“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 you do.

If you haven’t already noticed, there are tons of Glindas out there. Each one, selflessly waving their “wake-up!” wands, hoping to set you free from your self-doubt. They understand why you perhaps can’t (or won’t) see your full potential. But that doesn’t stop them. They’re badass bitches who’ll keep reminding you of your 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 your soul, DO IT.

So fuck whatever happened to you in your childhood. Understanding where you come from does not mean you can’t leave. Home is where you are now – in this moment. And with the help of the Glindas of the world, you’ll realize – there really is no place like it.

Here’s the part where you tell me: who are the Glindas of your life? How have they helped you believe in the Awesome that is YOU?

21 comments

  1. This was a little painful to read as it cuts close to home–but beautifully written. And so touching. Sounds like you have a good handle (now?) on squashing childhood issues and insecurities and leading a fulfilling life? Kudos

    Be damned those people who are “just being honest” when they are really just being jealous assholes. I think it right to mention that those are the same people who often amount to nothing and act as if trying is beneath them–funny how those traits go hand in hand.

    I do enjoy your blog. 🙂 And the apt use of Dorothy and Glinda. Great, now I want to bedazzle something with pink and rhinestones SO BAD!

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  2. Trying to think of the words to express how amazing this post was to me. But, I can’t think of a damn one. All I can say, is that I am so thankful to have come across your soul in this world.

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  3. Christine, fantastic post.

    What a tough woman! I’m so glad I found your blog.

    I remember auditioning for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn when I was about 11. The part of Huck didn’t require any singing, so I went for it and got it. But, my grades were abysmal and I was told that I had no chance of doing anything unless my grades were better.

    There were a number of people that had an opportunity to become a Glinda at that moment, guide a kid that wasn’t focused, coach a small boy with severe self esteem issues , but it turned into a shitstorm of “dumb kids don’t get chances”.

    I loved reading about the badass bitches that lifted you as much as I was pained to read about childhood dreams crushed with the help of a well-made gin martini.

    Thanks for the great post.

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  4. I have an *awesome* Glinda in my life. While I’m putzing away on my book manuscript, just hoping to finish, she’s already burning CDs of the movie soundtrack she’s made up and sending them to me in the mail. She helps me play a bigger game than I would on my own, and I’m very grateful for that and for her.

    Wishing you many Glindas in your life, Christine!

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    1. That’s AMAZING! I have a soundtrack in my head (on playlist) as I type.. I LOVE that your friend is making you CDs!

      I do have Glindas. Thank my lucky stars they believe in me the way they do – it’s what keeps me going a lot of the time.

      Those inner-voices of “who the hell is going to read this dribble” tend to creep in, but my Glindas kick their ass every time.

      Here’s to writing!

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  5. When I was little I thought I was Dorothy. Now I wonder if I spend too much time or energy trying to be more like Glinda…I need to harness my inner Glinda, that’s for damn sure. Glenda-harnessing, initiated. Thanks for the reminder/inspiration/illustration. Hope your night is going fabulously!

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  6. I guess you need to be on estrogen to identify with either character… but I do get the idea of the post… I would not seek to channel either and do the ‘me thing’ that Glinda inspires, but that is the bonus of being male in an hierarchical world..!

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  7. Great post. The amazing thing is that sometimes those failures lead us down a different path that’s even bigger and better. At least, that’s what I’ve experienced. Maybe you were always meant to be a writer instead of an actor and that one experience steered you in a direction truer to yourself. In addition to our own power, I think the power of the Universe is always steering us the way we’re meant to go. We just have to surrender to it! And listen to our Glindas! 😉

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  8. This is so necessary, thank you! My Glinda was an acting teacher who told me “My dear, you have everything it takes. The only one who doesn’t see this is you.”. He told me I have to be a friend to myself and made me stand on stage repeating “I am enough” until I meant it. It was excrutiating. I stood on that stage for what seemed like hours, tears pouring down my face, but I knew it was a turning point for me and I persevered. When I allowed myself to see the audience, some in as much pain as I was, some silently letting me know that they believed in me, I finally felt it. Today, I am a professional actor and an acting coach and I try to encourage my students as my wonderful coach Larry Moss did. I would like your permission to share this story with them, as I think it is something everyone needs to hear. You are magnificent. Girl Crush!

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    1. Wow, Jennifer, what a story! I love that you were brave enough to show your vulnerability, and the fact that you stood up there in tears… I could feel your pain!

      Of course you can use this post with your class. I’d be honored.

      xxoo

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  9. I love you Christine.
    I have to say, I never liked Glinda. She always reminded me of those perfect cheerleader snots.
    The Wicked Witch always felt like home to me…awkward, maligned, misunderstood, bad skin. ‘Sides, I always felt like she SHOULD have those Ruby Slippers! I mean, a damn house fell on her sister, you know? They rightfully belonged to her.

    So I say fuck your inner Glinda. Embrace your Wicked Witch.
    My Witch has led me toward bad things, but she’s also been my strength. My key to survival.

    When Acting teachers told me I was awful, and would never make it, it wasn’t Glinda who proved them wrong.

    It was my witch.

    I will love her for all that she has given AND taken from me, because she is the deepest, most hidden part of my soul.

    But you Glinda’s have fun!

    Kristen Johnston
    aka @kjothesmartass

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    1. You see! The fact you felt she should have those ruby slippers, is what I’m just now realizing is what self worth is about! That “fuck you, I’m worth” it vibe.

      I knew those perfect cheerleaders were snots, but wanted desperately to belong to that crew. Ugh. But why??? (insert Sally Field, Steel Magnolia voice).

      I am learning to embrace my Wicked Witch with every word I type – and appreciate where she’s led me.

      I always say the devil and angel on my shoulder love to have three-ways with my voice of reason. I wonder if these two witches have a group rate.

      Love you too – and thank you!

      Like

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