Monday, September 30, 2013

"I did it for me." Walt said.

[If you have Tivo'd the series finale of Breaking Bad and have not seen it yet, stop reading.]

That's the pivotal moment in last night's Breaking Bad series finale,
where Walter White finally admits the reason he started cooking and selling crystal meth, eventually becoming the most powerful and feared drug lord in the country.

In the final episode, Walter and Skyler have a final moment together, where you think Walt is going to tell Sky, yet again, that he did it all for the family, when he surprises us all by saying, "I did it for me." And he continues, "... I was good at it... and I liked it.  I felt alive."  

This key moment is gratifying because it lets us know that he is no longer delusional, but also because it's something I think we all wish for in our lives.  And even though we're talking about a man who has morphed from benign high school chemistry teacher to notorious drug kingpin,  I find myself envious of a character that found the thing he was, not just good at, but truly great at and felt alive doing.  He found the courage to pursue it and he did it.  Okay, so he had to sacrifice his entire moral code, his life,  the life of his DEA brother-in-law and the love of his only son to do it, but I think there's still a valuable message to take away.

Most of us probably don't need to undergo such a drastic transformation in order to find the thing we were put on this earth to do.  The thing that takes our strengths, aptitudes and passions and channels them for the greater good.  For me, at least, I hope that I can say I had the courage to pursue to the very end... the thing I liked to do... was good at... and truly loved.

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