This year certainly was a big year for everyone. It’s no mystery that there were lots of lows and highs, but today I wanted to focus on something — I guess I should say — SHUM-thing truly groundbreaking for me.
Now, make no mistake… Harry Shum Jr. is the primary role model for me, but I still consider my family, friends, and of course God to be my “rock.” My fondest memory of 2010 was going to Disney World together for the first time as a family. There’s no amount of words that can describe how truly “magical” that week was, but even so… we all have our “Michael Jordans” our Presidents, Leaders, etc. that outside of our family we look up to… and that person for me is Harry Shum Jr.
2010 proved to be challenging for everyone, and I was no stranger to that. Trying to figure out some medical issues, dealing with not only academics, but financially having to formulate a plan just to see if everything was going to be taken care of.
I really learned this year that how you look at the situations you’re in really affects the outcome. Towards the end of the semester, my paranoia of “Am I going to fail?” really kicked in. The thought of disappointing my family because I didn’t try hard enough scared me. Then there was that one night…
In my moments of stress, I stepped away from studying and watched a video of Harry Shum Jr.’s solo on the Glee Live Tour. When I saw how happy was and how happy he made everyone in the audience, his performance made a lasting impact.
I began learning more about his story. How he started dancing in high school, then eventually moved on to turning it into a professional career.
Back in high school, I remember my parents (particularly my mom) having the hopes a lot of parents have: their children becoming doctors or medical practitioners someday. Even so, they knew early on that I wasn’t fit for that path, and they supported me in whatever I wanted to do… just as long as I proved I could go somewhere with it: It couldn’t just be a dream… I had to prove that I had the stamina to stick with it.
Because of this lifestyle I was raised in, I felt extremely proud seeing Harry living out his dream. For us college kids who haven’t gotten a taste of the real world, we need people in front of us to show us that it’s ok to dream. If you work hard, study, and still dream that you can make it, nothing is out of your reach. I believe Harry is that constant reminder for me.
When you see him dance, you can automatically tell that for him it’s not about the money, the fame, the glamour. It’s much more than that. You can see it in his eyes when he talks about dance that it’s not some “job.” It’s his craft, his passion. Not only in his dancing, but with his acting on “Glee. I’m sure if he gets a singing solo one day (which us “Shumbodies” are all waiting for), you could hear it in his voice that he really cares about it. And that’s what it really means to be a role model… not your Mileys, your Lohans, but someone who shows the youth out there that if you work hard, you CAN do whatever your heart desires.
Harry, I want to thank you for inspiring me to really turn this year around. Instead of giving up and letting the chips fall where they may, you really inspired me to push myself beyond my limits to succeed. Not only that, but your sincerity, your gratitude, your modesty restores my faith that there are really nice guys like you out there. If I end up with someone who’s half as amazing as you are, I’ll consider myself extremely lucky. Thank you once again for truly being that “shum-one” I can look up to. 😉