It has been a while, but since you have last heard from me, I have moved into an apartment, visited home once, recruited an amazing pledge class, had my first assignments due and have dealt with a constant cold-like sickness. It has been quite the month.
In my absence I realized I apologize too much. It really hit me while talking with my friend Rachel on our longgggg car ride from North Carolina to Florida. I kept apologizing when I would want to play Broadway showtunes, or I would say things like “And I know it sounds weird, but I just feel called to interview these entertainers,” while we were discussing our future plans. Because Rachel is actually a ray of sunshine- seriously, if you have met her, you know- she said something to the effect of “I want you to stop apologizing. Don’t be sorry. You love this stuff and anyone who knows you KNOWS that. Stop caring about whether or not it sounds weird. It matters to you and that’s nothing to be sorry about.”
Boom. Hours of sleepless nights spent worrying, countless insecure phone calls to my mother from a college campus ten hours from her, days spent completely doubting what I held dearest to me and wanted to do with my life– all of this dismissed while barreling down Interstate 85 in a Jeep Wrangler.
I have loved musical theatre since I can remember (if you’re just tuning into my blog, see this post), and I do not have to apologize for this love, nor do I have to justify it to you. If you do not “get” it, that is okay– I am not sure I “get” why some people get super amped up about making an imaginary football league and bracket, but hey, what was it that Sheryl Crow once said? Was it not something about “If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad?” It may not be my “thing,” but if it is YOUR thing, I am all about it. ((( Sheryl gets it, team.)))
My interests and my future plans might seem foreign to you, but I invite you to consider that your ignorance of a topic does not make it less valid or meaningful. Of course, this goes far beyond just my reach. My best friend is studying to be an actuarial scientist. I had NO CLUE what that was before I met her. I might not understand her love of numbers, formulas, and calculations, but I will be damned if I do not get excited when the passion shines through her features as she talks about cultivating her future as an actuary. And why shouldn’t this make me happy too? It is hard enough that we all have to thrive in a competitive economy and workforce such as the ones with which we are faced. Why are we making it harder for one another by constantly knocking other people for their hobbies and interests?
Be excited for one another. Encourage one another. Do not, and I will say it again for emphasis here, do not, under any circumstance, attack what it is that makes a person passionate. Be it celebrities, math, sports, medicine, literature, children, faith, etc…if it matters to someone, it is a very real and admirable thing and you have no right to argue that. Period.
And for those of you who simply MUST share your disapproving opinions, else you might spontaneously combust (…or something? What is it, exactly, that will happen to you if you keep your unnecessary, negative opinion to yourself? Genuinely asking here.), disregard this post entirely– it is not for you. But hey, while I might have your attention– stop acting as if my love of Broadway actors or my mom’s love of numbers or someone’s love of photography or anyone’s love of any thing personally victimizes you in some way. I will say it one more time: Your not being able to see the meaning in a particular subject or hobby does not mean that this subject or hobby is meaningless. It must be a sad existence when one allows himself or herself to be bothered by something that makes someone else happy.
Because of my refusal to apologize for my passion, a warning to my peers: Prepare yourselves for constant movie references. For random bursts into selections from various musicals (more often than not, prepare for the ENTIRE score of said musicals). For instances of me forcing you to look and comment on certain red-carpet looks that either worked or didn’t work for some of my favorite celebrities. You are just going to have to deal with it.
And in return, I promise to happily deal with constant references to YOUR passions that you will make. I will listen, I will watch, I will read, I will respond…I will do whatever it takes to prove to you that though it might not be at the end of MY journey, as an active participant in your journey, it matters to me because it matters to you.
It is getting late, so I will leave you with a performance of one of the most renowned Broadway power-ballads to date, given by one of my favorite performers to ever play this role. Once upon a time, I might have apologized for posting YET ANOTHER Wicked clip here, but it makes me really happy and how could I be sorry if it puts a smile on my face? In the iconic words of Tina Fey, “Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.”
Happiness reigns when you stop apologizing for what makes you happy. Try it on for size.
EK out. ❤