The ending of "La La Land", a recent film directed by Damien Chapelle, had some people crying out in angst. It seems a tragedy for Mia and Sebastian to go on living separate lives.
She wove together a fantastic romance that effortlessly pulls you in and has you believing that love knows no bounds. Until you see Mia in the epilogue married (in apparent happiness) to another man and you don't know what to think or feel. How could she have let Sebastian go on for her fame? Why would she let go of what they had? How could he let her go?
However, Chapelle's choice of ending is precisely why I believe the movie is a true masterpiece.
As an artist, I have seen how relationships are what shapes and forms your expression of art. As a dreamer, I know that relationships often help you realize your dreams. These relationships can have large and lifelong impacts on your career, in your art, on your choices, and actions. Yet, they are not all meant to be permanent relationships.
Artists know full well that some people will cross your path and deeply impact your life and will not be in your life forever. Especially when you're young, especially when the journey of hard knocks and the long road to fruition is still far ahead.
Artists are meant to make connections with humanity in unique and countless ways. That is how we speak the beautiful and chaotic story of humanity back to the world. That is how we create art that matters, that changes the world for better. The painful connections, the positive connections, all of them deepen your capacity for creating. Connections, even connections that end, are how we find ourselves and tell stories that mean something.
If you are an artist, do not give up. If you have a dream, keep going. Lean into the connections with people without abandon, you never know how they will be a part of your story and it all counts for something wonderful in the end.