On a Friday night, I found a part of me with Katy Perry…and I liked it!
In the early days of my divorce, I found myself alone on a Friday night in my new “old” home (aka my parent’s house). My folks were out on a date night, and I started scrolling through Netflix. The thought of sitting in silence intimidated the hell out of me; I desperately needed a distraction. After scrolling through the new features on Netflix, I found a rare gem: Part of Me: Katy Perry.
At this point in my divorce, I was not looking for a rom-com (spare me) or anything that required an immense amount of focus. To me, Katy Perry equals sunshine. Her lyrics are catchy, and her outfits are fun; I thought, why not? She likes cats, and I might end up becoming a cat lady soon. What do I have to lose? When I started the movie, I had zero expectations and knew very little about Perry’s personal life. I just signed up for an hour of fun with singing, lavish costumes, and of course, cats.
What I didn’t expect, a new role model in strength and vulnerability. I can honestly say that this movie changed my life and outlook on strength.
If you haven’t watched the movie, it’s entertaining but also very real. I imagine that Perry signed up to film this before having any marital issues with her now ex-husband, Russell Brand. The movie follows Perry as she goes on a world tour, and it feels like you have a first-row ticket to every show. You witness her struggle to balance situations like maintaining a grueling schedule, how to stay healthy and exercise on tour, maintaining a relationship with her adorable Grandmother, and of course, interacting with cats. The movie starts with a sweet portrayal of the almost newlyweds in love (married in 2010 – the movie came out in 2012). She doats on him, and he seems camera shy.
Slowly, you start to see their relationship break down. You see Perry killing herself taking red-eye flights in between concerts to go and spend one day with him. As we all know, each story has two sides, but in my perspective, she seems to be putting in most of the effort. Fourteen months into her marriage, while on tour and filming this movie, Brand files for divorce.
What unfolds is a story so real and unexpected that it caught me off guard. As I have said in previous blog posts, I didn’t have any examples of divorce in my immediate friend group. I had never witnessed someone process the trauma of divorce and come out stronger.
Here, in a desperate Friday night movie selection, I found my new role model.
Once Perry discovers Brand has filed for divorce, she breaks down. She lets you in, and her reaction is vulnerable and raw. As a viewer, you are privy to the end of her fairytale (at the moment…fast forward a decade, and she looks radiant, confident, and fulfilled – you go, girl!). Yet, like the badass that she is, she entertains a stadium of thousands that evening with an emotionally charged performance. She’s a professional, and no matter what has happened in her personal life, she is committed to her fans.
I found myself releasing all kinds of emotions watching this film. I have no idea if the filing blindsided Perry, but I know she faced a traumatic event, disrupting her entire personal rhythm, and I related to it. The difference; she had to deal with tabloids, speculations, and all kinds of scrutiny that would go on for years to come. She didn’t get to have her “hot mess” phase in peace. Many will say she signed up for a life in the media; however, it doesn’t make the human experience of pain and sadness any different.
Finding common ground and similarity in shared experiences can help you push past loneliness and feel connected. Katy Perry did this for me on a lonely Friday night, and I started to build upon that connection. Maybe others were going through the same thing? The answer seems obvious now, but at that time, I was in my own world, consumed by the constant chatter in my head.
Katy, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ve successfully turned me into a KatyCat. Meow.