“Life only really has one beginning and one end, and the rest is just a whole lot of middle.” Will Shuester, Glee
I finally finished the first season of Glee. I have had my ups and downs with the show: my main complaint has been the series features the same story lines over and over. The Glee club members finally achieve some success, then get slushies thrown in their faces. Will manages to scrape together some resources to help the club, then Sue yanks them away. There have been a few really grand moments, like Rachel singing “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” but for every grand moment there are a million failures and battles to win just an inch of acceptance.
Finally, the season finale featured a really unusual storyline: a rapid approach of failure and the end of dreams. The Glee Club is going to shut down, the members who found acceptance and talents and joy are getting those things taken away from them. In the face of this scenario, the Glee Club teacher gives a speech. Life is a JOURNEY. There’s a lot of middle before we die. But:
“Who cares what happens when we get there, when the getting-there has been so much fun?”
I cried and cried during this speech. I wasn’t sure why it affected me so much. Then I realized why.
Glee is a metaphor for life. Life is a bunch of the same battles over and over. Life is getting a little success before you get a slushie thrown in your face. If you’re lucky, you find an outlet, whether your job, a hobby or a talent that provides some camaraderie and glory in a tough world.
Then I realized it: the blogosphere is my Glee Club.
Here, I have people who understand my struggles. Here I get to do what I love: write. Sometimes I’ll hit a high G, more likely I’ll blow at least a few sour notes. And, doh: Glee is another word for Joy. No wonder I’ve been so obsessed with the show.
I have said a few times, I think, that I learn more from my commenters than from anyone else. I think that’s why I pose so many questions: I know you guys will have the answers. I have been so touched by what people have said in answer to yesterday’s post:
“Do I think you should continue to try and seek joy? Absolutely! I think we all should – but I also don’t think you should feel guilty if you don’t find the positive in every single situation. For lack of better words, life sometimes sucks.”
From Bodega Bliss:
“And I think the day you stop seeking joy would be a very sad and very dark day. Don’t ever stop seeking joy. Joy is why we get up in the morning. Joy is why we fight the battles we do. Please don’t stop.”
And finally, from Stumbling Gracefully:
Maybe it shouldn’t be just about the joyful things, but about your journey to joy. Or your journey in search of joy and how elusive that joy can be. I think exploring why you find being joyful difficult is just as valuable as achieving it easily. In fact I would say it is more productive, because many people struggle to find joy in their lives and interestingly, it’s usually the people who have very much (like you and I) that struggle the most with that. Those people (like me) would find your journey very enlightening.
Life IS a journey. We are in the middle. Thank you, everyone, for being here for me. It is here, in this world, that I have experienced true Glee. I have had a few big moments in my life, like Rachel’s “Rain on My Parade,” but every day for the last year, I have been able to joke around, sing, cry and laugh with you. And it’s the most fun I’ve had in ages.
So I hope that you will continue with me on The Journey.