A little over a month ago I had the privilege of going down to Chicago with my little sister Katelyn to meet Lilly Singh. For those of you who don’t know who that is, Lilly is a Youtuber who makes comedy videos and she is an inspiration to many. She goes by the name iiSuperwomanii on all social medias but will also respond to Lilly (as long as you spell it correctly), Mama Unicorn, or Bawse. She recently came out with a book titled How To Be A Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life.
In the book, she defines being a “Bawse” as someone “who exudes confidence, hustles relentlessly, reaches goals, gets hurt efficiently, and smiles genuinely because he or she has fought through it all and made it to the other side” (Singh, 2017). Lilly is one of those people and I am doing my best to become one as well. In the book she gives 50 different “steps” or “tips” to becoming a Bawse that can conquer life. Maybe one day I will write a full review of the book or things I have learned from it (once I have read it 100 times and have applied the steps long enough to see progress); but for today, I am going to write about my experience meeting her on her book tour.
We are traveling back to April 4th. It is a kind of drizzly, dreary Tuesday but this is not putting a damper on my and Katelyn’s mood. We are so excited because this day is the day we are going to meet Lilly Singh herself. I’ve been a fan of Lilly’s for over a year and Katelyn has been a fan for just about the same amount of time. We have been waiting for this day for weeks! We got ready early in the morning and headed off to enjoy a full day in Chicago. We spent the day eating lunch at Portillo’s, shopping around downtown Naperville, and playing in a park near the venue. When it came time for us to wait in line to be let into the venue we became a little more nervous and a lot more excited. We were shaking in anticipation. We could not believe that within a couple hours we were going to be seeing Lilly face to face.
We were finally let into the venue, received our signed copies of How To Be A Bawse, and raced to our seats. We ended up in the second row, right in the middle. Along with 600+ other people, we anticipated the moment that Lilly would come out on stage. The countdown ended, the introduction video was played, and Lilly was there in the flesh!
At this point, I feel like I should share why this was such a big moment for me. Lilly has battled depression herself. She started making Youtube videos because she was a sad person and wanted to be happy. She’s been doing this for years. It took her a lot of work to get her channel to where it is now with 11.5 million subscribers. She inspires me to work hard for my dreams and to not give up. She has shown me that life gets better, no matter how bad it may seem in the moment. Throughout the book she highlights her depression and who she is today with sections called “Out of the Blue”. I cried while reading every single one because I saw myself so much in the depression flashbacks. I cried while watching her announcement video that she was making a book because she highlighted her depression there as well. I could connect with it so much, and all I wanted was to be better, just like she was.
Now, returning to the show. All these thoughts I mentioned in the previous paragraph are running through my head as she greets us and we all cheer. I’m standing at this point but I’m not sure how because my legs are shaking so badly. I’m pretty sure Katelyn even noticed how much I was shaking. The entire show was filled with inspirational content. She made her book come to life and gave us real life applications on the spot. Two of my favorite examples include a water bottle and high-fiving strangers.
The water bottle example comes from conserving your energy for what matters. Imagine a water bottle. The full bottle of water is all the energy you have for a day. If you use it all up early in the day, too bad so sad. You don’t get a refill until the next day. With that said, when something goes wrong, you have two possible reactions; problem solve or react in a non-productive way. Lilly encourages you to react by problem solving because wasting half of your water on complaining and reacting negatively to a bad situation gets you nowhere.
The second example, high-fiving random strangers, comes from the chapter “Get Uncomfortable”. One of the most nerve-wracking things that exists here on Earth is going outside of your comfort zone. No one wants to leave where they feel safe and warm, especially voluntarily. However, the only way we can grow as human beings is if we do get uncomfortable. During the show, she illustrated this by having us turn to random strangers and high-five them over and over again. The first few high-fives were awkward but once we got to 5 or 6 high-fives we were comfortable with it and didn’t mind high-fiving a stranger’s hand. Lilly made sure to point out the fact that we could have never made it to the 5th or 6th high five though without the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th high fives. I loved that example because that encouraged me to try the things that scare me/make me feel uncomfortable right now because one day they won’t seem to be that big of a deal.
There were so many other great examples of lessons from her book throughout the show and I wish I could share them here but I am already nearing 1,000 words and I haven’t gotten to the point where I actually got to meet her. If everyone could go see her show, I would definitely recommend they go. No matter who you are, I’m sure you could learn something from her. However, since her tour is ending soon and she is currently on the other side of the world, maybe you can at least buy her book. I guarantee that you will not regret it!
Now, for the fun part. The moment I met Lilly during the meet-and-greet after the show. First of all, if Lilly ever reads this, I want to apologize. I wore deodorant that day but it definitely had worn off by the time I met you and got to hug you and I have hated thinking that (if you remember me) that that is how you remember me. So, Lilly, I’m sorry. Next time I promise I will reapply deodorant 600 times before I hug you (or as much as possible). Now that I have that off my chest, let me share my story about meeting Lilly.
Katelyn and I waited in line together but planned on getting our pictures separately. I told Katelyn to go first because I wanted to see what she would do. Katelyn had drawn a picture for Lilly but also wanted to the #TeamSuper handshake with her. Katelyn had the choice to either set the picture down in a huge pile of other gifts that fans had brought and do the handshake or just give Lilly the picture. She chose to do the handshake and I could not be more proud.
Katelyn walked up to Lilly, gave her a hug, and asked her if they could do the #TeamSuper handshake. Out of everyone that had gone before us, no one had done it with her, so I wasn’t sure if she would. She proved me wrong though and she and Katelyn did the handshake together. The crowd cheered for them and I was the proud big sister who couldn’t stop smiling because my 10-year-old little sister just had more guts than me.
Then, it was my turn to meet Lilly. I walked up to her and we hugged. I’m pretty sure she introduced herself, saying her name is Lilly (even though we all definitely already knew that since we were there), and then asked me what my name was. I told her my name and she thanked me for coming to the show, hoped I enjoyed it, etc. We took our picture together and then I walked off. I felt so starstruck in that moment, I couldn’t formulate thoughts about what had just happened.
However, the next day, I realized why I loved meeting Lilly so much. One of the lessons Lilly harps on the most (especially in her daily vlogs) is to be present, in the moment. She is usually telling this to herself, but it is something that I now focus on a lot. So, the next day as I was walking into my astronomy class, telling myself that I was going to be completely present and not let FOMO (fear of missing out) get the best of me during class, I realized the reason meeting her was so different from meeting Pentatonix and Us the Duo was the fact that she was totally present.
When you walked up to her, she was solely focused on you. She genuinely wanted to know your name and if you enjoyed the show. She was not looking at the rest of the line or just going through the actions. She was 120% there, with you. No distractions allowed. I started applying being present like that in my job as a cashier and I have gotten remarkably better at my job. My bosses have noticed and I have been given more opportunities because of it. I don’t even like cashiering that much, but for now, this is what I need to do and I’m going to do it to the best of my ability. Just like I mentioned in a blog post from a couple of weeks ago, What I Learned At Community College, hard work will bring you much farther than just acting like you’re entitled to get the promotion you don’t deserve. Lilly is the epitome of a hard worker and I am working at getting to be as much of a Bawse as she is.
Until next time my friends,