Two weeks ago was the fateful American Idol-Season 4 audition. I stood, powerless before the panel of merciless judges, internally debating whether I actually wanted to go through with this whole thing. Always the cautious optimist, I was preparing myself mentally for the pangs of rejection, but still hoping for success and the promise of stardom. It’s funny how when you finally hear the judgment you have so long agonized over, you realize what you wanted all along.
You see, this dream ended almost as quickly as it had begun. But when I was eliminated after the second round, I was pleasantly surprised to find that, rather than feeling stripped of my lifelong dreams, I felt a calm sense of relief. I’m not going to lie – rejection is never fun. But I realized from the peace I felt that I was truly okay with the outcome. What struck me, though, wasn’t my reaction, but the reactions of the other 5,000 hopefuls. Most of them were crushed by the opinion of the three people who saw them at this one audition.
Watching them leave, dreams shattered and spirits broken, I felt incredibly fortunate that, although I may not have made it onto American Idol, I have a singing career waiting for me on my less-than-victorious return. And I realized that, cliché as it may sound, happiness is more about our perspective than our situation - you know, the whole "glass is half full" thing. Life doesn’t always turn out the way we want or expect, but if we focus too much on the little things that sometimes don’t go our way, we miss out on the million other things that do.
And so, as autumn afternoons make way for winter nights, and visions of Thanksgiving turkeys and pumpkin pies dance in my head, I begin to think of the countless blessings in my life, most specifically those little things that we all too often take for granted.