“I love the commitment to you just being who you are.”
The above quote is something American Idol host Randy Jackson said to contestant Haley Smith after her audition in 2012. She ended up “going to Hollywood.” Although she didn’t make the finals, getting to Hollywood was a big deal.
Haley did in a motorcycle accident recently. I ran across the story about her death (and her American Idol journey) when I went down one of the many rabbit holes I end up descending in my work as an editor for SmartBrief.
Many things about her story (her testimony, as it were) struck me. She was working three jobs at 18, one of them as a vegetarian in a meat-packing plant. I have always (it feels like) worked multiple jobs and had side gigs. I can so relate to the fear of not making it financially being something that propels a person to work, work, work.
Amid all that working, though, she had a spirit that she clearly didn’t waver from. Watch the original of the song she performed (Chaka Khan and Rufus’ singing Stevie Wonder’s “Tell Me Something Good), then watch Haley do it.
I thought back on the “scripts” I was taught as a young summer missionary for the Southern Baptist Church when I was 18. Although they were well-intentioned, I see things differently now.
It is in being truly myself, and living a life that demonstrates the things I used to try to explain in a rote script, that I best convey a message to the people around me about my values. Unfortunately, I have become sporadic in my church attendance, something I intend to rectify soon, but what hasn’t changed is my gratitude that I can be uniquely me. That’s a pretty divine gift. Randy was “on to something good.”
Welcome to this week’s Five Minute Friday. Our instructions, via creator Kate Motaung: “Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.” (But I can’t resist spell checking, as you can imagine.)
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.