January 1st, 2010. The start of a new year, and what I saw that day changed my life, my views and enriched me in ways I could never have imagined.
I saw it advertised, but all I saw was the blue face of an alien and the name “Avatar”. I didn’t read any reviews, I didn’t see the trailer, I just knew I wanted to see it. And it was the best decision I have ever made - after that, I saw it three more times in the theaters before it left, I was hooked. It wasn’t just one thing, and I have been aware from the first viewing that just as many people hate the movie as do love it. But for me, it opened up an entirely new world. Pandora. It was exotic, wild, beautiful, enchanting, thrilling, enticing, I could come up with so many ways to describe how I felt about the world. But I cannot put it words the way it truly made me feel.
The Na’vi, their way of living, their beauty, it spoke to me on such a deep level that I was shocked in the beginning. It wasn’t until after I’d seen it a couple times that I began to understanding my feelings more. I could look at the world around me and see things I hadn’t seen before. In the beginning, I was frustrated that Pandora was so much more beautiful than the part of Earth I resided in. Then gradually, the world became so heart-achingly beautiful, I couldn’t believe there was so much that I had missed. Pandora was Earth, Earth was Pandora.
Avatar opened my eyes. I’ve seen it countless times now, and each time I see it I’m brought back to the beginning when I underwent the change that I did, and it reminds me again what an enormous influence it has had on every aspect of me. Soon after I saw Avatar I went online and found a forum where other people who felt the same way were learning the intricately constructed language of the film - so I too did that, I learned Na’vi because it was a way to bring myself into the world of Avatar. After that, I met some of these amazing people, and eventually found someone through this community who I now live together with. Avatar has given me so, so much, more than I can name. There will always be people who hate the movie. There will always be people who love it. I am simply extremely grateful that I could see it and experience the amazing ways it changed my life.