Finding the "Glee" in life

I'll admit it......when I get into something, I'm always the first to dive headfirst into learning EVERYTHING and ANYTHING that I can about what interests me. When I was in high school and hit that "boy-band" phase, I could probably recite the birthdate and favorite color of the members of Hanson, Backstreet Boys, *N'Sync, and 98 Degrees. (Fortunately, I grew out of this awkward phase, even though my music collection from these years are still a guilty pleasure.) This also became my time to fall in love with Nicholas Brendon from Buffy The Vampire Slayer. And then by the time Senior Year rolled around, I was becoming heavily interested in '60s & '70s music after watching a made for TV movie about The Monkees and their rise (and fall) to fame. (The first time I met Peter Tork will always be one of my favorite memories.) This intro, while not in the same genre, led me to some of my current classic rock loves: The Beatles, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd. 

Come college, I turned to more visual interests, immersing myself in shows like American Idol (I'm still convinced Clay Aiken was the winner) and Broadway musicals (thanks to my theater friends). Some of my friends brought me out to local shows, where I would meet more indie-style bands that soon became some of the most influential music in my life (refer to Jupiter Sunrise blog.) It also became a period in my life where I explored other genres of music like Jazz, Opera, Punk, Oldies, and anything that caught my fancy. I was always researching and learning as much as I could, hoping that I could find myself in those very things I had come to love and admire. When I would luck out and create that connection, life made sense for a change. I felt like I had understanding, even from something that would never know how much of an impact it would leave on me.

During my junior and senior year in college, as well as a few post-college years, my interests became more serious. I wanted to be the best writer at any subject that I felt passionate about, so I started researching issues pertaining to my life. My mother went undiagnosed for manic depression, so I explored that topic just as vigorously as I would learning about my favorite boy bands. When it came to writing about the Army and what was supposed to be my future life, I buried myself in guidebooks and stories that Army Wives had written before me. And as for music, I learned about music that had never quite interested me before, but I felt determined to learn more about. I felt the push to be an adult and to stop dreaming and learning about the passions that had driven me before in life. I was going to be living on my own. I was going to be married. I was an adult who needed to act like one, something that I wish I hadn't done.

My music choices reflected that, as it became harder for me to find new music that spoke to me in the way it had before. There would be the occasional song here and there, but nothing that really grabbed me the way things used to. I struggled a lot with knowing who I was in these years, trying to understand my part in the world. 

I wasn't writing the amazing stories in Rolling Stone Magazine that I had hoped to write. 

I wasn't getting to rub elbows with the musicians/actors that impacted my life up to that point. 

I wasn't living up to my full potential, nor was I able to find a way that helped me to do that. My inspiration felt lacking.....at least for a while. 

But all of that has changed in the past couple of years, as I found myself in a new relationship and a new chapter in my life. And with that, my interests started to come back slowly, but surely. I danced more, worried less, and stopped trying to push forward when clearly it wasn't making a difference. There had to be another way around the wall I had in front of me.

And then, about a month or two back, I started to watch the show Glee. I managed to catch an episode here and there, but nothing serious. It just seemed like another silly show on television.....I didn't give it much thought. All it looked like was another teeny bopper show that would catch on with pre-pubescent teens. Then one night with my boyfriend Matt, I watched the infamous Madonna episode.......and things were never the same. I decided to give the show another chance and really became intent on watching the plot unfold.

I know it sounds silly to think that a simple TV show could change my perspective on life (because it hasn't), yet the simple story about a show choir trying to rise from the ashes and the mini-dramas and conflicts they are faced with presented in a somewhat comedic manner.......I couldn't help but feel a sense of understanding towards its message. It brought me back to my high school chorus days and from there, I felt a sense of nostalgia. I remember being like Rachel Berry in trying to snag every solo I dreamed of having, as well as dealing with unrequited feelings for any boy that I had even liked. I remember feeling like the outcast in school as I became known for being somewhat of a writing/music geek......minus slushie facials. I sometimes felt like Tina, wanting to avoid having to deal with people, marching to the beat of my own drum, especially when in my own high school years I dealt with some tough and eye-opening experiences. And in some strange way, I also remember feeling like Finn, always trying to find my voice and my place in the thick of it all.........the show brought me back to that girl I had been....and the one I had always wanted to be.

With a new determination, I set out to find out more about the show, as well as try to watch every episode with a renewed enthusiasm for life. Almost every character reminded me of people I went to school with; the line drawn between athletics and the arts something I could relate to in a big way. Watching each episode, it felt like I was watching my high school ambitions and dreams each week. 

Finding my place in the world. 

Having to make difficult choices that truly shaped who I wanted to become. 

Hearing the song in my heart and following it with everything I had.

But what struck me the most is for the first time in a long time, I found myself passionate and ambitious to learn about something new. It's important to have interests and mini-obsessions with things......you learn a lot about yourself from what you like. I'm always trying to find my own happiness in life with everything I have. But sometimes, when it doesn't feel like enough, you need to change up the game a little. Just one little change always seems to renew the goals you seek, not for its ability to rattle around the status quo, but for how it makes you appreciate your own dreams even more.

I'm always going to be afraid that I'm not going to make it where I want to be in life, but I'm going to push past that fear. 

Because I know I'm going to be a wonderful writer that will one day write a book that will change my life and impact those around me. 

Because I know that if I want to meet those people that have had a significant impact on my life, it will happen if I believe in it. 

Because I'm not afraid to be that girl who randomly breaks out singing while walking down the quiet boardwalk at 10 pm, envisioning everything I've ever wanted just being there for the taking. 

Because I know I have a voice that is going to move mountains. 

Because when I stand against the wind with a song in my heart and a dream in my soul.........nothing can stop me. 

I think we all need a little "glee" in our lives, those simple things that help us to make it through the days and keep us smiling and strong. Without it, life doesn't always seem so shiny and bright.......without those dreams, you lose sight of you.

~Jenny Rockstar

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