I was recently at a young adults’ conference in Toronto called Inspire and one of the guest speakers was the great Caterina Scorsone. I have a lot of respect for this woman. I grew up watching her on television, literally. When I was a toddler, she was on Mr. Dressup and continued on with shows like Goosebumps, Ready or Not, and Missing; I watched all these as a tween and teen. She was also in aScifiversion of my favourite fairy tale (Alice). Mostly recently, however, she portrayed Dr. Amelia Shepherd on Shonda Rhimes’ hit show Private Practice. Last season, her character had an incredibly powerful storyline dealing with addiction. Caterina took home a PRISM award for her outstanding performance within this storyline.
As Caterina began sharing her story, she talked about how she grew up with five siblings and they never had much money; they weren’t able to get the “good clothes” or the right brands. She then spoke about the values her parents instilled in her and her siblings through their childhoods. Caterina obviously had amazing parents, because she said they taught her that “the important thing is on the inside” and that you are not based on your appearance. The first thing I thought of were all the Ugly Ducklings and our friends at NORMAL who are trying to make that message loud and clear to those who maybe didn’t have the same life lessons instilled in them as Caterina did.
Then Caterina said something profound (click the pic below to listen to her whole speech!):
This reminds me of several things, the first being a quote from one of the best books every published, Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss.
I have what I need in my head and my heart to get me through anything. But I have to want to get through it. I have to fight to get through it. If I want to chance my life, I need to change it myself. If I’m not happy, I need to get happy. No one else can make that choice for me. I’m not saying I have to do it all alone, but the choice to do something is one that only I can make.
“Kindergarten’s over. Training wheels are off. Nobody is going to catch you if you fall. If you don’t like your life- you do something about it. You reach down, you pull one foot out of the mud, and then the other. You walk away from it. If you can’t walk- you crawl. You do something.”
Ducklings, don’t get me wrong… life can be hard! There are people in this world (probably people reading this) who have gone through things that no one should ever have to experience. But the things that happen to us or the things we experience… they don’t define who we are: “Big moments are going to come, you can’t help that. But it’s what we do afterwards that counts. That’s when we find out who we are. You’ll see what I mean.”
If someone has taken something from you, take it back because nobody can get it back for you but YOU.
If you need help, ask for it: “Help will always be given… to those who ask for it.”
If you’re not happy, make a change. If you can’t make a change, learn to be grateful. There is always something to be grateful for. Always.
Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation. Brian Tracy
You can start with always being grateful that you’re YOU:
Until next time, Ducklings. Keep being YOU. Keep being awesome.
The Beaky One