“I’ve heard it said,
That people come into our lives for a reason,
Bringing something we must learn.
And we are led
To those, who help us most to grow
If we let them,
And we help them in return.”
-For Good, from Wicked
Every time I hear this song, I immediately think of a girl I met online whose name is Nicole. She and I met because of a project that was started by a fellow Pentaholic called “The Light in the Hallway Project”. Essentially, this project was to offer pentaholic’s a support system that may not otherwise be around in their life for when they were going through difficult times. To sign up, you had to fill out a google form with some basic information and then, within a couple weeks you would be matched up with another pentaholic who has similar interests as you or is maybe in the same profession as you are.
I signed up, not necessarily thinking I would go to this person with my deepest darkest secrets and seek refuge in him or her, but maybe just to get a pentaholic friend that could fangirl with me when new content came out. I knew I was (and still am) depressed, but I didn’t want that to be something that was public information quite yet.
By public, I don’t mean the whole internet had to know. I was thinking perhaps just family and maybe close friends would know. I ended up allowing the entire internet to know, but that wasn’t ever my original intent. I didn’t want to admit to myself I was depressed and I still don’t. However, writing about it helped me start understanding myself a little more. Nicole, along with a couple other close friends, helped me out by just listening to me and letting me start to understand what was running through my head. Putting my story in the public eye allowed me to start taking the steps to getting the help I needed, rather than just allowing myself to wallow away in my own sadness.
Like I said, I wasn’t ready for this to be public information just yet. And so, when I signed up for this project I kept my answers pretty vague and just hoped that I wouldn’t get paired up with some nut job. The day I was given my partner, I was really nervous. I remember seeing the DM saying, “Your partner is @Nicole_Cav1.” I felt crazy. This girl could be some lunatic who is out to hurt others. I also felt a sense of knowledge that something big was about to happen and it would change my view on life.
With this in mind, I immediately went and stalked her twitter page and followed her. I went to write her a DM and instantly froze up. I was so scared to make the first move and just say hi. I knew that this could be stupid and rather dangerous. My entire life I have been warned about being aware of what you are putting out on the internet because you never really know who you are talking to and who is going to see what you say. However, I followed through and ignored the gut feeling that what I was doing was crazy stupid, and we started talking.
Our first conversation was pretty cringeworthy, to say the least. We were both super awkward and unsure of ourselves. We, obviously, talked about Pentatonix and who our favorite members were, why we love them, how long we have been listening to their music, etc. The conversation quickly changed to heavier topics though. We talked about all sorts of things. Our insecurities, our struggles, social aspects we are passionate about and everything else under the sun. I remember thinking, “Aly, you have only known Nicole for 3 days. You shouldn’t be this open or honest yet.”
I was a nervous wreck the first week Nicole and I talked. The funny part is, she could tell and she would call me out on it. I am surprised she decided to keep talking to me, to be honest. But, miraculously, we made it through the first week. And then, all of a sudden, it has been a month and we talk daily and FaceTime almost every night. If I am being 100% honest, it has felt so much longer than a month. It isn’t because our conversations drag on and she’s a dreary, boring person. It’s the complete opposite. With how much we do talk, I don’t understand how it has only been such a short amount of time because I feel like I’ve known her for years.
Over the course of this past month, one of the things we have shared is our dreams we have for our life. What we would do if we knew we could not fail. One of the lines that gets to me every time I listen to “For Good” is this:
Just look at me, I’m limited.
And look at you
You can do everything I couldn’t do.
So now it’s up to you,
For both of us.
Now it’s up to you.”
In this context, Elphaba (Wicked Witch of the West) is singing to Glinda and “handing over the piton” so that Glinda can live out her dreams for herself, knowing she sacrificed having the chance to accomplish her dreams long ago. Sometimes I see myself as Elphaba saying “I’m limited.” I don’t necessarily “hand off the piton” to someone else to take my dreams and make it into their reality (I am too selfish for that), but I don’t think my dreams are achievable either.
I like watching other people achieve their dreams and I will push them towards taking steps to do so. However, I am too scared to do that for myself. What if I do fail? What if no one likes what I am doing? What if I’m just not as good as I think I am?
However, you, Nicole, are teaching me that going for my dreams is something I should be more proactive about. Sitting around and doing nothing clearly isn’t making me happy, so why not do something that does.
For anyone who is wondering, I dream to be a writer. It’s my unrealistic dream. I have never been a fantastic writer and I know that even if I did write well that I would probably make little to no money, but I will never know for sure if I don’t allow myself to try. Of course, I have my backup plan, and I’m still passionate about it, but I want to be able to do more than just teach. And Nicole, being the amazing person she is, is encouraging me to go for it and just write. The only way I can get better is to keep making content and maybe if I’m lucky, one day, I will become a published author. (Thank you Scott Hoying for that advice, even if you were talking about being a musician.)
One thing that seems crazy to me, is that if it weren’t for Pentatonix and @PTX_Daily, Nicole and I wouldn’t know each other. And who knows? Maybe this past month wouldn’t have been all that different without me meeting you, Nicole. Maybe we would have met in some other crazy way, but I have reason to believe that that isn’t the case. We were meant to meet and I am a strong believer in the fact that everything happens for a reason. I obviously don’t know what the reason is half the time, but with Nicole and I, we bring out the best in each other.
Yeah, I know that is cliche, and I’m probably jumping the gun and saying something without having enough information to know the final outcome, but you’re only young and stupid once, aren’t you?
This isn’t to say I’m stupid for trusting someone so quickly or for believing we were meant to meet each other. That can be called naive, and to an extent, I agree. I know I can be naive, but I’m not always as clueless as I look. I have been hurt by people I once trusted. In fact, I have lost friendships over this on more than one occasion. I’m careful with how much I tell people, and every friend or family member you asked would agree to that. I have a really difficult time being vulnerable in front of people (but who doesn’t, right?).
With Nicole, it has never been difficult. We are a lot like the other in the fact that we both have dreams that we aren’t going for because we are being practical people and teaching instead. And don’t get me wrong. Teaching isn’t bad. It is actually one of my favorite things to do. However, teaching limits you to staying in one area and I want to be able to go anywhere and everywhere.
She and I also have had some similar difficulties throughout life. We can understand one another, we are learning what makes one another tick, and we both want to see a change in society and how people are accepted.
Because of all this, I know Nicole coming into my life is something that has changed me for good. There is a spark in me that is being ignited into a flame and I’m working to make sure that it doesn’t get smothered into ashes before the fire gets a chance to blaze.
Thank you, Nicole, for being 100% you and for helping me realize that I should at least take steps to achieving my dreams. What you have been able to accomplish in making sure I don’t limit myself in this past month is something that can only continue to grow as I start working to achieve my dreams. I will always remember what you have taught me and hopefully, one day, we can say we achieved our dreams together.
Until next time,