I have a borderline unhealthy love for Liz Lemon.
When I marathoned through the first five seasons of “30 Rock” on Netflix, I was in a funk. I found myself truly single for the first time in three years and unsure what I wanted to do past school. Liz Lemon was a light for me.
Although her life was severely dysfunctional (and mine was not, no matter how much of a drama queen I insisted on being), I found parallels between our lives. The first parallel? Obviously our names. The second? Our appearance. I wore my glasses more often then, and picked out a Liz Lemon-y pair before I became a huge fan. Plus, we both have brown hair that is a combination of curls and waves — which lent themselves nicely to my Halloween costume this year, when I donned a red flannel shirt, green cardigan and lesbian Frankenstein shoes.
The third? A “mentor” (my best guy friend from high school who was a few years my senior) to lecture us on our poor decisions, praise our accomplishments and shovel out truckloads of advice along the way. My Jack Donaghy, much like Liz’s, was always busy but felt obligated to let me sit on his couch and tell him all about the dumb thing I did in an attempt to convince some guy to study with me. And then he would roll his eyes and tell me, in more words, to get it together.
I adopted Liz Lemon’s catch phrases. Sometimes to be funny, sometimes unintentionally. “What the What?” worked its way into my vocabulary, and “Blergh” was always a great catch-all. I even said (in public!), “S that D, ladies! Shut it down,” until my now-boyfriend explained to me what I was actually saying.
“Liz Lemon is among us,” said The Verm’s sports editor, Katie de la Rosa, when my boyfriend told that story.
As time progressed, my love for Liz turned into a combination of love for the fictional Tina Fey and the real Tina Fey — but fictional was still my favorite. I put on my glasses and read “Bossypants” in two days. Tina Fey tells it like it is and is able to laugh at her life, which I think is a skill we should all acquire. Plus, “Bossypants” is living proof that she managed to get her life together (this was before Liz managed to do it in the show’s last season), so it was proof that I would eventually get it together, right?
Tina Fey and Liz Lemon both understand their role is not to stand by and let things happen — and maybe that’s why I want to take after them. On a “Saturday Night Live” episode in 2008, Tina Fey summed it up nicely.
“Maybe what bothers me the most is that people say that Hillary (Clinton) is a bitch. Let me say something about that: Yeah, she is. And so am I … Know what? Bitches get stuff done.”
In this final season of “30 Rock,” Liz got it done — and I’m finding more parallels between our two lives. Her boyfriend-turned-husband Criss Chross (James Marsden) provided some stability in her life, and I owe a huge thanks to my boyfriend for providing some stability in mine. I actually introduced my boyfriend to “30 Rock” in the first few days of our fledgling relationship, and he saw the similarities between Liz and me within the first few episodes. Liz is unsure of where life after “The Girlie Show” will take her, and I’m unsure where life after UL Lafayette and The Vermilion will plop me after graduation.
When I sat down to watch the final episode of “30 Rock,” I felt a knot in my throat and my eyes well with tears. The end of “30 Rock” feels like an end to an era in my own life, and Liz Lemon’s mishaps made me feel better about my screw-ups. I equated her journey to my own.
So thank you, NBC, Liz Lemon and Tina Fey for providing a pseudo guide for me and many other women stumbling along the same path.
If I ever have a daughter, I’m going to embrace her leadership qualities and let her grow up to know she can be a badass.
Feminism isn’t those crazy women who berate all men and constantly bitch. Feminism is simply wanting equal opportunities for women and embracing the strength that is being a woman.
When it comes to being a Christian, my relationship with God and my life has changed so drastically in just the past three years.
I used to not find it as difficult to love those around me or execute wisdom in situations. In high school, I was known as the chill photographer who wrote the inspirational blogs. I was a leader in my youth group and a friend to many different types of people. It was easy to give hope to those around me, because I had hope in my heart. If I could sum up that time in a color, it’d be green. Thriving and warm.
As I grew older, however, life hit me hard. It went from a calm ocean on a summer’s day to a raging sea, slapping me down with grief and loss at every corner. When I left for college, I faced a long-distance relationship with a boy who had big dreams in China, the loss of a church that was incredibly dear to my heart, and the loss of my amazing friends from high school who changed my life. As time progressed in college, I found new opportunities and loved it, but I still found my life in my hometown dwindling into a dried up place, an experience that was getting smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror. And when this happened, I did what I always do, I held on. I worked hard to maintain my long-distance relationship, because I still loved my best friend. I would meet him in random towns and give him rides and buy him things and in the end, I even sacrificed some physical parts of myself, all because I didn’t want to lose him. I still visited my old church often, looking for old people I could still connect with. I kept up with my old youth minister on Facebook and even took a road trip with him. I questioned God as to why he let everyone that I love leave that church. Even as they were moving on to different places, I fought to still keep that church the same in my mind. With everything I was losing, I thought that if I wanted it enough, I could work for it and obtain it.
While it’s true that you can work to keep anything you want, what I didn’t know then was that sometimes what you want isn’t what’s best for you. All the people that have been in my life thus far, I have loved with every inch of my being. I have been willing to run far and jump high for them, and I was even willing to travel to China with my boyfriend. I was willing to dodge all the hurdles and fight for those I loved to keep them in my life. But that’s not what happened. God shut it all down. Last summer, my boyfriend of two years and best friend of four years left me. My church got a new pastor and developed a completely different mindset. And when I tried to run away from the sorrow of all that straight into the arms of my job, my job let me down too, by not meeting the ideals and dreams I had in my head and by showing me the real flaws in people. While I suffered depression that summer, when I began the school year, depression took a new shape: bitterness. I made nasty jokes at someone else’s expense every chance I could. I was a walking ball of sarcasm. I found myself getting angry and blowing up in tears and rage on a weekly basis. I never slept, even when I had time to sleep. I ran and ran as hard as I could, anywhere that was an opposite direction of where I came from, because where I came from no longer existed and that gaping hole inside burned like someone had ripped the heart from me. The whole year I hated people, and I hated my circumstances. I hated that I was pathetic enough to be left by my best friend and taken advantage of by the department I was in in college, with everyone always asking of me and no one ever willing to give quality work. I hated that my advisor, despite her caring heart, could not listen to me because she simply didn’t have the resources, the time or the energy. I hated that I was not being given the opportunities I wanted, that I was only a “managing” editor and then I was only a “co” editor and those on the board who screwed me over still were above me. Two of my best friends in the office hated it too, which gave me a place to fester the bitterness by engaging in catty behavior and making jokes to ease the injustice I felt. Every week at counseling, I ranted on and on about my job, about the annoyances, about how no one listened to me, about people and how they just don’t care anymore. My life became about work and constantly pushing to get ahead.
And then came the storm to end it all— I blew up at my coworker. Not in person (the noble way), but in a stupid text message. One day, while I was in another class, one of my best friends in the office texted me saying that she and this girl had finally had a blow-up at each other in the office, facing all the tension that my friend had held inside all year, the tension of feeling like she was not being treated right and the tension of seeing this girl do work that she felt wasn’t her best. Instead of instigating the rational part of my brain, I did the foolish thing and let the anger rise into a full-out fire in my heart. I was shaking. I almost walked out of the classroom to go give her a piece of my mind, but my best friend sternly said no. She didn’t let me leave. So, when the class ended, I walked back to the office and sent this girl the text to end it all. I let it all out, about how I was sure that she had always hated me and always found me annoying, but how I had to be the way I was, because someone had to fight for what was right and someone had to be detail-oriented. I told her how she did so many things wrong throughout the year. And then I hit send. I got to the office, and I felt like I was in the middle of a tornado. It turns out, my advisor got pissed and blew up at the people in the office who, in no way, deserved it. That further pissed me off and I raged against her. It was in my top ten worst days ever. But while it was bad, it was necessary because after that day, I was able to face God with open hands again. It was after that day that something clicked and my roots went deeper. I was ready to stop being the awful person I had become, and I was ready to find God.
I still regret the person I was last year, but at the same time, I don’t regret it, because it brought me to where I am today, ready to receive the fruits of the spirit rather than chasing my dreams in an empty way. One of the things I have found myself praying for lately is wisdom and the ability to give good to those around me. I find that my heart is longing for that more than it’s longing for awards or husbands or dreams. I just need the strength and patience to execute wisdom and love. When I went to church yesterday, we talked about King Solomon, and it really resonated with me. In 1 Kings 3, when God tells Solomon, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you,” Solomon says, “I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.”
And I realized that that is my prayer. With my job and any future jobs I have, I don’t want to simply be some awesome journalist or win awards (although that would be a good addition), I want to be able to lead people through a spirit of discernment. I want to be able to soak in humility and grace and give light to a broken world. For the past year, I constantly threw bitterness everywhere because I thought I had been cheated. Now, I know that despite me being small and inadequate in every way, God has blessed me incredibly and has closed the doors of my past to make way for the future he wants for me. It’s not that God took these things away from me; it’s that God so loved me that he gave me desolation in order that I might grow. The world can keep its gems of wealth, relationships, and material things. I’ll take wisdom, please.
Me trying to work out.
Today we went out to eat for Father’s Day with my grandfather and when the waiter asked, “Will this be separate tickets?” He said, “No, all together,” and when the time came to pay, he took the ticket and paid. Then when I thanked him outside, he simply said, “This makes my Father’s Day even better.” He manages to give to us not only when he’s supposed to, but even when it’s supposed to be a day for him. It’s fathers like that that change the world. I sincerely appreciate my father, grandfather and all the influential men in my life who have helped shape me into who I am today.
I just spent 30 minutes making this so I could set it as my background at work. It’s 1 Corinthians 16:13. I need constant encouragement and inspiration if I’m going to try to give people more love. I really hope God molds me into the person that I’m meant to be, rather than the hurt and bitter person I was this past year.