Whisper of the Heart is an anime movie about a middle school girl living in early 90s Tokyo.
It’s scary (in a good way) how much the life of Shizuku, the girl, parallels (or did parallel) mine:
First: She shares a room with a university-attending older sibling. The room even includes a bunk bed and a desk with a red chair.
The older sibling has Shizuku’s best interests at heart but Shizuku, in her immaturity, doesn’t see that.
Shizuku meets a person who seems to have their life all figured out.
Shizuku then thinks to herself “What am I doing with my life?”
This leads Shizuku to “follow her heart” — to push herself to find, and do, what it is she is passionate about.
How does Shizuku “follow her heart”? By writing a fantasy story.
Finally: Letting her responsibilities — her health, grades, and relationship with friends and family — fall by the wayside, Shizuku eventually realizes that “following your heart” is, for better and for worse, not the experience that she thought it would be.
On a side note: “Whisper of the Heart” is the English title of the movie. In Japan, the movie is called “If You Listen Closely.” Both titles make me think of a person trying to discern God’s will for their life.