"You must become so free that your very existence is an act of rebellion." -Albert Camus
Tonight was Glee's tribute to the late Cory Monteith, who played Finn Hudson on the show. Needless to say, I am totally destroyed after watching it. I have always really liked Glee. I started watching it when the first season and second seasons were streaming on Netflix and just thought it was absolutely adorable. I didn't ever search it out again, though. Not until two years later.
Let me explain my special relationship with Glee. When I was in Poland, a lot of things happened to me. I'm sure it wasn't as horrible as all of this, but this is how I felt: I was torn apart by someone who was supposed to be safe. I was absolutely deceived in ways that still baffle me. I felt, for the first time in my life, betrayed by someone that I trusted with everything. It was so horrible that I ended up leaving an entire month early. I don't talk about this, not because I don't want to remember it, but because I don't want to relate Poland with bad memories. I made great friends in Poland, I forged fantastic relationships with my students and still keep in contact with many of them, and it is an absolutely gorgeous country. But I also experienced one of the hardest stages of my life there.
I can't remember why I started watching Glee, but I downloaded the third and fourth season to my iTunes to check out. I didn't have internet where I was living, but I did at the school, so I just bought them to watch at home.
Guys, Glee brought me hope.
Hope! What a strange concept. I had completely forgotten all about hope. I had forgotten that it's okay to be yourself, that if people don't like you then live and let live. C'est la vie! Que sera, sera! I learned how to love myself in Poland and it counterattacked all the hatred floating around me. Glee helped me with that. It's a celebration of the underdog. It's a reminder to take joy in who you are. I will never forget that message and the hope it brought me. I would never take back my experience will Poland because it helped mold me into a better person. It helped me love me for me, even if no one else did. These are lessons that you have to learn as you age, and I'm glad I was able to learn them at 22.
So, yeah. Glee is cheesy. It's as cheesy as I am, maybe. It's not for people who don't like high schools that randomly burst out into song. It has "controversial" messages. I'm not denying any of these things. But at the heart of it, it is about self-love, tolerance and finding joy in who you are becoming - a message we can all use.
So, RIP Cory Monteith. Thank you for being a part of something that helped me through the hardest thing I've had to experience so far. You brought a smile to my face and to the faces of all who loved you. Rest in peace and know that you were part of something beautiful.