what I learned about courage from sandy


Remember in Grease how Sandy is at the beginning of the movie? She is the quintessential good girl. She’s a nice girl. She doesn’t quite get it when people are sarcastic or being mean. How could she? She’s nice to everyone and expects that everyone else would be nice too.

Growing up in the South and having an Asian mom, I got a double lesson in nice. I was so nice, it could’ve been my middle name. So I really related to Sandy and loved Grease when I was a kid. In my mind, I was a half-Korean Sandy Olsson.

As a kid (and teenager), I learned that “being nice” and being a “good girl” were the easy way to keep the status quo, please other people, and, in a lot of ways, to hide. But like Sandy, I wasn’t fooling anyone.


The other girls didn’t respect Sandy or even trust her. She was too nice. Not real enough. And because of this, she wasn’t part of any group.

Sure, she was a cheerleader. But that doesn’t mean she was friends enough to keep in touch with any of the other girls on the squad after high school. Trust me, I know…


So the fact that by the end, she was able to shed her goodie-goodie-nice-nice for something more edgy and go after what she really wanted… gave me hope.

Hope that someday I might be able to shed my goodie-two-shoes candy coating. Hope that I too could go after what I really wanted. Hope that someday I might be able to wear skin tight pants and have a guy like Danny Zucko sing and dance with me in a carnival funhouse.


But hope isn’t enough. Eventually, you have to find the courage to act.Tweet this, ya’ll!

Sandy kept hoping that Danny would notice her and want to be with her again, but eventually she had to find the courage to stop being the nice girl and go for it.

Her eventually came relatively quickly (I mean, it was during the same school year). My eventually took years and several tries, but I get it now.

You need courage to BE YOU. To be real. Whoever you are and whatever real is to you.
You need courage to go for what you want in life… and to let go of what other people think or say you should want (Hi, mom.).
You need courage to wear pants that tight. And it doesn’t hurt to have a body like Olivia Newton John did in 1978.


And when you have the courage to be yourself and go for what you truly want, you get to live a life you really love… and then everyone breaks into a dance number and we get to eat cotton candy.

Have you had your eventually yet? And what do you want in your life right now that you’re too nice to go for?

6 Replies to “what I learned about courage from sandy”

  1. I’m right there with you on this. Always a goodie two-shoes, always way too nice to everybody in the hopes that it’ll make them like me more (which of course, doesn’t work at ALL), always wanting to be everybody’s friend and not make any enemies.

    I think I’m starting to get closer to my eventually – I’m realizing that it’s okay to not be a “perfect” food blogger, with a perfect Pinterest-worthy life, and it’s alright that I sometimes buy my vegetables from the grocery store and eat (*gasp*) processed foods sometimes. More importantly, I’m realizing I don’t need everybody’s approval for every single thing I do – someone doesn’t like or want to use the project I’m working on? It’s okay. The world’s not over. (Easier said than done of course, but acknowledging it is hopefully a step in the right direction!)

    1. Ah yes.. the “perfect” food blogger. I know that one all too well. Trying to be an image rather than a person (or the image of what you think others expect).

      But yay to being yourself! And not needing everybody’s approval. You are right, of course: if someone doesn’t like it, the world still turns. AND there are other people who do or will like you and/or your project. So focus on them. (btw – I’ve started to celebrate when people unsubscribe from my blog… as crazy as that sounds. But it’s because I only want people who want to hear from me to subscribe, so I celebrate that I’m spamming one less person with stuff they don’t want to read… and I’m happy that they are filtering themselves out — that being said, I hope you don’t unsubscribe :).

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