You may not know who Kristen Stewart is or why she is famous or why she is currently persona non grata in Hollywood. Well let me tell you who she is and what she’s done and how I sort of did the same thing with similar results.
First, Kristen Stewart is the 22-year-old “highest paid young actress in Hollywood” for her role as “Bella Swan” in the blockbuster ‘Twilight’ franchise about sparkly vampires. Her boyfriend and co-star in the films was Robert Pattinson, the charming brit (whose appeal I SO did not see until recently…#TeamJacob!). Young girls (and cougars alike) envied KriBella. She had everything: lots of money, lots of fame, and a hunky boyfriend. And then she messed up big time by cheating on Rob with her (super old, creepy) director from her summer blockbuster film Snow White and the Huntsman, Rupert Sanders (a married father of 2):
Kristen rejecting one of creepy old guy’s public advances at the Snow White and the Hunstman Premiere
Though she immediately and publicly apologized when the scandal broke in July, Stewart has been getting shat upon for her sins, possibly losing out on movie roles like the sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman AND most recently is rumored to be replaced on the press tours for the last installment of the Twilight series that she’s the star of by a lesser castmate that nobody is here to see. Meanwhile her old creepy (did I mention MARRIED father of two???) director and fellow adulterer is basically getting off scott-free (if you don’t count the possible divorce he’s facing from his wife, super model Liberty Ross). This is like that story in the Bible where the pharisees dragged the adulterous woman out of her lover’s bed and brought her to the town square to stone her, leaving the married adulterous (and clearly invisible) man toasty warm under his sheets. Sexism is not dead, my friends!
Anyway, to let the rumor-mill tell it, Stewart isn’t sleeping, isn’t showering or washing her hair, but is lounging around eating ice cream and very depressed over what she’s done — you know, normal girl stuff.
As a retrospective explanation for why she would cheat, Stewart told Elle Magazine a month before the scandal broke:
“You can learn so much from bad things. I feel boring. I feel like, ‘Why is everything so easy for me?’ I can’t wait for something crazy to f–king happen to me. Just life. I want someone to f–k me over! Do you know what I mean?”
And that’s the point in this scandal when I saw my own life flash before my eyes. Because yeah, I do know what she means.
At least half of the guys that I’ve dated have been inappropriate and have stemmed from my sheer boredom with my own “easy” life. Though I’ve never cheated on anybody (except that time I was 15, and I was 15 so I don’t count it!) I can completely relate to this feeling like life is stagnating and having a desperate need to shake it up. I was 23, though, not 22 like Stewart, when I decided to really shake my life up by dating someone super inappropriate. He wasn’t married, he wasn’t a father (to my knowledge) but he was definitely inappropriate. And I’ll leave it at that.
Just a month before I began dating him, I was listening to this song by Teagan & Sara called “Where Does the Good Go?” On the track, they croon so cleverly about what it’s like to have your heart broken and how it feels to know you’ll never love again and that all the good in the entire world has disappeared as a result. I remember thinking, “I want to feel that.”
Look, I know what you’re thinking, and I don’t have any answers for you. It was a dumb thing to want; I don’t know why I wanted to experience real heartbreak, to love so deeply only to have it snatched away and to be plunged into the ultimate despair with no good left in the entire world — but I did want that. Maybe I just wanted to know that I was capable of feeling that way about some one. And so I set myself up for what Stevie Wonder could see would be certain heartbreak by dating ‘obviously inappropriate guy.’
When we inevitably broke up, my life was in turmoil. There was lots of crying, lots of ice cream eating, lots of not showering and not hair-washing and lots of wallowing in self-pity for my bad bad life decisions. It was further humiliating because my reputation was impacted by this relationship. And while the whole world wasn’t literally looking on in judgment as Stewart is experiencing now, all the people in my immediate sphere were looking on, gossiping, laughing in my face, etc. (it’s all detailed in this old post “Coming Home to Roost.”) It was a no good, very bad time.
And for a very long time, life sucked. And then, one day, it didn’t. I moved on, washed my hair, had a string of cool jobs and got over my childish desire to experience “crazy, life-altering, disaster” in order to feel something – anything– real. And Kristen, girl, you will, too. Because good things ARE real; a good life is a valid life — even though we’re conditioned to believe otherwise. Yes, the Oscar-winning roles are the ones of broken characters who have been through unimaginable ordeals and survive (or do) unconscionable acts. And yes, most people don’t want to read a memoir of a well-adjusted, introspective, happy person. I guess people love a good drama, or tragedy-to-triumph story. But that’s society’s sickness; it doesn’t have to be ours. Good jobs, good friendships, healthy relationships with well-managed drama — those are actually desirable things. I know that’s not even the message of the Twilight films that have made you so rich –i.e., I’m strangely yet irrevocably in love with this vampire whose strongest urge is to kill me! Give it 5 films, or watch it in French and it’ll totally make sense! — but it’s true. It is o.k. to have a good, stable life (seriously, what is wrong with this world when we need permission to just be happy??!).
But these are lessons that come along with life and growing up and maturity. Yes, one hopes that problems will build character, but problems come all by themselves; no need to give them a hand! And as a remorseful person, Kristen, you’re already a step ahead of many people in the world, seeing as how it takes a great deal of introspection to have sorrow over what you’ve done. Let that sorrow transform you into a person with changed behavior. Here are three more lessons I learned from my similar mistake that might help you out, too:
1) People are not objects for amusement. We don’t date people because we’re bored. We will ride roller-coasters, do missions in foreign countries, give back to the less fortunate in a creative way, throw ourselves into work, find new hobbies, have a V-8, do LITERALLY ANYTHING OTHER THAN DATE SOMEONE NEW the next time we are bored.
2) Most people deep down inside want good things. It’s ok to have good things that most people want. Having a good life still makes for an awesome, completely valid story. It is a blessing and we will appreciate it and never let anyone make us feel bad about our good life again!
3) God is bigger than our biggest mistake. We are convinced that there is absolutely NOTHING that can separate us from the love of God. All we’ve done is forgivable. As Lauryn Hill rapped and Jesus lived “they hail you, they nail you, no matter who you are.” You can’t control what other people do, but when friends, family, folks in general forsake us, the Lord will always be there!
So, get up, Kristen! Get back in the game, and back on that red carpet for that press tour (because seriously nobody wants to see Ashley Greene!) hold your repentant head up high, and for the love of God, wash that hair! Trust me, #ItGetsBetter!