Hello Underdogs, and Happy Monday to you!
You know, as a child, I had a very hard time fitting in, or finding any friends. I went through long stretches in my childhood where I didn’t have anyone in my life. I couldn’t understand the problem, outside the fact that I was the fat kid. (I still am, but now I am the chunky yet funky adult.) I tried to be a good, caring, and honest person, but that just didn’t seem to make any friends. So, I retreated into myself and found my creative side. I also found Clarissa.
If you are not familiar with her, let me explain. Clarissa was the lead character in the television show on Nickelodeon called “Clarissa Explains it All.” It started in 1991 and ran to 1994. I was an impressionable child with no one, so Clarissa became my friend. The show revolved around super cool, teenager Clarissa Darling, her parents, and her strange little brother, Ferguson. She also had her best friend, Sam, who climbed through the window via a ladder rather than walk through the front door. Strangely, her parents had no issue that a teenage boy did this at will. While she went about her day, Clarissa basically blogged her life. She was telling her inner monologue to an unseen audience, we presume it was for us. Her sanctuary was her room (like me!) and she told the audience her thoughts, plans, and secrets, while we all hung on every stylish word. Clarissa was way ahead of her time. The character was the first female lead in a TV show on Nick. Clarissa was a smart, outspoken, writer, artist, tech nerd, who loved her family and friends with all of her heart. She could do anything from being a D.J to being a weather person without any fear. Her parents, while not really understanding her, supported her endeavors.
While she was an amazing and inspiring teenager, she wasn’t without her flaws. First, she was kind of mean to her brother. It wasn’t horrible, but she did call him names. They did occasionally try to beat each other up. I have a brother, so to me that didn’t seem outlandish. Clarissa also hated her Mom’s cooking, and was constantly embarrassed by her parents. To be fair, both of her parents were the stereotypical embarrassing agents. Then there was Sam, the love struck young man who spent all of his time with Clarissa. They went back and forth for years with Clarissa not liking Sam, and putting him in the friend zone! Then, she finds she has feelings for him, and then he finds he doesn’t have feelings for her. I believe during the latest episodes, Sam had a girlfriend that Clarissa was friends with, but I think she still regretted her relationship with him getting away from her.
While the show was corny, it really did a lot for me. I would walk around my room and talk to my imagined audience just like Clarissa did. It was great for being creative, and it also gave me a life long passion for what would eventually become blogging. (I was so ahead of time thanks to Clarissa!) I would pretend that I was her, beautiful, free spirited, and free of fear, and I could get through my day. I may have not had friends at that point, but I did have hope. I was able to understand what it was to be creative, and to literally write my own stories. I was just as cool as Clarissa was, and maybe I even had an imaginary boy, that was only a friend, who came through my window. Although, in reality, that would have probably caused someone’s death. I wanted to be just like her.
It turns out, I kind of am. Today, I am a blogger, like she was. I am still full of fear, because that is me, but I try to live my life as fearless as possible. Sometimes, it stops me, but other times it motivates me to keep going. I find the importance of those who I call my family, and I hold on to it with all I have in me. I like to let my creative side show in almost everything that I do. I actually have several wonderful people in my life who are named Sam! So, that is pretty awesome! I went to school for writing as Clarissa become a journalist. I didn’t realize how much of an influence that funky little girl would have on me. Now, I just need a nice boyfriend who is willing to climb through the window. So, thank you Clarissa Darling, for being you so I could learn how to be me!
PS: The theme song is now stuck in your head, isn’t it? Na Na Na Na…..