Pride Isn't Always Wicked

Last week, my sweet husband took me to see the musical Wicked for my birthday. (NOTE: this may be the nerdiest week ever on the blog… first, The Hobbit and now, musical theatre. I’d love to promise it won’t happen again, but I’d probably be lying.) As I sat there, completely fan-girling (is that a verb?) over the elaborate sets and the music... it's time to tryyy defyyying gravityyyy... and the incredible, incredible performances, I couldn’t help but let my mind wander to the real people underneath the whole production. The people, just like you and I, who are below all the makeup and costumes and stage lights. And I must admit, I got a little emotional thinking about the journey they may have taken to end up on that stage.

It likely all began with a big, seemingly unlikely dream – a little girl twirling around in a tutu singing along to a Disney movie...

Me, circa 1997, for the Laurel Ballet School's performance of  Sleeping Beauty.  

Me, circa 1997, for the Laurel Ballet School's performance of Sleeping Beauty. 

As that little girl grew up, she probably accumulated some cheerleaders – people telling her that she could accomplish anything she set her mind to. I’m sure she had a few negative voices in the mix – agents telling her she wasn’t pretty enough or teachers telling her she didn’t have what it takes - but she pushed those voices aside, gathered an insane amount of courage, and auditioned for the role of a lifetime. And she achieved what seemed like a one-in-a-million chance – she got the part.

Even just writing that imaginary story makes me a little teary (don’t worry… I know I’m a little bit crazy… I also cried during a speech by an actress I’ve never even heard of watching the Golden Globes last weekend). I can’t help but be excited – like jumping-up-and-down-acting-full-on-mental – to see others achieving their goals. Imagining the pride and gratitude they must feel to live out their fairytale each and every night... I’ve been there – well not there… I promise you don’t want to hear me sing – but there, having accomplished something that once felt so far away. I was so proud of these people I don’t even know!

And then, I let my mind wander to the aftermath...

Once they finish this tour, will they forget how far they’ve come?

Will they forget what it felt like to accomplish this lifelong dream?

Will they move on so quickly to wanting something else – something bigger and better?

We live in a world where contentment seems nearly impossible. We’ve trained ourselves to always be wanting, instead of resting in gratitude and a sense of accomplishment for even a moment. We may even feel guilty for the opportunities we’ve been given or for being proud of ourselves. We let the fear of not getting the next thing we want paralyze us with anxiety. We let tomorrow's concerns rob us of today's joy.

Imagine the excitement that little girl with a dream would have felt to see the grown up version of herself. Why not let her twirl and skip with an ear-to-ear smile on her face for just a minute?!

I know some people say don’t look back, but sometimes, just a moment of reflection can give us the perspective to enjoy the here and now and the courage we need to take the next step… again.

Happy Monday, friends! Make it a great week!