"You had the power all along, my dear" - Glinda the Good Witch
"No fucking WAY" - Dorothy
Yes fucking way.
When it comes to personal enlightenment, learning you had balls the whole time is a real pisser. A relief? Sure. A lesson in personal growth? I'll give you that. But the amount of time and energy it took to get there - well, you just can't get that back.
There's something to be said for living without confidence. The hours are great (why work on yourself, when you know you're going to fail?), you get to be your own boss, and there are never any surprises. Life is predictable. Rock on.
Can you imagine?
Some of us were raised with an emotional deficit; programmed to believe we're not worth the ruby slippers we're born with. We walk around thinking those sparkling gems are nothing more than bedazzled, dollar-store knock offs. Why bother clicking our heels, when home is the last place we want to be? Unlike Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz (who eventually got her shit together), we'd rather hang back on the yellow brick road, serving as landmines to personal happiness and fulfillment. It's not healthy, but hey, it's comfortable.
When I was nine, I auditioned for a part in the local production of Annie. I rehearsed my ass off, vibrating with anticipation. Since I can remember, I wanted to be on stage. I longed to be in The Club - that amazing group of fearless children, who transformed effortlessly in front of an audience. From the very first play I saw, I knew I was meant to be up there, instead of in the seats. I was born to be part of that unique tapestry of creative minds, with all the other fabulous little dreamers. After I didn't get the gig, I was crushed. Even more so than the day I learned Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny were frauds. As I whaled in agony, my step-father felt compelled to comfort me. In typical Archie Bunker-esque fashion, he blurted out something to the effect of: "why did you even try, I knew you wouldn't get it."
"Oh, that's just his way of protecting you, dear." Right on cue with the excuses, but I loved my mom for trying.
I knew you wouldn't get it. I knew you wouldn't get it. I knew you wouldn't get it.
After our little Hallmark moment, Dick (his real name) ordered me to stop crying, and raised his empty glass, rattling the ice like a butler bell. I fixed him another gin martini (three olives, a pinch of vermouth, light ice), and composed myself, making a mental note to never feel that kind of pain and disappointment again. And I didn't. That Annie experience would be my very first - and last theater audition. See how that works?
When it comes to following our dreams, it's natural to be afraid. Fear is our emotional receipt, proving the value of our personal investments. The greater the cost, the bigger the fear. The bigger the fear, the greater the reward. But what if we fail? Or even scarier - what if we succeed? That's the rush, isn't it - the beauty of taking risks? Besides, everybody knows it's more about the yellow brick road, than the man behind the curtain. Oh, fuck that, it's both.
Imagine if Dorothy knew she had the power all along, from the beginning. What a different movie, that would've been. Instead of soaking up each experience along the way, she may have clicked her heels right out of the gate. But that's not how life works. Our lessons are designed to unveil themselves with each experience. We learn them when we're supposed to. And if we don't, guess what? Glinda The Good Witch aint showing up until we do.
There are tons of Glindas out there. Each one, selflessly waving their "wake-up!" wands, hoping to set us free from self-doubt. They understand why we perhaps can't (or won't) see our full potential. But that doesn't stop them. They're badass bitches who'll keep reminding us of our worth.
After deciding to shun the theater spotlight, I continued to explore the creative world. This time, instead of rehearsing someone's words, I started writing mine. I was safe within the letters and pages, and was still able to feel the ultimate rush of free-falling within myself.
Actor, writer, science major, store manager, construction worker, therapist, hair stylist, assistant, jewelry designer, cab driver...whatever spikes our soul, let's DO IT.
It's taken me a long time to get here, but now, I say fuck whatever happened to me in childhood. Understanding where I come from does not mean I can't leave. Home is where I am now - in this moment. And with the help of the Glindas of the world, I'm realizing - there really is no place like it.