35 years ago today, Back to the Future was first released in cinemas. No one at the time knew how big this film would get and how many lives it would change over the years.
Today, millions of people have seen the film and its two sequels and there are thousands of huge BTTF fans that love this film more than anything, many of them born after the trilogy was released. It has truly cemented in its place in pop culture history.
Back to the Future changed my life 10 years ago, and made me the person I am today. I thought, to celebrate this huge milestone and make a tribute to this incredible film, I would share my BTTF story with you, how it changed my life, and why this movie means so much to me.
First of all, we have to go back 10 years, when I was still a kid in primary (or elementary) school. I had a rough time in school, I was bullied a lot and didn’t have any friends. There were days I would beg my mum to let me stay home from school as I didn’t want to go back there, back in that hell where I would be constantly teased or made to feel horrible. I struggled to stand up for myself and often got myself in trouble for how I would react to the bullying. I think I was teased because I was very different in a lot of ways. I wore glasses, which always causes teasing, and more importantly, I liked old music like Fleetwood Mac and Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne. I didn’t know the latest songs or the newest hit by Selena Gomez. And that really caused me to not fit in at all.
I remember one day, I was home from school, sick I think (although maybe it was another day I begged my mum to let me stay home) with my mum. Mum and I always watched a movie together when we were home together (something we still do) and so for whatever reason my mum decided to put on Back to the Future. I had seen BTTF before but I hadn’t seen it in a long time so didn’t remember a lot about it. As I started watching the film, everything in my mind changed.
There were characters who were nerds, who were different, that managed to stand up for themselves. There was Marty McFly, the coolest guy to ever grace the cinema screen, and he was a musician! And liked ‘old’ music! And struggled with his family and in school! I related so much to these characters. I remember seeing Marty McFly, with all those qualities, and realising that there is nothing wrong with me. I AM COOL. If Marty’s cool, then I’m cool cause we are practically the same person! I remember watching George McFly standing up for himself and realising that I could do that too. The movie finished and I felt invigorated. I felt powerful, excited, ready to change my life at the time.
The next day, I went to school feeling so powerful. I stopped hanging around with the girls that were ruining my life. I started to ignore the bullies and try and make new friends. I started always thinking of the future, of going to high school and having a happy life. Because “if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything”.
Back to the Future gave me the confidence to start becoming my true self, enthusiastic, passionate, loud, and a bit crazy! It taught me that no matter what, I could get through these tough years because if Marty McFly could get back to the future and make his parents fall in love, I could do anything. And it showed me that I had the power to make a wonderful future, regardless of what happened in my childhood or high school years.
I took these messages to high school and beyond, never giving up, accomplishing anything I set my mind to, being my true self no matter what other people think. And surprisingly, it worked. My high school experience was much happier than my primary school one, and I truly came into myself and established who I am as a person. I met life-long friends who love me and support me in my endeavours. And I had fun!
I can honestly say that I would not be the person I am today without Back to the Future, and the lessons it has taught me. It has been with me through some of the toughest times and the happiest times. And it will continue to be with me throughout my life.
So, happy birthday Back to the Future. Thank you for showing me that being yourself is the most important thing, and teaching me to never give up. I will forever be grateful for the lessons, the gifts and the great times that you have brought me.
I’ll end this post with a very famous quote from the trilogy (specifically Part 3 actually), that I think will stick with me my whole life:
“Your future hasn’t been written yet, no one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one.”
BACK TO THE FUTURE WEEK
Day 5: 35th Anniversary Special: My ‘Back to the Future’ Story