Friday, June 19, 2020

Zoey's Extraordinary Journey

Zoey is on a personal journey. It’s easy to forget that as you’re watching Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist because of the fun musical numbers and awesomely expressive choreography (thanks, Mandy Moore!), the compelling story (go Team Max!), and the phenomenal acting (we will miss you, Peter Gallagher!). But at its core, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is about a woman who is on a journey of self improvement, of stepping out of her comfort zone, and of being vulnerable with others. Thank goodness the show was recently picked up for a second season!

Zoey’s admonition is clear from the first episode: “HELP!” She was given her extraordinary power to help other people. And when she shies away from this responsibility, the universe gently -- and sometimes not so gently -- reminds her how important it is for her to help others. Her days are interrupted constantly by “heart songs”, she glitches until she gets her own head in order, and even car horns remind her that she needs to help people. The universe is a persistent little bugger!

But here’s the thing: Zoey isn’t really just helping others. The person she’s helping the most is herself. Zoey’s journey of personal growth includes opportunities to put herself out there and to gain confidence. She learns to trust herself and to reach out to others for her own help. Zoey learns to create a support circle. Ultimately Zoey learns to take a page out of Brené Brown’s book (well, any of her incredible books) and find strength by being vulnerable.

I’ve watched the entirety of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist 4 times now with various friends and offspring, and by myself. Something in it speaks volumes to me. It’s more than the perfectly chosen music (see here for a playlist of our favorite songs), the exquisite production values, or the great humor in the show. It’s Zoey’s personal growth that speaks to me. I’ve been learning to love and accept myself recently. I’ve been learning to be more vulnerable. I’ve been learning to reach out to friends and build a circle of support. I’m learning to trust myself and others. And despite being surrounded by death and love triangles and work drama, I’m learning to live life to its fullest. (More on that here.) And wholehearted living and authentic growing is the heart of Zoey’s extraordinary journey.

Well, that and some pretty dope cardigans.

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