I’m the kind of person who tresspasses. When I see a sign that says “Keep Out”, I want to find out why. When I’m told I cannot do something, the absolute first thing I want to do is figure out a way to do that very thing, and do it well.
I get so curious when I see someone wearing a “No Tresspassing” sign around their neck. Its a mix of genuine concern for other people and that good old Midwestern value “a stranger is just one smile away from a friend.” I’m that person who sees someone crying and approaches them with a tissue. Most folks would look away. Its easier that way.
It is easy not to ask sticky questions or put your neck out for others, especially people you don’t know. It is easy to shrug it off, or talk about it later when there is no risk of confrontation. Easy peasy, if that’s your thing.
It is just as easy for the wearer of the “No Tresspassing” sign to scare everyone away. We saw both Will and Dr. Rand do that in this week’s episode of HUGE. And we saw Will so unable to let anyone in that she ripped open her friendship with Ian. Just a short while ago she had encouraged him to play his song, which unknowingly was about her, by saying “You know me. Just play it for me.” Except when Ian did start to play, and Will realized the lyrics were a poem from her lost journal, she ran. Turns out, when someone did really start to “know” her, she shut everything down. Batten the hatches.
I suppose that is one way to live. I’m glad Girl Gang doesn’t live that way. Within our group, during the last four weeks we’ve talked about: eating disorders, drug use, family alcoholism, coming out, friendships, romantic relationships and being desired, sucky parents, and demands with school. They show up on my doorstep, week after week, hungry for dinner and jabbering about Justin Bieber, and ready to discuss whatever I ask them. I always throw in the disclaimer “If that makes you uncomfortable you don’t have to answer.” But they do. They show up. They take the leap. They learn more and more each week how to Live HUGE.
This week when we discussed Becca reading Will’s journal, the girls told me that the way they confirmed that Ashleigh was gay was by sneaking through her phone. Sticky question time: I threw out a bunch of questions to the girls, asking the Caitlins why they felt the right to do that, asking Ashleigh how she felt about it then and now, asking how it had affected the friendship. Earlier that night I had discussed with another one of the girls how alcoholism in her family was affecting her. Was it none of my business? Maybe. Did she need to talk about it? Yep.
It might have been easier to chit chat about other things. I could have thrown a few softball questions to the girls. We could have discussed, I’m guessing at length, the new film “Charlie St. Cloud”. I knew this week’s episode was about a Talent Show. I could have asked the girls if they had ever been in a Talent Show, or what special talents they had. There was a great part in the show when the new character Wayne, the land surveyor, tells Dr. Rand that in ancient Babylonia “talent” was defined as “weight”. Later we see Dr. Rand, the night of the camp’s Talent Show, tell the kids the ancient definition, along with the modern definition: talent (n.) A power or ability of mind or body divinely entrusted to a person for use or empowerment.
Talent. Weight. A power or ability of mind or body divinely entrusted to a person for use or empowerment.
Maybe we don’t need to shed the pounds. Maybe we need to shed the “No Tresspassing” signs we wear. Let others in. Let it out. Rock the stage like Becca did in “Baby Got Back”. Make jokes like Alistair did when his magic tricks went south. Take a risk like Ian did with his song and receive a standing ovation. A standing ovation! Everybody has a standing ovation moment inside of them.
If you are not willing to take center stage and live the breadth of your life, then what’s the point?
Take a look as the Girl Gang and I (yes me! I got out from behind the camera) talk about HUGE, and how thankful I am to Jess Weiner and her Actionist(r) Network and ABC Family for allowing this kind of conversation to happen.
Girl Gangs’ vid is kinda long, but at 4:16 you not only witness “Smalls” vending pencils and Chuck E Cheese tickets to the girls, you hear them give an amazing and introspective take on HUGE dealing with romance between a plus-sized cast and people being more than the sum of their parts: