Do people even read introductions? / Barney & The Backyard Gang

I feel like most people just glance at introduction posts or even skip them all together. Why do you care how excited someone is about starting a blog, or what they plan to do with it? The whole point is to read the content that they truly intended to create, not some nonsense gibberish about how they’ve always wanted to be a writer. I can’t say I know too many people who have decided from a young age that writing was their passion; I can honestly admit that it wasn’t mine. Writing became a hobby for me because I loved creating things that didn’t exist. Not one person could write the exact same script about a garden gnome that comes to life like the one I did when I was nine (I deeply wish I still had it to share with you…it was bizarre). Nobody could explain how your day went in any other words besides your own, and that’s why journals were so important to me. Not to play the whole woe is me card or anything but being an only child and growing up with a single mom, I didn’t do an awful lot of mindless rambling about my school day or what I had for lunch. Keeping to myself is what I was always good at, even now. I guess this is my way of saying “Lucky you” because if you choose to read on, you’re basically stepping inside of the very brain that didn’t know how to open up for a while. All of my untold stories and crazy 3am thoughts? Your problem now. Have fun!

I didn’t want to create a post with just an introduction because even though there is a chance that people will find it interesting, I felt the need to jump right into a story. From reading the title you probably think that I was somehow involved with Barney & The Backyard Gang and that I’m here to retell my story of working with *gasp* Barney himself. No. I mean, I wish, duh. But no, my life was never that fun. This entire story is a representation of how even at a young age, I knew what I wanted in life without actually being aware that I knew. Yes, I know how confusing that sounds. I guess to really understand what I mean, you have to hear the entire story but to sum it up for you before we even begin; I just wanted to be a part of something.

When I was really young, maybe around four or five, I had a VHS tape called Barney & The Backyard Gang: Barney in Concert. Considering the fact that this came out in 1991 and I was born in 96, it is clear that my mom got this from my older cousins who also passed down their old Barbies and picture books which she had lined up for me before I was even born. Though the tape was old, I can bet any money that I was the one who got the most use out of it. It came in one of those cardboard sleeves that the tape slides right into, and the cardboard itself was so torn that it looked like a beat up cereal box. The picture on the front was fading, but that was nothing compared to the way the tape played. I’m sure you already know what I’m talking about; the horizontal lines that occasionally ran through the screen and the way the volume sometimes faded in and out. That’s what made it genuine; that’s what made it special. Could you even imagine watching something like that in HD? It would totally ruin the character of the movie.

Only this tape wasn’t really a movie, but more of a performance. It was basically a recording of a live Barney concert with all of his “backyard friends” including the first ever appearance of Baby Bop (you know, the green triceratops with the blanket?) There were six kids that got to be up on stage with Barney and dance with him while singing and wearing crazy costumes. The performance had out of this world props like a giant firetruck and even a huge bathtub (and bubbles…so many bubbles). I was so jealous of these kids, not only because they got to dance with Barney, but because they got to be on stage and be involved with something. They got to hang out with each other and interact with the crowd; they all had their own purpose and individual attributes that made them special. In some weird way, I guess I was craving that, and to this day I can still say that I am. I wanted to be a part of something important. I haven’t really made it clear that I also have always loved musical theatre and any type of live performances or musicals, ever. Even now I couldn’t give you an explanation as to why I’m the shyest most insecure person that oddly enough longs to be in front of everyone on stage. Maybe it could be a validation thing; I’m constantly trying to remind myself that I matter. Singing and performing was something that I have been interested in for the longest time and I grew so attached to that VHS tape that I watched it every single day.

The only reason that this whole thing came to mind was not because of my obsession with the music or the 90’s fashion represented by the people in the audience, it was actually because of what I would do while the Barney concert was ending. When Barney & the kids would wrap up their last song and come out to wave at the crowd and say goodbye, with no exaggeration whatsoever I swear to you, I would start bawling my eyes out. I would actually sit in front of the TV and cry “I don’t want it to be over, I want to be in the club too”. I really wanted to be a part of that special concert club where kids could just sing, hang out, and see everyone. I thought it was so simple, like all my mom had to do was call Barney and be like “Hey, my daughter really wants to sign up”. It didn’t work like that though. The tape would end, we would rewind it and I would still just be a little kid sitting on my couch, and still not a member of the coolest group ever.

I guess I decided to bring this up because I know that I’m not alone with this feeling. We all want to be a part of something that makes us feel important. We are all seeking validation through our hobbies, groups of friends, jobs, income, etc. We want people to be proud of us and physically see our accomplishments in front of their faces. No matter how secure you are, you want your opinions and thoughts to matter to other people. Some of us find where we fit in and feel special at all different points in our lives. If you’re like me, you have yet to find out where that is but without a doubt, you will find it. I don’t think I’ll ever get the chance to sing and perform on stage with Barney, but I’m not worrying about it now. I suppose you could say that I haven’t changed much since I was a crying five year old who wanted to be a part of something special; I only grew older. Eventually though, we will all find the bigger piece of the puzzle that we fit into. Puzzle pieces are useless on their own.