Full disclosure – I’m a Gleek. In fact, I’m a proud, jazz hand sportin’ Gleek. I think the show is amazing and not only because it involves a group of people breaking out into full song and dance at any given moment…unrehearsed…as if it’s the most natural thing to do. In my world, that’s not far off. I often dream of a world where spontaneous choreography and vocal ability go hand in hand with taking out the trash and grocery shopping. Don’t judge me…I’m a closet hairbrush singer so what exactly did you expect?
But back to my point…Glee is a show I can very much relate to on so many levels. I was a high school theater/chorus girl (we didn’t call it Glee then and we sure as hell didn’t do such cool songs – just imagine 30 sopranos singing Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” while the church pianist accompanied us – so very not pretty!). But I loved to sing. And I loved to act. For me acting was a chance to be someone else. In high school I was a tad bit insecure, but on stage I was confident.
This past Sunday on The Glee Project the contestants had a very challenging and revealing assignment – coming face to face with their insecurities by coming up with one word that describes their vulnerability. The words included fat, gay, anorexic and misunderstood.
It got me to thinking – what would my word be, a word that sums up my insecurites – and I decided it would probably be “inferior”. There have been so many instances in my life when I’ve felt inferior on some level. And it’s never really had to do with anyone else, it’s all me. I compare myself to everyone and believe me that can get quite exhausting, because on some level I will never measure up simply because I’m not that person.
High school was particularly rough for me. I went to an all girl school so I had plenty of what I saw as ideals to choose from. At a reunion years later, I learned that most of the girls, even the “perfect” ones were carrying around some similar personal demons.
The older I get the less inferior I allow myself to feel, although I can’t say the feeling is completely gone. But having a child with special needs has taught me a great deal about self-acceptance. My son was diagnosed with Tourettes and OCD when he was younger. He has always rocked a high level of self-esteem despite his challenges. I find it fascinating. I was a “normal” 13-year-old, and I use that term very loosely, and yet I never felt secure in who I was. Here is my son dealing with his challenges on a daily basis and he could care less when people stare or laugh. He’s happy with who he is. I love that about him, and I’m thankful to have him in my life to teach me how to love myself, even if it has taken me most of my 43 years to find this path.
So what would your word be? And how will you choose to confront your insecurities? Just something to think about…
Here’s the Glee Project Video: “Mad World” – assignment vulnerability