“Kiss me goodbye I’m defying gravity, and you can’t pull me down” - Elphaba, Wicked
The other day I was lucky enough to see the musical Wicked on Broadway for not the first time, not the second time, but the third time. Even after all this time it still brought me to tears, but not only that; this time it really made me think about things that we encounter in our lives, and how we react to those encounters. I’d like to think of those events as our own personal forms of gravity. Whether those things are people, events, places, or all of those things combined; sometimes those things do their best to bring us down. But we as humans need to and CAN find a way to defy these things and grow from them.
There have been times in my life when I was told that I was not pretty enough for something, not smart enough, not thin enough, not good enough, just not ENOUGH… And the list goes on and on. Those are things I can consider to be my personal gravity's. Everyone has them, and everyone's list can be different. But it’s what we do with those words and those gravity's that is really important. Do we chose to grow from them and prove everyone wrong, like Elphaba does in Wicked? Or do we alter who we are and just float on by in our lives, never doing anything to change others opinions. Sometimes no matter how hard we try people will still look at you that way, and try to bring you down. And when that happens, you just have to make sure that the voices that tell you “you can do it” are louder than the ones that count.
Why should we allow anyone to change our dreams or the way we think about ourselves. We should never have to apologize for our dreams or for who we want to be, or what we want out of life. I think one of the best lines from the song Defying Gravity is “It’s time to trust my instincts, close my eyes and leap.” I think way too often when we are told we can’t do something or do not push ourselves to be better, we do not trust what we know to be true in our hearts.I remember when I was in college I had someone ask me what I wanted to do as a career. I told him that I wanted to be a teacher, and you know what his reply was: Maybe I should change my career choice, because he couldn’t see me being very good at it. Well for a minute I thought about this, and I could have let it bother me. But I knew that he was wrong, and for once I knew I WAS good enough and that even though I didn’t need to prove him anything, I would. Because I knew if I didn’t, I would always be wondering if he was right. But you know what, I thank him for saying that to me, because it made me fight harder for what I wanted, it made me close my eyes and take that leap with everything I had. Sometimes it seems like we can have a hundred people telling us “you can do it”, but we only seem to hear and remember the one that tells us “no you can’t”. All that really matters is what you do with that one person’s words: Do you defy the gravity that they set before you, or do you let those words pull you down?
At the end of the song, Elphaba has an amazing verse:
“To those who'd ground me
Take a message back from me
Tell them how I am
I'm flying high
And soon I'll match them in renown!
And nobody in all of Oz
No Wizard that there is or was
Is ever gonna bring me down!”
She is basically telling everyone to go shove it. She is doing what everyone told her she couldn’t do. She is not going to let anyone, even the freakin' Wizard of Oz, stop her from doing what she knows she has set forth to do. Everyone will have a wizard in their lives, and sometimes you will face many wizards. But you have to remember that you have the power, ability, strength and courage to defy gravity and do what you know you are meant to do. If you’re lucky, and I really hope you are, you’ll have a Glinda by your side, reminding you that you can in fact Defy Gravity. Or maybe you will even defy gravity... Together?
Together we're unlimited
Together we'll be the greatest team
There's ever been
Dreams, the way we planned 'em
If we work in tandem:
There's no fight we cannot win
Just you and I
With you and I