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Killing Me Softly: “The Wiz” Gets Me Everytime

Over the years, “The Wiz” has become one of my favorite movies ever.

There are a million reasons to love it: Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, amazing music and dancing and very cool, yet sophisticated references to black American urban culture.

But the thing that resonates with me most is just Dorothy’s transformation. She was a quiet wallflower, doting on her aunt, uncle and doggie and pretending to be satisfied with her super ordinary life. So much so, the elementary school teacher isn’t even considering a job offer to teach at a high school outside of her Harlem neighborhood.

Eventually, in order to find her way back home from the very strange world of Oz, she’s forced to pull it together to slay evil witches, meet the mighty OZ and help her new friends she’s made a long the way become better, eh, lions, tin men and scarecrows.

I love to watch this movie over the holidays, but I’ve found when I’m going through a tough time or I know I’m in need of a serious change in my life and I end up watching this movie, I’m crying like a baby when Diana starts singing “Home.” Then I need someone to pick me up off of the floor by the end of Lena Horne’s song, “Believe in yourself.”

I feel like Lena’s Glenda the Good Witch was literally willing me to get it together, when she throws in that “whoo” and a “yeah” in there. Tell me you won’t want to change the world after watching this!!!

For some reason, those parts of the movie in particular, hit me like a ton of bricks. There have been times in my life I have been stuck in situations that I didn’t like, but I stayed out of fear of trying and failing even more miserably.

All throughout the movie, over and over, each character had to stand up, be brave and just try something new and step out of their comfort zone. It’s almost like the times I decide to pop that DVD in– on some subconscious level– is when I need to hear those messages the most.

I’m reminded to reconnect to the people who love me so they can recharge me and I need to gather up my confidence again to do something– anything bigger than what I’m doing at the moment. Happy holidays, yall!

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