well folks, i'm sucked in.
consider this my official surrender, NBC's "Friday Night Lights" has won me over. i tried to fight it, but its just too good. oh well. anyway, i have been watching the show on DVD pretty consistently for the past two or three months, but i think the moment that won me over is the second to last episode of season 3, entitled "Underdogs". The Dillion Panthers are in the state championship game again, and Tyra Collette, one of the shows main characters, is trying against all odds to get into the University of Texas. On the way to the big game, she and her friend Landry are working on her application essay, and after reading it aloud, Landry tells her that what she's got so far sucks. So Tyra begins this rant at Landry about her life, saying that "I could write about the fact that my dad's not around, my moms and alcoholic, my sister is a stripper, and that two years ago I had enough hate in my heart to start a frickin car". Then comes one of my favorite quotes. Landry asks her what changed, to take away that hate, and she replies that Jason Street (former all-star QB of the panthers football team) got paralyzed. She said she was so shocked by this, because he was such a good guy, he was like a hero. But she learned a valuable lesson from this. She says:
"I realized that life isn't fair for anybody. Not just for me."
I love this. Which is odd, because its one of those things that stings a little, like when mom starts pouring the stuff in the brown bottle onto your scraped knee, or like a sermon about cursing when you were 13 (you know what i'm talking about...). But sometimes i think the things that hurt the most are the things that reveal in us greatest truths about ourselves. This was one of those things..the minute she said it, I knew that I needed to hear it. I can't tell you how many times I've made excuses in my life, just so I can keep living comfortably, so I don't have to try any harder, so I can hold onto control of my life. "It's not fair that i'm not smart and everybody else makes better grades" or "I can't do this because i'm dealing with this or that and its not fair". But you know, I think Tyra's right. And the sooner we realize that everyone else's lives are also difficult, hard, and not fair, the better off we'll be.
Tyra and Landry continue to work on her essay, and at the end of the episode, she reads it aloud. She says:
"Two years ago, I was afraid of wanting anything.
I figured wanting would lead to trying and trying would lead to failure.
But now I find I can't stop wanting.
I want to fly somewhere on first class.
I want to travel to Europe on a business trip.
I want to get invited to the White House.
I want to learn about the world.
I want to surprise myself.
I want to be important.
I want to be the best person I can be.
I want to define myself instead of having others define me.
I want to win and have people be happy for me.
I want to lose and get over it.
I want to not be afraid of the unknown.
I want to grow up and be generous and big-hearted, the way people have been with me.
I want an interesting and surprising life.
It's not that I think I'm going to get all these things.
I just want the possibility of getting them."
These words stuck with me, again, because of how true they are for me. I have to be honest..I started off college picking the easiest major I could because I didn't believe I was smart enough for the kind of classes other majors required me to take. Just like Tyra, I was afraid of wanting anything, but most of all, I was afraid of failing. I was afraid to try because I didn't know what would happen after that. So I didn't. But thankfully, I've learned a little over the years, mostly thanks to a lot of people that have believed in me, pushed me, encouraged me, and straight-up dragged my butt out of bed some days. Thanks to them, and a little life experience, I am now chasing my dream. And you know what? I'm not failing. Now, it is difficult, and I'm finding that a lot more is required of me than ever before, but it's worth it. Because I'm working towards the kind of life I've always dreamed of.
Now I just have one question.. are you?
to all of you who have been generous and big-hearted to me:
i owe you, big time.