By Haley Chi-Sing
Mondays are usually my low-activity days which, to be fair, should also be my homework-and-catch-up days. But unfortunately, this past one wasn’t. I sat in my dorm, attempting to do homework, but instead came across a forgotten gem of a film: “Never Been Kissed.”
For those of you who crinkled your eyebrows in confusion when reading the title of the film, here’s a small preview of the plot: Josie Geller is a writer for The Chicago Sun-Times who, to be completely honest, was never one to be “out of the ordinary.” She very rarely drew attention to herself and simply drifted through life, sticking to what she knew she could do. It wasn’t until she was assigned an undercover reporter story at a local high school that Josie was truly pushed to the limits, both socially and romantically.
Was it somewhat disconcerting that Josie was a journalist and I want to be a journalist and she was a hopeless romantic and I can occasionally place myself in that category? Yes, 100 percent. But, the beauty and the lessons of the film itself make the occasional similarities that much more valuable and honest.
- There is always time to redefine yourself.
We are introduced to Josie Geller as a successful journalist for the Sun-Times. Although she is somewhat quirky and out-of-place in the office, she has her life together and couldn’t be doing better (other than in romance).
But, earlier on in her life, she was Josie Grossie to her high school classmates. This name tormented her all four years as she walked the halls of her high school, up until the moment she graduated. She was never able to break out of this box they had put her in, until the moment she stepped foot off of her high school campus and was introduced to the “real world.”
After high school, Josie was able to redefine who she was: she was now Josie Geller, successful journalist and writer with plenty of friends and loved ones.
Josie was able to redefine herself for a second time around after enrolling in high school part two, as an undercover reporter.
The point is, it doesn’t matter who you were at any point in time. If you are able to step outside of your little bubble, you can redefine who you are completely, and nobody will ever know. It’s just like showing up to college as a freshman or to your very first job out of college — you set the rules and standards of who you are.
- Know what you are capable of and always strive for the best.
One of the reasons Josie wasn’t ever given one of the leading stories at the paper was because no one truly thought she had what it takes. She was just too flimsy, awkward and naive to be given such an important task. To be fair, her co-workers and friends were looking out for her. But, deep down inside, Josie knew she could do it, despite her little odd quirks.
In the end, all of the traits her co-workers thought would hinder her success, were actually the ones that helped her succeed in her story. Josie used her oddities to her advantage and ended up writing one of the most successful stories the Sun-Times had ever seen. But, this was attributed to the sheer fact that Josie knew she was capable of writing such a story and decided to go for it wholeheartedly.
Of course, there will be individuals in our lives who don’t think we are yet ready to take on certain tasks. But, at the end of the day, only you know what you are capable of. And often you are more capable than even what you think. So, don’t ever let one’s expectations of you determine what you can achieve or succeed in.
- It doesn’t hurt to wait a little.
Josie was infamous in her small group of friends for being the one who has never truly kissed (hence, the film title). Like a good hopeless romantic, Josie was waiting for the right guy to come along and sweep her off her feet, which, to be fair, is completely reasonable.
Although she got a bit of backlash from her friends and her brother, waiting for the right person actually turned out to be an asset for her. It was because she had waited that she was prompted to go out and interact with people and do things she would have never imagined she had done. And in the end, Josie finally met the one person she had been waiting for her whole life.
I am a firm believer that there is one person for everyone. It is simply a matter of time and patience until we meet them. So, you technically can wait for them (despite popular belief). I bet it will be just as beautiful as it was for Josie and Sam, or even more so, because you will know for sure that they are your perfect match.
- Don’t forget to step a little outside of your comfort zone.
Josie was always known for not stepping outside her comfort zone. She was simply more comfortable going through life doing what she had always done — writing and being somewhat invisible.
When she went back to high school, Josie reverted back to the same exact state of being she had been in all through her actual high school experience. She had, once again, reverted back to her comfort zone.
It turned out that Josie not stepping outside of the box was hurting her chance of succeeding in her story. It was only when she tried to recreate her self-image and try new things that she was able to grow as a person, and as a writer, and ultimately succeed.
It is obviously much more convenient to stay within one’s boundaries, but there is only so much you can achieve inside your bubble. Josie learned this the hard (and fairly terrifying) way, kissing in the middle of a baseball field.
We don’t have to go out and do great things in order to say we’ve “stepped outside of our comfort zone.” It’s the little things in our day-to-day lives that push us to our limits that help us grow as individuals and as people.