“Life’s too short. I’m not.”
~Kristin Chenoweth, in her book A Little Bit Wicked
Idina in the last entry, Kristin in this one. Clearly my Wicked kick hasn’t faded with time.
After reading Kristin’s book, though, I knew I had to write an entry about it. From the first page straight through to the last, she had me smiling, reflecting, pondering, and even laughing out loud. Her autobiography is filled with grace, humor, wisdom, sincerity, and inspiration. Yes, it’s the story of her life, but it’s so much more than that. It’s kind of like the bubble that Glinda floats in – a touch of magic on the outside, but with so much more lingering just beyond the surface. Her success story is one that encourages, motivates, inspires. She’s proof that with big dreams and dedication to match, it truly is possible to defy gravity sometimes.
I loved reading about all of her experiences – her genuine, kind character came soaring through on every page. One of my favorite parts of the entire book, though, came almost at the very end, the last lines of the second to last chapter. Life’s too short. I’m not. The message behind it is one I relate to so strongly. Physically, Kristin is short, four foot eleven. I’m only two inches taller than that. It would be easy to let a trait like that turn into a defining one, but what I so admire about Kristin’s outlook and perspective is that she turns it all on its head and embraces not only her individuality, but also everyone else’s. Throughout her career – and her life – she’s never taken no for an answer. She keeps working, keeps dreaming, keeps doing. Because life’s too short not to. It’s too short not to go for our goals, to do everything in our power to turn them into reality. And yes, sometimes it takes a little bit of luck. But it also takes a lot of dedication, a lot of willingness and resolve. Kristin reminds us to have faith, to hold out hope, to put everything we have into making our dreams come true.
Identity is another main theme of the book — and maybe it’s because it’s also a major part of my current work in progress, but it’s something that really left an impact. Kristin spends a lot of time talking about all the people who have influenced her journey, who have left handprints on her heart and changed her life for good. And it made me think about how truly lucky I am to have had the same. It’s something I’ve touched on in many entries, but it really is so true. What would a journey be without the people who make it worth taking? At each stage of our lives, we have the opportunity to meet so many others, to form potentially lasting bonds. Every experience adds to who we are in some way, helps to shape our identity even if we don’t realize it at the time. And then there’s the unshakable faith Kristin has in believing that things happen for a reason. It’s genuine. It’s inspiring. It’s encouraging. It’s motivating.
Sometimes we come across a story that resonates well beyond its pages. For me, this was definitely one of them. It’s hard to explain in words, other than to say the sense of hope and optimism that Kristin paints through her own experiences is one that we should all be so lucky as to have. Because as she sings in “Thank Goodness,” happy is what what happens when your dreams come true. Don’t we owe it to ourselves to do everything in our power to make that happen? Shouldn’t we try defying some gravity of our own?
Have you ever read a book that’s left such a lasting impression? What was it?