Have you ever wanted a second chance at something? A complete redo on specific moments that in some shape or form altered your life’s path?
This is precisely the range of possibilities that films like “Everything Everywhere All at Once” address.
We’re seeing the multiverse trend populating Hollywood films’ plots.
But why now? Why is this trend becoming more popular now?
Is it because we’re experiencing a higher sense of FOMO after the pandemic, or is it some inner coping mechanism?
What does the word ‘multiverse’ even mean?
Multiverse is “a theoretical reality that includes a possibly infinite number of parallel universes.” So, infinite paths or possibilities that could’ve been done differently and give you different results.
Movies like “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (2022) provides a taste of this type of curiosity. For those who haven’t seen the film, it explores different emotions, focusing on the relationship between a mother and daughter — and tackles multigenerational trauma while at it involving us in an eternal loop of the same scenarios but different outcomes.
Considered by critics as the best film of 2022, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” follows the life of Evelyn, played by Michelle Yeoh. Evelyn is a woman who must deal with the monotony of running a laundromat, a stagnant marriage, an estranged daughter, and an aging father.
Evelyn puts her dreams, like singing, on the back burner and puts everyone else’s well-being ahead of hers. Sound familiar?
The collapse of her marriage and business creates a parallel universe where the mother-daughter relationship creates an anti-hero with her very DNA.
Without wishing to test quantum physics theories, any resemblance to reality is mere coincidence.
This is not the first time the multiverse theory has become a philosophical debate.
Movies like “Groundhog Day” (1993), “The Butterfly Effect” (2004), and series like “Russian Doll” (2019) have become cult productions precisely because of the debate around the possibilities — or lack thereof.
With this conversation in mind, could the escapism of multiverses be an actual coping mechanism that goes hand-in-hand when dealing with generational trauma?
While we don’t know exactly why the multiverse theory is becoming so popular in pop culture nowadays, it’s possible that it could be because we’re more in tune with combating our generational trauma; and looking into why it’s important to heal it.
What the multiverse theory means in psychological terms
In the article “The Multiverse of Motherhood,” writer Scarlett Harris explains why this happens psychologically.
“Human beings have an amazing capacity to be physically in the present moment, but psychologically, we can be going over and over in our minds what has happened in the past,” a psychologist and media commentator Dr. Marny Lishman told Harris. “We also have the capabilities to be physically present but psychologically living dress rehearsals in our minds for a range of possible futures through our imagination.”
She further explained: “This can work well, and we can create wonderful ideas about how we want our future to look, set goals and get excited about what’s to come. But the other side of this is that we can also worry about a range of things that can happen as well—and can distress ourselves in the process.”
How does this type of overthinking affects Latinas?
Thinking hypothetical scenarios is one thing, but what about those who over-analyze them and can’t live beyond them? For example, Latinas are conditioned from a very early age to become mothers or wives, all before turning 30, just like Evelyn in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”
So what happens when we’re so stuck in that mindset that other equally wonderful opportunities start to slip by?
Should we stop our other paths — such as our career or self-discovery path — until we’re in sync with our love or reproductional timelines?
Unfortunately, the multiverse theory doesn’t work with our in-real-life timeline. While we can stay in our heads for years, those years will pass, and there’s no re-do button in reality.
Regardless of what scenario we use this multiverse theory in, what’s clear is that we’re opening our minds to further conversation — and that’s a win in itself. Maybe through this theory’s essential elements, we can think more about what we want as individuals rather than what we expect as a community.
At the end of the day, the only person who knows the right way to live our lives is ourselves. And there’s no second-guessing about that.