Greenlights

Stars: 5/5

Matthew McConaughey, an American actor, published a memoir in late October. The 51-year-old bares his soul with insightful takes on his life experiences. He really is just "'livin’ man, l-i-v-i-n.” Before starring in his first-ever movie, “Dazed and Confused,” he predicted he’d write a book of his life in a poem in 1989.

“I wonder who would give a damn, about the pleasures and the strife,” McConaughey wrote.

He labels “Greenlights” as an approach book. A place to share his stories and philosophies. He invites his readers to learn from his understanding of his own life lessons. The book is composed of 35 years' worth of McConaughey’s diaries. With every story, he realized a new door opened, a green light.

“We all step in shit from time to time,” McConaughey said, “so let's either see it as good luck or figure out how to do it less often.”

He began the book by describing his early years in life. He wrote his take on why his parents were divorced twice and married three times. As a teen, he spent an entire summer stealing wood in the middle of the night to build a 13-story treehouse. His family moved before he ever got to show anyone his work.

After turning 18, he lived in Australia for a year as a foreign exchange student. There, he learned “we cannot fully appreciate the light without the shadows” while living with a strange family. Not long after his arrival home, McConaughey proved himself a man in his father’s eyes the night he fought a bouncer for laying a hand on his dad.

McConaughey was raised with physical discipline. He said there were a lot of things he shouldn’t have done, and that he didn’t do, out of fear of physical discipline from his parents. Although he does not use these methods on his children, he appreciates the lessons he was taught. Directly after a punishment, his parents would take him and his older brothers out for a milkshake to assure no family member would fall asleep with any guilt.

“Greenlights” is far from a disappointment to his fans. The tales he tells are ones they hoped for. The book is a love letter to his life. He is able to appreciate the turmoil he's experienced in his life while finding ways to grow from it. The confidence McConaunghey portrays behind the screen proves to be real.

His loyalty to Austin, Texas makes me want to move there after graduation. He speaks of it in such a beautiful way. Despite different beliefs or views, Austin residents keep a mutual respect for everyone. He said you can drive down a neighborhood and spot chatting neighbors alongside opposing political signs set up in their yards. Austin just wants you to be whoever you really are.

As of this year, McConaughey’s net worth is $140 million. He spent nearly a month in isolation organizing the book of journal entries. It’s satisfying to hear of someone with such success be so down-to-earth. He is constantly considering the effects his decisions hold. 

Just days after “Greenlights” was published, Joe Rogan released an episode on his Spotify podcast featuring McConaughey. He told Rogan that journaling is his form of meditation. He writes detailed to-do lists to start his day because he loves to cross each task off. McConaughey said this satisfies his need to make each day productive. The actor’s favorite roles to play are those with no limits. He is infatuated with the chance to become obsessed with a character.

In a recent interview, McConaughey reveals that he would be more than happy to be a part of a “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” sequel. Despite his decision to give up rom-com roles for more serious characters, he said he never ruled out the opportunity to revisit a past character.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys seeing McConaughey behind the screen. “Greenlights” acts as a sort of self-help book while revealing the actors’ ins and outs of life.

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