An Open Letter to My SHEroes: What I Learned at C2E2 2016

Hey everyone! I bet you’re wondering why it has taken me so long to write on this very blog. I have two very good reasons: Reason Number 1….Had MAJOR writer’s block; I couldn’t think of a single interesting to talk about. Reason Number 2….I was in a bit of a rough patch. Long story short, I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to get out of it, and there really wasn’t a whole lot that was making me smile.

However that all changed on the weekend of March 18th-20th.

That weekend was probably one of the best weekends of my life. I was so excited for that weekend, that I started planning it in September 2015; I was that excited. It was my second year attending C2E2, which is a comic and entertainment expo…or as I like to call it…NERDVANA! I swear, I met and talked to so many cool and interesting people there. My favorite parts, though, are always meeting the guests and going to panels.

This year’s con by far trumps last year’s. Why do you ask? I tell you why in the form of three characters: Supergirl, Alex Danvers and Daisy “Quake” Johnson. Or, going by their real names: Melissa Benoist, Chyler Leigh and Chloe Bennet. Words cannot even begin to describe how much I was fangirling, but on a scale of 1-10…it was probably a 12.

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First off, I have to start off by talking about Chyler Leigh. Not only is she my favorite character on Supergirl, portraying the incredibly smart, protective and badass Alex Danvers, but she was (and still is) my favorite Doctor on Grey’s Anatomy, Lexie “Lexipedia” Grey. On that Saturday when I was heading to her autograph line, I literally had to zig-zag through the crowd just so I would make it in time. And the wait was worth it. When she arrived, I got THE BIGGEST smile on my face and for some reason, but a funny reason, the song “Girl Crush” by Little Big Town popped into my head. Yes, I do admit I have a girl crush on her, but how could you not? She’s smart, witty, and absolutely hysterical! I seriously did not stop laughing while I was at the Supergirl panel with her and Melissa. The main reason I was excited to see her was just to say, “Thank you for helping me get through some of the toughest moments of my life”. Also, the hug I got before my photo op with her was probably the best hug ever…just saying.

Not only has Chyler inspired me to keep going after my dreams, but anytime I’ve ever had a bad day I would always pop in my earbuds, and listen to Chyler’s version of “Breathe (2am)” that she sang on the Grey’s Anatomy musical episode. That song always manages to calm me down, and put a big grin on my face. Along with that song, Chyler always does an AMAZING job at making her characters super relatable, and I think that’s why I love Alex and Lexie so much. Alex is the big sister and always looks out for her little sister, and so do I. Alex doesn’t take crap from stupid, absent-minded people, and neither do I. More importantly, she will do whatever it takes to protect the ones she loves the most and I do that as well. When it comes to Lexie, she had a big heart, she was intuitive, and she was always wanting to learn something new; all of those things I could relate to 100%. What made me really love and relate to her were the quirky things about her like: her favorite candy to eat when she was stressed were Peanut Butter cups, and Reese’s are my favorite candy in the world! She played trombone, and I ended up playing trombone for 16 years. She can draw really well on an Etch-A-Sketch; somehow I’m way better at drawing on one of those than on actual paper. She also gets attached to characters in books that she reads, and that is pretty much my life in general because I’m a huge bookworm.

“It doesn’t take superpowers to make a superhero. Anybody can be one. It’s just a matter of what’s in your heart.”

At the Supergirl panel, someone asked both Melissa and Chyler what does it take to be a hero and what Chyler said really stuck with me for the rest of that weekend. Literally anyone can be a superhero. Powers and a cape are just add-ons to the package. What really makes someone a superhero is what’s in your heart, living beyond yourself, finding something that you’re passionate about and making a difference with it.

On a completely different side note, I still think Taxi Brooklyn should have at least gotten one more season! My mom and I love that show, and I’ve binged watched on Netflix several times…

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The next brilliant Super SHEro I got to meet was Supergirl herself, Melissa Benoist. I have been a fan of hers since she was on Glee. Most of the songs from Glee I have on my phone feature her character, Marley Rose because Marley was the character that I instantly connected with. She wanted to be a singer, and was a songwriter and so was I. Because of her character on Glee, I actually took a Composition & Arranging class when I was in college because that’s how much of an influence that character had on me. Her portrayal of Kara (Zor-El) Danvers/Supergirl is just mindbogglingly beautiful. She is very protective of her family and friends, as am I; my family and friends are the Number one most important thing in my life. Kara sticks to her guns, and she doesn’t let anyone try to change her mind; people have literally told me that it’s impossible to get me to change my mind some times, because I’m so strong willed. I think my favorite think about Kara/Supergirl is that her morals are very strong, and that her head & heart are always in the same place. I take great pride in my morals, and I hardly ever listen to other people when it comes to making decisions about my life; I always listen to my head and heart, just like Kara.

“Never underestimate yourself. You’re capable of so much more than you’d ever imagine. You are so much stronger than you know.”

Being at the Supergirl panel with Melissa and Chyler was not only incredibly funny, but inspiring as well. When Melissa was asked what does it take to be a hero, and she responded with the quote above, I got chills. The reason I resonated with this so much is because I constantly underestimated myself while I was in college, and I still underestimate myself sometimes at my job. But after hearing her say this, it made me realize that if I stick with what I’m doing, I’ll even surprise myself! And wouldn’t you know, I have a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and I’ve been working  at my current job going on 7 months now! I’ve even been going on more auditions for local plays/musical since I left college; granted, I haven’t booked anything yet but if I stay persistent and remain strong, I know I will book something down the line because my dream come true would be to end up on a show like Supergirl or even on Broadway.

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Now, meeting Chloe Bennet was definitely a moment to remember. On that Sunday she was there, I got there super early for her autograph line. The next session wasn’t until 2:30pm, and I got there at 11:45am. I waited in her line for over 3+ hours, but it was worth it! I ended up being first in her line, and I’m NEVER first for anything. That was an accomplishment for me.

When Chloe finally arrived to start signing autographs, I had to contain the fangirl inside of me. I had been watching her on Agents of SHIELD since S1, and meeting her had been on my bucket list for ages; getting to finally check this off my list was a dream come true. I’m surprised I didn’t start babbling when Chloe said “Hi” and shook my hand; I managed to hold my composure. But her saying hi wasn’t even the best part…

When I walked up to her table, her handler, he asked who to make the autograph to and I said my name, and she wrote it out like normal. The best part about it was I had brought an Agents of SHIELD comic book that had her character, Daisy “Quake”, on the cover with Hyde. She asked me if I wanted it signed, and I said “No, no. That’s for you.” The look on her face when I told her that was priceless! I had made someone I look up to smile! When I told her that the comic book was for her, the moments that proceed after felt surreal: Chloe leaned over her table to give me a hug for giving her the comic book, she called her dad over to show him the comic book because she had been trying to find comics with Quake on them herself but had no luck, her dad thanked me for giving her the comic book/gave me a high five, and she wrote “Miranda! You are The BEST!” on my autograph! I mean, stuff like that you can’t make up!

To add the cherry on top of an already perfect weekend, when I went to Chloe’s panel and I got up to the mic to ask my question, she said “Hi again” before I even started. I internally giggled to myself, and said, “Awesome, Daisy Johnson remembers me!” The question I asked was, “Do you think Clark is going to redeem Team SHIELD on Lip Sync Battle?” She couldn’t say specifically, but what she did say was that she saw Clark, and that he did amazing. That answer was good enough for me! Also, from watching her panel, Chloe was her natural, adorable, funny self while answering questions. What I got from that is I should love myself, love the skin I’m in and just roll with what I’m given; if I can do that, the rest of the journey called life will be a breeze.

Like the title of this blog says, it’s an open letter to my SHEroes. Even though it doesn’t exactly follow the format of a letter, I still wanted to write this blog just to say to these three amazing ladies: Thank you. Thank you to all three of you for being such huge inspirations in my life. Thank you for creating such amazing characters that I could see myself in, and identify with. Thank you for showing me that being a nerd is badass. Most importantly, thank you for helping me through some of the toughest times in my life by inspiring me to never give up, and to stay determined even when things get difficult.You ladies are the best role models I could have ever asked for. Xx ♥

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