Glee. Brené Brown. And avoiding life’s grape slushies.
A few weeks ago, I was watching an old episode of Glee.
What I love about the show is that it doesn’t shy away from the heavy topics.
Stuff like bullying. Sexuality. Pride. Identity. Failing. And wanting desperately to belong.
You know. The REAL stuff.
When I was in junior high and high school, I lived and breathed theater.
I spent more than my fair share of time on stage and off ~ acting, directing and supporting my fellow thespians however I could.
I was one of those artsy kids who got made fun of or was properly ignored by the “cooler” kids.
It was this way, for as long as I can remember.
I felt alone. Ugly. Uncool. Like I didn’t belong.
It was brutal.
Theater and the arts were my saving grace (they still are).
Watching Glee got me thinking about my Journey (pun intended).
See, the Glee kids never give up.
Now granted, the always supportive (and well cast) glee teacher is there to pick ’em up, dust ’em off and get ’em back in the game.
But still, they never give up.
They get verbally abused.
And they still don’t stop believing.
In fact, they choose to believe.
That winning is possible. That their dreams are achievable.
I mean, what it boils down to, is that we all just want to belong.
We’re human beings after all. And we’re social creatures at heart.
Belonging requires us to be vulnerable. To the laughs, harsh words and metaphorical (or literal) slushies to the face.
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More importantly, it requires us to open to the idea that we’re already A-OK, just as we are.
We don’t suck. In fact, we’re beautiful and unique and perfectly imperfect.
The truth is, we freakin’ ROCK!
Author + Researcher + Speaker (and a personal hero of mine), Brené Brown, talks a lot about vulnerability.
In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection (which is a MUST read + changed the course of my life), she talks extensively about authenticity, showing up and letting ourselves be seen.
Vulnerability is the key to creativity. To innovation. To authenticity. To true connection.
“There’s nothing more daring than showing up, putting ourselves out there and letting ourselves be seen.”
If you haven’t seen Brené’s TedxTalk on Vulnerability, I hope you’ll take the 20 minutes today to watch it. It’s mega-inspiring!
Ok, so, back to Glee.
If you’ve ever watched the show, you’ll know that the Glee kids often get “slushied” by their more “popular” classmates.
They get a rainbow of fruit flavored ice thrown in their face.
Just for being who they are.
And every time I watch this happen, I cringe.
Because if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that there’s no way to completely avoid life’s slushies.
In fact, the more authentic + vulnerable + honest + brave you are ~ the more you put yourself out there to be slushied by the world.
But, whatever you do . . . don’t let this stop you.
No one can take away your spirit. Your dreams.
You DO belong.
We DO see you.
And we need you.
To step up.
We need ALL of you.
Don’t stop believin’.