What’s in a name?

Since I’ve been home in WI for winter break, several family members have asked me what my blog title – “Charla Feliz” – means. When I first created this site, I didn’t realize that anyone would even think about the title too much. And to be perfectly honest, I came up with “Charla Feliz” on the spot since you’re required to come up with a blog title in order to activate your WordPress site. Anyways… I’m happy to explain the meaning behind my blog’s title.

If you have some background in the Spanish language, you might recognize the word “feliz” – feliz Navidad, feliz cumpleaños, etc. It means “happy.” The first part of the phrase – “charla” – comes from the Spanish root verb “charlar” – to talk/chat. Following along so far? Talk Happy. WRONG. Words are often flipped around when translating from Spanish to English and English to Spanish – I’m not quite sure why (maybe because it’s being used as an adjective in this case, so its noun comes first?), but that’s just how it is.

In this case, my blog is translated to “Happy Talk.” If anyone knows my musical theater tastes, you’ll immediately know what show this phrase is from and my love for it.

Happy Talk is a song sung by Bloody Mary in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. (I could seriously devote an entirely separate blog site just to South Pacific – I’m obsessed. In fact, it’s one of the only musicals with an enormous Wikipedia page that I could find). But since I’m not sure how many people would actually take interest in it, I’ll stick to what I’ve been doing). She sings it to Lt. Cable when he’s having doubts about marrying her daughter, Liat.

Happy talk, keep talkin’ happy talk,
Talk about things you’d like to do.
You got to have a dream,
If you don’t have a dream
How you gonna have a dream come true?

If you don’t talk happy,
And you never have dream,
Then you’ll never have a dream come true!

It’s basically a song about how important it is to have hopes and dreams and seeing that they come true, otherwise you’ll never find happiness. At least, that’s what I take away from it. Of course, I’m pretty sure Mary was just trying to make Cable fall even more in love with Liat (spoiler: it doesn’t end well).

I see the meaning of the song as a motivator. If you don’t have dreams, then how are you going to make them come true? In a time when I was really uncertain about my future, I turned to this song for hope. I was in the middle of filling out grad school applications, and I was feeling really down on myself and completely insecure – I basically had my mind made up that I wasn’t going to get into any program I applied to. I was planning on just giving up, and this song pushed me to make sure that I would finish my grad school applications (in fact, I even referred to it in my personal essay)… And just look where I am now!

This song (and blog title!) also reminds me to “keep talkin’ happy talk.” In a previous blog post, I wrote about when you change the way you think about things, the way you think about things will change. If this is still a confusing concept, just think about it this way: if you only think about good things, then your thoughts will become better. I know that this is not as easy as it sounds (and for some, it may be very difficult), but it’s food for thought. I’m keeping my blog as positive as it can be – not only to help myself have a more positive outlook but also to increase the positivity in the lives of my readers.

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What are some songs from which you take away special meaning? I’d love to know – leave a comment or send me a message!

And just as a disclaimer, this is actually not my favorite song from South Pacific. My favorites include anything revolving around or sung by Emile de Becque – he’s kind of a magical character.

Ugh, perfection.