Watched "In the Pursuit of HappYness" last night and have to say it is one of the best films I have ever seen and brought so much of my own life back to me.
In the film Will Smith and his son are forced to live rough whilst he is an unpaid intern on a training program - the outcome of which will see just one intern being appointed as a broker with one of America's leading stockbroker agencies. The film follows his trials and tribulations in the pursuit of happiness and is based on a true story.
The comparisons with my own life (and I suppose many more people's lives) were uncanny (apart from becoming a stockbroker that is!!) Shortly after leaving the police force in 1985 I thought I'd try to find work in London but failed to plan things properly and ended up in bedsit after bedsit after converted wash-house, and for a time I slept rough near Charing Cross - not being aware of the benefits system I didn't claim what I should've and ended up spending all of the little money I had staying in a 'guest house' near Hyde Park, (Doss House would've been a more appropriate description) However, eventually I found work as a front of house attendant at The Theatre Royal in Drury Lane during the evenings and weekends, and during the day I sold advertising on a commission only basis.
Having achieved my goal, and having had some life changing, eye opening and at times very scary experiences along the way, I returned to the North East and a 'proper job' in business support. I've been there ever since (barring a short time running a courier firm in the mid to late nineties) but I wouldn't change any of it - those experiences made me the person I am today (Yes, a miserable old git, but also a person who strives to be the best at everything he does and who doesn't expect life to give him anything without hard work and possibly a bit of strife along the way - it's the best way to be, in my humble opinion and it makes you appreciate what you have.)
I highly recommend the film - go and rent or buy it tonight, you won't regret it.
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