At one point in time, I skipped down a yellow brick road and helped a scarecrow, tin man and lion find their brain, heart and courage. I sang and laughed and helped defeat the Wicked Witch of the West. I also became livid at Toto as he nearly pulled me offstage in the middle of my solo, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” As soon as the song was over, having lost my place in the music and singing the wrong lyrics with the wrong notes, I threw my basket aside, handed over Toto to one of my fellow actors and went to stand in my little house, waiting for scene II. I fumed and tried to hold back the tears as my last performance as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” was hopelessly ruined.
After quickly gaining my composure, I channeled all of my energy into performing the rest of the show as flawlessly as possible. I gave it my all, and I also bawled my eyes out when the musical ended, and I knew that the show was over and life had to go on. I had graduation and a summer of working at camp to look forward to, so it was not too difficult.
Now, four years later, I look back on those memories and I cannot help but laugh at how much has changed and how far I have come. (And hopefully how I am no longer a total drama queen.) Yet in some ways, I am still a little girl on a journey in search of a magical land where I will discover the truth in life and bring my friends to it as well. At least now I am not doing everything in ruby red sparkly heels.
I have learned through the past four years at Harding that there are much greater things in life than being the star of the show or losing your lead song to a Cairn Terrier puppy. I gained a great big dose of humility that day, and I have met many milestones during my college career that have brought anger and tears. But if there is one thing that event taught me, it is that when I fall, I must pick myself up, dust off the dog treats from my blue gingham dress, let the show go on and let the true Leader perform the lead role.
The musical version of the words “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” begins with “when all the world is a hopeless jumble and the raindrops tumble all around, Heaven opens a magic lane.” So if you are in the point in the semester where you feel that your world is a jumble of hopelessness and the rain is pounding on you, just remember there is a promise land “beyond the sun, just a step beyond the rain.”