I’m honestly not a huge TV person except for when I’m unpacking my suitcase from a trip or folding piles of laundry, it just makes the whole process less painful. Tonight while unpacking my suitcase… and oddly enough, folding clothes, I flipped the channel to The Voice in which you were just beginning to sing one of my favorite songs, “Try” by Colbie Colet.
You started the song beautifully. But by the end of the first verse, you were clearly in trouble. You forgot your words so you just hummed them for a line instead. Clearly, that failure had shaken you up. We could literally feel you losing your footing even further as your song continued on mercilessly and you stumbled through pressure, nerves, and the blindsided, numb feeling that failure brings.
The music, like life, doesn’t stop and wait for the singer to catch up. But then again, I guess you know that.
And then, again, you stumbled terribly; at one point completely missing your words – only silence.
It was then that I found myself laying my clothes aside and walking straight up to the television set to be closer. You see, in that moment, in your stumble, in your complete fall flat on your face failure, something happened between you and I.
What happened is we connected in a moment of pure humanity.
Because in your depth, in your failure, in your imperfection, in your realness – I saw myself.
In your moment of failure I might as well have been right there in your shoes because I felt every feeling you must have been feeling. I know what it feels like to think you’ve got it all together only to fail miserably and fall flat on your face. The look on your face told me you did too. And if I had been right there with you when the curtain closed and you walked off that stage, before I encouraged you, I would have cried along with you.
Because sharing in the pain of another is yet another perk of our humanity
I thought how ironic it is that simply being honestly human….mistakes, flaws and all – the very things we try so hard to hide, are actually what connect us to one another more deeply than any of the masks we try to hide behind.
I have never ever voted for a person on TV. But tonight, I voted for you. You see, the failure of a stranger on a television show knit my heart to yours and made me want you to win all the more.
No, in the end, you didn’t win. Because in this particular case, it is truly the best who performer who wins rather than the one who is most human.
But I am almost sure that in all of the ways that really matter, you win. You win because in your realness, in your very public failure, you won the hearts of others. You makes mistakes, you fall flat on your face in front of the entire world – but then you showed us what you were really made of when you refused to run from your shame and march right off that stage to hide.
You stayed, and you shined bright anyways.
How could anybody not love and want to follow a person like that? Perfection is just too high a bar to stomach and just makes everybody around feel like they could never measure up.
So sure, on this night, a young, aspiring girl named Korin wasn’t successful at fooling the world into believing she’s got it all together. But what you did is reminded us all that you are just like us, that you are flawed, that you don’t have it all together. In your imperfection, you reminded the world that it’s okay to mess up, to be real, to be honest, and then to pick ourselves back up and live anyways.
Out of all the people I’ve ever watched sing a song, I’m just betting you are the one I’ll never forget for all of the best reasons.
Tonight, I fell a little bit in love with a girl I do not know, not because she was superior to all the rest, but because she was just like me.
Hold your head high sweet one, keep getting back up and shining bright anyways. Don’t ever let failure steal your song.
“Authenticity is what inspires people. If you want to lead people, you have to show them who you really are.” – Halt & Catch Fire