Dear Liz Lemon,
Saying goodbye to you during the "30 Rock" series finale on Thursday night was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I couldn't get the lyrics to "Say Goodbye" out of my head, against all my better instincts and despite the fact that Chris Brown is a disgusting human being (which I know you happen to agree with). I moped around all day mumbling, "There's never a right time to say goodbye, but we know that we gotta go our separate ways."
But my sadness can never overcome the overwhelming feeling of gratitude I have towards your fictitious, fabulous self.
Let me explain.
You deserve my honesty: I haven't been a committed viewer since the pilot episode aired, or even from the beginning season. After "30 Rock" reached its fifth season, a friend suggested I catch up with the series. Ever since that fateful day you entered my Netflix queue, the connection was instant.
That's because we're one in the same, you and I. We have natural similarities that allow me to relate to nearly all of your character traits and a majority of your life experiences: my diet consists of all-things cheese; blazers and Grandma sweaters complete my wardrobe; and my glasses are an integral part of me, so much so that if I ever got over my fear of touching my eyeballs and used contact lenses, I wouldn't even look like myself.
You came along at an especially influential time in my life. As a college student transitioning into young adulthood, things were confusing. I knew who I was, but sometimes, I struggled to embrace it.
This is where you come in. Even though some find your humor self-deprecating, I firmly believe there's no shame in Liz Lemon's game. Week in and week out, you owned up to who you are, shortcomings and all. I found your "oddities" -- the parts of your personality that other TV shows don't include in their characters -- endearing.
I know you're not perfect, but that's what makes your character all the more relatable. You're not perfect and I'm not perfect because no one is. And that's OK.
I'm a huge nerd. I'd rather dudes buy me mozzarella sticks at the bar instead of drinks (seriously guys, take note). I'm a 22-year-old with a footed onesie in my pajama drawer. I may not own a Princess Leia costume, but I sure as hell dressed up for the premiere of the last "Harry Potter" movie.
It wasn't easy coming to terms with my identity as I entered different phases of my life, but you helped shape my confidence and desire to embrace my quirkiness because it makes me unique. That's what makes me, me.
There's been a lot of discussion about how you and "30 Rock" have positively altered TV and modern culture as a whole. After all, you did openly claim the feminist label on a primetime network show and addressed ideas around white privilege and guilt. But instead of focusing on the change you've affected on a large scale, I want to tell you why you're specifically important to me.
You taught me how to be comfortable with who I am and not fight what comes most naturally to me -- that kind of guidance is invaluable. Plus, words like "blergh" and "amaze-balls" wouldn't be a part of my regular vocabulary if it weren't for your existence.
Thanks for showing me it's cool to be me, Liz. I'm going out for cigarettes... I'll be home for dinner.
Follow Krystie Yandoli on Twitter: www.twitter.com/KrystieLYandoli