Growing up, I was not someone who dedicated a large chunk of time to meeting my celebrity idols or attending fan events. I admired (or worshiped in some cases) from afar, dreaming of one day to meet my heroes and to be able to have a meaningful conversation with them about their life and their work.
There have certainly been exceptions to the statement made above. I screamed like mad at my first Sheryl Crow concert, I parked outside Johnny Depp’s gate in Hollywood crying tears of elation, I stumbled on my first language when thanking Jenna Marbles for just “existing” and last night I attended Lilly Singh’s “How To Be A BAWSE” book tour show in Seattle.
Firstly, I would like to say that if you haven’t heard of Lilly Singh aka iiSuperwomanii on YouTube, I would strongly recommend checking her out for a great laugh. The girl is comedic gold both on and off the screen. She has a stage presence and confidence that demands attention, and she really rewards you for it with her relatable humor, her vulnerable personal stories, and her overwhelming charm.
The BAWSE Book tour is a blast of a show, which really is the wrong term for it considering it felt more like a TED Talk than a stage production. Lilly’s presentation touched the audience on a personal level, and even made people happy to admit their lives were full of personal problems. She made it feel almost cool to have so many issues. But Lilly didn’t let us off easy; at one point she even declared that all of the deeply personal reasons we had just explained to ourselves as to why we aren’t productive were flat out WRONG. But how would she know what we were thinking was wrong?
Lilly’s background is psychology is a good start. She isn’t afraid to pinpoint reasons why we aren’t reaching our full BAWSE capabilities, and she makes it easier to swallow when she shares her own struggles and personal examples of growth. Somehow after confronting us with our deepest personal issues, she was able to raise us up from feeling a little violated to pledging an oath to “conquer at life” and emphasizing the need to be kind to others. Needless to say, I think I was completely in love with her as she ended her presentation.
But then came the meet and greet; the coveted opportunity to meet Lilly for a half a second, get a photo with her, and walk away feeling awesome. First of all let me say, I did this and DID walk away feeling awesome. But driving away from the venue last night, a weird feeling started settling in my brain that I wasn’t satisfied, in fact, I was almost disappointed.
As I watched her on stage I didn’t want to just adore her and love her and shout out my support for her after every sentence, (which I did, perhaps to the annoyance of my new friends,) but I wanted to BE her. I wanted to live out every quality she was encouraging us to have and to live by and I wanted to be the one sharing that lesson. Upon meeting her, I tried to confidently stride up to our photo location (and even attempted to dance with her for a moment,) before proudly telling her I finished her book and loved it and that I hoped she got some better sleep when she got back to her hotel. I couldn’t help but feel that maybe I came off a little too strong, or perhaps even crazy.
I know there is a part of me that will psychoanalyze every millisecond of our conversation to the point of being obsessive and I realize that doing that is a huge waste of energy. The girl met 400 people last night, she’s barely slept, and she’s gotta wake up and do this again every day for the next two weeks. I am one audience member out of thousands. There is NO WAY she will remember me, and she honestly probably doesn’t care in the slightest how confident I tried to appear.
I think I need to just be real with myself and recognize that part of what I am feeling is a deep-rooted envy for her life and her influence. I want her life and I want her audience.
I also realize that expecting to make some sort of lasting impression on her was setting my expectations way too high for last night. It isn’t about me, it’s about her.
Lastly, I need to walk away from this with that same invigoration I felt as I was belting out Sia’s “Alive” when driving home last night with all the high hopes of success in my field. That was the point of the book wasn’t it? Inspiring me to be a BAWSE?
I’m going to quiet the little doubtful voice in my head because one day, I will work with Lilly Singh and have my conversation with her about her life and her work. I want to come to her and be remembered as a creator and an artist, not a fan. I want to live my life being my own Boss (or Bawse) and share the lessons I’ve learned with the next generation of people.
And I want to be able to look back on her book tour presentation years from now and say: “that was one of the most influential talks I ever attended and it completely changed the course of my life”.
Here’s a link to the BAWSE book, which I will recommend to the end of my days: