"Now I’m free to pursue my dreams without anything holding me back." - Rachel Berry, Glee ("Silly Love Songs", 2.12)
Whether this quote holds true for Rachel and Finn in the long term has yet to be determined. I have a lot of criticisms regarding the creative decisions made regarding Finn's and Rachel's relationship on Glee, as well as how audiences have responded to the couple and said decisions. Yet, the fact remains, whether I'm happy about it or not, Rachel and Finn are not together right now, and while I'd love for them to reunite by the end of the season, they still have a lot of issues to work through.
I bring up the Rachel and Finn storyline, because I have come to realize my need to distance myself from some of the bloggers I've interacted with, specifically those who discuss Glee and pop culture more broadly.
The fact that neither social media platform Twitter nor Tumblr require reciprocal relationships (followings rather than friendships) has led to a lot of angst in situations where I've followed people who indeed do not follow me back for various reasons. I clearly don't expect my favorite entertainers to follow me back, yet when some individual bloggers around my own age have not followed back, I've shed a lot of unnecessary tears over those whom I may never even meet. To be fair, I do not always reciprocate followings, so I understand the reasoning behind selecting whom one follows online. If anyone has been hurt as a result, I apologize and invite them to reach out to me. At the same time, I have no impressions of myself as anyone more than a 24-year old using writing and social media as tools for self-discovery - I certainly don't expect anyone to follow my work unless they'd like to.
Nonetheless, there are a few bloggers in particular whom I admire and have wished would follow me back - I won't name anyone. I chose to stop following some of these bloggers because they were having discussions with one another right in front of me, and I felt excluded. Others I still follow because they are good writers from whom I can learn as I aspire to improve my own work. Yet in order to continue following them without adversely affecting my sense of self, I need to be realistic about our relationships, if they can even be called such.
I have specifically written to one writer on multiple occassions, trying to build common ground until I recently developed the courage to swallow my pride and ask her to follow me back. I explained that I had made an effort not to put her on the spot, that having her read my work would mean a lot to me, and that I thought she'd genuinely like what I had to say. I got a decline - a polite, understandable one - that she doesn't follow others back in the interests of time. Yet, a decline nonetheless.
I refer back to the "Firework" scene in Glee: Rachel is hurt, yet she has the answer she needs (again, at least for this particular moment), to move on. She can stop second-guessing herself. Likewise, I thank the blogger in question for giving me the strength I need move forward, even when it hurts the most.
I relate to Rachel Berry because she grapples with a lot of the insecurities and loneliness I have experienced. I believe in the validity of wanting to win over someone who has either rejected you in the past, or in my case, simply has no logical reason to take an interest in me. The movie Mean Girls, and, to some extent, Glee, are built upon this premise - this longing to fit in. Even the Seinfeld characters make reference to the notion that someone who doesn’t like you is someone to whom you wish to prove yourself. At the same time, I acknowledge that, in these fictional works as in life, efforts to do so are typically unproductive. Why should I care so much about those who aren't interested in getting to know me? Especially in knowing that I do have support in my family, friends, and coworkers - and bloggers as well. To all of you, I have sincere gratitude. The rejection I recently experienced hurt me, but now I focus on those who accept me for who I am.
Last week I revealed my most recent favorite quote: "Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down." I've come to learn that no one is responsible for my happiness except me - if I want to be happy, I need to make that happen. Therefore, while I don't expect anyone to go out of their way to reach out to me, it means the world to me when they do - and doesn't go unnoticed. I thank you.
A final note to this blogger in question, I wish you all the best. 'Cause I know one day you'll be screaming my name - and I'll just look away.