Lilly: “But the truth is…you being a princess is kind of a miracle.”
Mia: “Whoa! No! What miracle? It’s a nightmare!”
L: “No! Think about it! I just found out that my cable show only reaches twelve people. Wanting to rock the world, but having zip power like me–now, that’s a nightmare. But you–Wow! I mean…”
M: “What is so ”Wow”?”
L: “Wow is having the power to affect change…make people listen. How many teenagers have that power? What more of a miracle do you want?”
-The Princess Diaries
Why do I blog? Well, the answer is implicit in that quote I just shared from the Disney film The Princess Diaries. Writing on this blog gives me the power to reach a lot of people. The power to affect change with my thoughts and my words, even if that change is just teaching one middle school student how to stand up for himself. I certainly don’t have as much influence as Mia does by becoming the Princess of Genovia, but I already know for a fact that I’m reaching at least 59 people, which is more than Lilly’s cable show.
Everyone wants to leave his mark on the world before he dies. It’s natural that you don’t want to be a fleeting speck on the timeline of the world, an insignificant figure that can be blotted out by time. As for me, I’d like to leave an inspiring mark on the world.
I love performing. It’s honestly like an addiction. You get so high when you walk off that stage after a good performance, and you go through major withdrawal when you haven’t had a show in awhile. And believe me, it feels wonderful to have people tell you what an amazing job you did. Because every time you perform, you make yourself vulnerable, give a little piece of yourself to that audience- a piece of yourself that you’ll never get back. One of the hardest lessons to learn as a performer is not to take criticism personally. Because when you put yourself out there and share what is really a piece of you, it stings when someone doesn’t think it is as great as you thought it was.
But for all the compliments I’ve ever gotten about how great of an actor or singer I am or how beautiful my voice is or how well I played the part, they can never amount to the compliments I’ve gotten for being an inspiring person. You want to know how to make me cry? Have a young performer come up to me and tell me what a positive impact I had on them. How they look up to me not just because I’m good at what I do, but because of the kind of person I am while I do it. How I am their role model; how they want to be just like me. How I’m always there for them, how it won’t be the same without me, and how I inspire them.
That’s the kind of mark I want to leave. The kind that positively affects and shapes the lives of others. Of course I want to be known as a good performer- every performer does! But I’d rather be known as a good person. I’d say I pretty much failed at life if the only thing someone can say at my funeral (I don’t intend to die anytime soon, but we all know I’ll have to go eventually) is that I was a good singer.
And that’s why I write for this blog. Sure, it’s kind of like a diary. If you really think about it, you all have read some pretty personal stories about me. And from my end, this blog has been more therapeutic than any of my many, many attempts at keeping a daily diary. But I don’t just get to let out my thoughts and feelings for my own sake. You all get to read them, and hopefully, you are benefited by them in some way. You don’t have to agree with me necessarily or even like what it is that I say. If what I say somehow opens your eyes to something new or sheds a new light on something old, I’ve succeeded. If what I say makes you feel something- anything- but especially if it makes you feel good about yourself, I’ve succeeded. If what I say has made you think, I’ve succeeded. If you learn something from what I say, I’ve succeeded.
I hope you all believe me when I say that all of my anecdotes (which are all true to my experience; I don’t make them up for the sake of a good post) are retold not to show how great I am for what I did or how strong I am for getting through something or even to gain admiration or even pity. I share stories with you that have taught me a great deal. About people, about me, about life. And if I can learn from them, so can someone else. If my stories can save someone from some of the mistakes that I made, can let them make their own mistakes to learn from, can help them fix a mistake, or heal from a broken heart or relationship, I’ve succeeded.
Blogging may be an incredibly small forum, but it still has the power to change lives. And that is no small matter to me. Too often we forget how even the smallest moments can impact a life. I want my impact to be positive.
What do you want yours to be?