Oscar night is here! With all its glamour and glitz and excitement, the biggest awards night of the year has arrived…and with it, a certain amount of contemplation over the most memorable (and not so memorable!) films of the past year. I don’t know about you, but awards season always causes me to reflect upon my own biggest hits and misses from the past year. Which moments of my life over the past twelve months have been most worthy of an Oscar – and which ones most worthy of a Razzie? Have I had more Razzie moments than Oscar moments? And if so, how can I rewrite my script so that next year, I have more wins than losses?
For me personally, 2011 was a year of incredible growth and change; and I’ve had some brilliantly shining, sparkly moments that would rival that of even the brightest paparazzi’s flash bulb. It has also been a year of loss and hard lessons and more than a few tears. Arguably the best year of my life – but also filled with some of the most trying moments of my life. That’s the really interesting thing about this beautiful, magical journey we’re all on – often our greatest hits come on the flip side of our most monumental failures. Look at Sandra Bullock, for example. In 2010, she was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress in “The Blind Side”…and also a Razzie Award for Worst Actress in “All About Steve.” And you know the lesson in that? Who really remembers her career stumble in “All About Steve” when she soared to a career high in “The Blind Side”? The best thing about failure is that it proves we are human, and evolving, and works in progress. None of us have truly “arrived.” And the moment we start to really think we have, life usually hands us a reality check – and lets us keep the CHANGE (whether we want to or not).
In 2011, I grew closer to my real-life “Mr. Big” than ever before – only to have him end up on the opposite side of the country physically and the opposite side of the world emotionally before it was all said and done. But does what IS today take away from the beauty of what WAS yesterday? Absolutely not. The summer we spent together will remain in the trophy case of my memory for as long as I live, waiting for the rainy day that might come in the future when I need to take it out and smile at the girl I once was. But the woman that I am today knows that while I can momentarily revisit what he and I HAD in the Past, the Present is so much more worthy of my presence.
I definitely had some Razzie Award moments this year, too. Like Sandra Bullock in “All About Steve,” I chased after guys that didn’t know I was alive (one in particular that makes me chuckle now), only to come full circle back to the realization that anyone that has to be chased is probably not worthy of being caught. And you know what? I HAD to learn that lesson the hard way. I HAD to be embarrassed, and hurt, and rejected along the way to get to the point where I am today. You can’t give a lesson til you’ve lived the lesson – and at the end of the day, your LIFE is your biggest lesson. And while “All About Steve” might not have been Sandra Bullock’s biggest hit, it also proved she was willing to take risks, and live her life outside the box, and not worry about what other people think of her. She even said it herself: “I'd rather take risks than make something that's cookie cutter.” Anybody can be cookie cutter. Anyone can play it safe so as not to face their harshest critics. But those of us that are willing to put ourselves out there and be quirky, and silly, and spontaneous, and even completely foolish at times, without fear – we are the ones that earn an award much greater than any statue. We might not get it right every time – but we bravely get it wrong with the knowledge that you can’t WIN big unless you’re willing to FAIL big.
So when you watch the Oscars tonight, and relive the greatest moments from the films of 2011, take a moment to relive your OWN greatest moments – and even your biggest flops. They are all a part of your story. And through the good AND the bad, the guts AND the glory…you should never apologize for one sentence of your story.