only about 25-30 students as it was formerly housed in an elementary school. Naturally, since was a small university, I was going to see the same people over and over. It was during that time that I met her (I’ll refer to her as “Benz” since she hates people making fun of her for sharing a name with the popular vehicle). I’m a social butterfly and she’s a social shut-in so we eventually became good friends. She was my social Padawan.

Through the course of several semesters we eventually got to a point where we shared all of the same classes. Her and I would see each other everyday and things were pretty great. In fact, our friendship was so alluring to others that by the end of one semester we amassed a group of people that hung out all of the time together. Unfortunately, things got pretty complicated as our emotions got the better of “Benz” and I. We were so close that neither of us exactly knew how to define our relationship. We talked everyday, we told each other how much we “liked liked” one another, others assumed we were in an intimate relationship, yet neither “Benz” or I could decide if we were in one for ourselves. We both just kind of assumed we were. That’s ultimately why we were awful for one another.

We both shared the same personality flaws: too indecisive, too flaky, and too ignorant of intimacy. Our mutual understanding was challenged twice, and I had lost both times. Two of the other guys in our group approached “Benz” as soon as they sensed our relationship was weakening (“Benz” and I went through some rough patches). She went on dates with both of them. Fortunately, I didn’t know about this until those men decided to flaunt it in front of me out of spite. She’s still dating one of them. I felt defeated, delusional. Did I just imagine our understanding and care for one another? How much of a disconnect did I have with reality? Did I care for her at all, and if so, how did I let others interfere with that care?

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For a month or so, I was a wreck. Her and I still remained friendly but at much more of a distance since her new “bo” was extremely jealous of other dudes, apparently. The fact that I knew that much offended me. I didn’t care about her blossoming relationship. I wanted to wallow in my own state of self-inflicted solitude. Through that period, I watched a lot of films as I had grown accustomed to. I’d watch films about sports teams who won the big game, dangerously cheesy teen comedies, and general things that would bring a smile to my face. They all failed. Well, until I watched Scott Pilgrim vs. The World for the third time.

I identified with Scott. He was indecisive, lazy, and basically clueless about feelings and the like. He spent the entire film fighting demons that weren’t entirely his own. Each of Ramona’s exes is a reflection of both of her and Scott’s flaws: Matthew Patel is their faulty quick decision making, Lucas Lee is their false bravado, Todd Ingram is their superiority complex, Roxie Richter is their indecisiveness, the Katayanagi twins are their tendency to be blindly loyal, and Gideon Graves is the physical manifestation of their excess. Through his fights, Scott grows into a self-respecting person who doesn’t go blindly from relationship to relationship. He only believes in himself.

I realized through Scott Pilgrim that in order to be successful in life, I would have to confront my character flaws as well and attempt to defeat them. If a character who resembled so much of myself could do it, then I should be able to do so as well. I learned that I couldn’t listlessly allow others to control aspects of my life. I need to live for myself and my happiness instead of trying to create a mutual care with someone just for the desperate sake of companionship.

If there’s any one lesson that I needed to grasp from the film it’s that I need to smile more damn it.

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“Benz” and I grew apart, and I think we might be the better for it. In fact, now I’m happy for her. She graduated from my university, her and her “bo” seem to get along fine, and she no longer regrets our distance from one another since we have reconciled our past.

I have become happier and expanded my group of friends and potential love life. I no longer hesitate as much as I did with “Benz,” and am more self-aware of my feelings and the feelings of others. If there is a woman that I may “like like” in the future, I will tell her right away and hope she reciprocates those feelings.

Through my heartbreaking trial, self-deprecating potential for delusion, and watching Scott Pilgrim, I have evolved. I’m no longer a bystander who watches others be happy and assumes that I share the same sentiment.

I have become the hero of my life story.