Last week, I vaguely posted that I wasn't having such a good day. You see, I lost my job. It was very sudden and the worst part about it was that I really couldn't have done a thing to prevent it from happening. Even knowing the fault wasn't mine, it hurt my pride. Aside from a few close friends, I haven't talked much about it. I even asked my mom not to spread the word to the rest of my family. I didn't want the sympathy - or the gossip.
What does all this have to do with Toy Story? It's all about identity.
Buzz Lightyear goes throughout most of the film convinced that he is, in fact, Buzz Lightyear. It's where his self-worth is entirely found. It is his identity, purpose, and pride.
Of course, we know that Buzz Mistakenly learns his true identity via a TV commercial later in the film: he is a toy. A mere placebo. The depression takes over as Buzz suddenly feels he is a phony who no longer has a purpose. He's embarrassed to be seen by those he knew before this event.
The parallel really hit me when Buzz, dressed up from tea time with Sid's younger sister, Hannah, is reunited with Woody, who is ready to get back home to Andy, his owner:
Don't you get it? You see the hat? I am Mrs. Nesbitt?!
Don't you get it? I am unemployed. I am a worthless failure...
I can't even fly out of a window...
I can't even get a good job...
Years of academy training, wasted!
I'm back to square one. Why did I go to college again?
It's easy to get stuck here and wallow. It even seems like Buzz will do just that. He's ready to accept the rocket strapped to his back and call it quits. But then...
"Look, over in that house is a kid who thinks you are the greatest. And it's not because you're a space ranger, pal. It's because you're a toy. You are his toy."
Thus begins a persuasion that leads Buzz to take a look at the sharpie etched beneath his foot and realize his true identity: Andy's toy. When that connects, he can again see meaning in life and move on to serve his ultimate purpose as such.
Me? My self-worth isn't in my job or money (or lack thereof) or any of the other things that stress me on a daily basis. I was devastated, but my job is not my identity, or my purpose. Etched on my heart is a savior with a greater plan for me. He plucks the proverbial rocket from my back, attaches it to His own, and walks with me.
When I put my pride aside to remember this, reality can set in and clear my vision back up. No matter what happens, I am His child. My ultimate purpose is not my job, but rather His plan.