Glee. Brené Brown. And avoiding life’s grape slushies.

A few weeks ago, I was watching an old episode of Glee.
Don’t judge.

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.
Physically assaulted.
And slushied.

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.
click to tweet this!

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.
It’s everything.

Photo courtesy of J.D. Roth (

“There’s nothing more daring than showing up, putting ourselves out there and letting ourselves be seen.”
~Brené Brown

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.
Speak out.
Make change.
We need ALL of you.

Don’t stop believin’.



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  1. Hi Stephanie, Yes, Brene Brown is great and her work on vulnerability is eye-opening. She has a great way of getting across her message. I use her a lot in my work also. She was the subject of my blog this week also, but I didn’t make the Glee connection (I have the artistic talent of a brick – I was always one of those with her head in a book – also sneered at by the ‘cool’ kids – wonder how many of them are living their dream today?) Thanks. Sarah

    1. I love that we’re both invoking Brene inour posts this week! And p.s. I too was one of the book-nerds as well. When I wasn’t in the theater, I was reading. There is an art to even that my dear (I bet you’re a lot more artistic than you give yourself credit for)! 🙂 xo

  2. I love Glee! And I love that it shows how vulnerable we all are at that age. AND I love to sing along with them! Thanks for the fun. I’m believing!

  3. Today was a hard day for me…. a day when I stopped believing in myself, my capacity to love and be loved. I felt raw, vulnerable, exposed and hopeless. And then I saw this article… and I immediately stopped crying and started singing… Don’t Stop… Believing. So I’m writing this 40 minutes before today is to be over, ready and very hopeful for the new, friggin’ fabulous day that’s about to being. Another chance to dance, sing, show the world, give all of me! Thanks, Stephanie!

  4. What a wonderful post. I love Glee + Brene Brown. I’m just reading her “Gifts of Imperfection” again. It is truly inspiring and very much a “go to” book for me.

  5. I am also a Brene Brown fan – vulnerability can transport us into the past when we really need to live in and enjoy the now. Thank goodness the older we get, the more our memory fades. I had my Glee days too that I would rather not relive! Lol. Great post, Stephanie!

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