“You can still be with the Wizard- what you’ve worked and waited for. You can have all you ever wanted.”
“I don’t want it- No. I can’t want it anymore.” -Glinda and Elphaba, “Defying Gravity, Wicked
High school is four years of your life that teach you many things. And being a recent high school graduate myself, I’ve certainly been looking back on the past four years (really, the last six, seeing as I spent my middle school years in the same building, with some of the same teachers, that I spent my high school years) and thinking about the lessons that I’ve learned and the people that I’ve learned them from. I’ve learned some tough lessons in high school. Life may not be a bed of roses, but God certainly does not give you challenges that you cannot overcome. Everything does happen for a reason, and although they may not be in your life forever, each person you meet makes some sort of mark on your life.
The toughest lesson I had to learn in high school was that I couldn’t be with the Wizard. My choir teacher is my Wizard. She used me to her advantage, but when push came to shove, she didn’t actually care about me as a person. She was much more concerned about her little favorites, her Glindas, if you will. She always tried to bring me down because she didn’t think that everyone deserves the chance to fly. She couldn’t bear the thought of me outshining certain others.
For the longest time I chose to wear the green glasses- to see the Emerald City as a hallmark of splendor. I chose to believe that the Wizard really is the Wonderful Wizard. But then I realized that she was a fraud. She is only Wonderful because others say she is, not because she is actually Wonderful. And the only way to free myself was to realize that I don’t need her. That I do deserve the chance to fly. And that I don’t want it anymore.
It’s my life. It’s what I make it. High school isn’t the end all, be all, and she is only one person. I don’t need her approval. I don’t need her applause. And you know what? As soon as I realized that, I was free. And happy.
“But there are dreams that cannot be…” -Fantine, Les Misérables
…but there are storms we can weather. As a little seventh grader I was sure that when I graduated I would be one of her favorites. I would be that girl in the choir that everyone knew and looked up to. I would have the leads in the musicals, and I would go down in my high school’s musical theater lore as one of those girls. Sure, some of that happened. I was given the National Choral Award, the highest award for a choral student. I got to play Fantine in Les Misérables senior year, and it was probably my best and most memorable high school experience. Many an underclassmen has told me what a profound impact I’ve had on his or her life and not just because of my musical talent. But I am not one of her favorites. I never have been, and I never will be. There are dreams that cannot be.
But not getting my dream taught me so much more. I learned how to fight adversity. How to persevere. That some people won’t like you, but you have to love yourself enough to believe in yourself anyway. That you need to care about the people who truly care for you and forget about those who don’t. You can’t use someone’s approval as the pinnacle of your happiness. Everyone deserves the chance to fly.
My high school career may have turned out different now from what it seemed, but everything looks a whole lot better without the green spectacles on.