The Enduring Wisdom of Lizzie McGuire

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Ah, 2002.

Such a wonderful year for me.  The Sims.  Crimped hair.  LMNT's classic jam, "Juliet."  Alaska.  Bike rides around the Air Force base in summer and massive, streetwide snowball fights in winter.  Seeing moose in the flesh.  Crossing "stand on a glacier" off my bucket list.  Leaving school early to see Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets the day it hit theaters (little Sarah had not yet been introduced to the glory of midnight premieres).

And not to mention, Lizzie McGuire was at the height of her popularity in 2002.  My mom is fond of telling me, now that I'm in my twenties and presumably have achieved enough distance from this show to see it objectively for what it was, that it really wasn't anything special.  That it was overdramatic and silly.  I, on the other hand, credit Miss Lizzie with teaching me some of preteen life's most valuable lessons.

Like how you should always try to be kind, even to mean people, because they're the ones who need it most, even though they might still turn around and hate you after you've helped them (like Kate did to Lizzie even after she broke her arm and Lizzie was kind enough to teach her how to do all those one-armed stunts so she could maintain her cheerleader status).  Or how about how you should never, ever lie to your parents for a number of reasons, one of them being that they are guaranteed to find out you didn't go mini-golfing like you told them, when you are on the news later for saving some guy from choking at the R-rated movie you snuck out to see instead?

(I'm going to be kind here and overlook the fact that Lizzie McGuire also gave me the impression that I would meet a hot Italian at the Trevi Fountain in Rome, because that so didn't happen to me... but if it had, there'd be no guarantee he wouldn't have turned out to be a crazy fame-obsessed psychopath, so maybe I dodged a bullet there.  Thanks for the warning, all things considered, Lizzie.)

Anyway, you can probably imagine my euphoria when I stumbled across this show while channel surfing the other night, because Lizzie McGuire is the Holy Grail of television reruns for people in their early to mid-twenties.

...Or maybe just for me.

Still.  I watched the first few minutes of the episode, in which Gordo was offered the chance to skip the rest of eighth grade and go straight to high school (such are the big life dilemmas encountered on this show, people!), and then I heard the theme song.  I'll admit the singer's voice is a little grating on my ears these days, but I wasn't too focused on that because I experienced an epiphany while I was listening to it, my friends.  Let's dissect the song lyrics for subliminal meaning, shall we?

"If you believe, that we've got a picture-perfect plan, then we've got you fooled, 'cause we only do the best we can." 

Those people who seem to have it all together?  To have the perfect life?  Psst... they actually don't.  They're only doing the best they can, just like you and me.  Every life is a full measure of ups and downs, joys and sorrows, and I can tell you with assuredness that every time I have said to someone, "You seem to have everything figured out," they have chortled heartily, as though what I've just observed is as ridiculous as saying, "You're a unicorn."  I mean, it would be cool if they were a unicorn, but that's kind of impossible, as is having life completely together.  

"Sometimes we make it, and sometimes we fake it.  But we get one step closer each and every day.  And we will figure it out on the way."

Some days are good and some days are terrible, but the only way to create a life for yourself, to "figure it out," is to just live it one day at a time.  It's in this process that you determine, actually, who you are, and I don't think that's ever really complete.  It's just something you grow closer to each day.  And this makes sense when you think about it, because if you got to the end, if you suddenly had everything you wanted... well, that would be kind of boring, wouldn't it?  

So, thanks, Lizzie, for coming through for me one more time in this awkward period of early adulthood.  You are still so wise.  Here's to "figuring it out on the way."  :) 

No comments :

Post a Comment