5 reasons Sue Heck from ‘The Middle’ is my hero

In honor of the premiere of the new season of the Middle today, we wanted to honor one of our favorites on that show…Sue Heck!

The Middle keeps us entertained week after week with hilarious family antics that are oh-so-relateable. We all watch and laugh along at Brick’s above average intelligence and nerdy interests, Axl’s jocky doofiness, Frankie’s kindness and long-suffering frugality, and Mike’s hard-working charm.

But, for me, the true gem of the Heck family is Sue Heck. She may not be the most graceful, but what she lacks in refinement she makes up for in courage and dogged determination. And aside from being super funny, Sue has some awesome qualities that we can all learn from. Here are the top five reasons that she is hero to me: 

She is unique

Sue doesn’t fit in with the popular crowd at her high school. But that fact doesn’t cause her to slink back into the shadows of teenage obscurity. She wears colorful clothing decorated with unicorns, has tons of school spirit, and is involved in any activity that will have her. Sue shines so bright, its no wonder she stands out from her peers in the sea of sameness that high school can be.

She is unshakably optimistic

Put a roadblock in Sue’s way and she will always find a way around it while keeping a smile on her face. While not the most athletically inclined, Sue never stops pursuing her love of team sports. She doesn’t make the cheerleading squad, but stays positive and forms her own cheer squad, The Wrestlerettes, who cheer exclusively for the wrestling team. Later, when the big cheer team tries to swoop in and cheer for the wrestlers, Sue defends her territory with an amazing dance off. No obstacle sets her back for long because of her positively buoyant attitude.

She’s kindhearted

Sue is kind to every person she meets, and she is so sweet that she even cares about inanimate objects’ feelings. She doesn’t want to part with her beloved set of hot curlers because they might feel abandoned. Axl makes fun of her endlessly, but Sue defends the curlers’ feelings and only agrees to give them away when her mother tells her that a nice homeless man with straight hair will be able to buy the set to curl his hair and change his life for the better.

She stays true to herself in relationships

Sue knows what she wants out of life and keeps her internal compass fine-tuned, romantically speaking. When she finds out that one of the wrestlers she cheers for likes her, she politely tells him, “First of all, thank you, that’s so nice… But, just because you like me, doesn’t mean I automatically like you back…I strongly believe that liking is a two way street. And I have to make myself happy first.”

Similarly, when her most recent boyfriend Darrin asks her to marry him, she says “sure,” (see point 3: kindhearted), but ultimately tells him that she can’t marry him because she has to fulfill her own dreams first: “I want to live in a dorm with a really weird roommate and meet another girl who lives on my floor that I love and move in with her the next semester. There’s just this whole list of things.”

She is relentless

One of Sue’s most beautiful qualities is that she doesn’t give up. Ever. Setback after setback, she always keeps her eye on her goals and makes things happen for herself. While relentless may have a somewhat negative connotation, it’s precisely Sue’s unyielding nature that brings so many blessings into her life. When she enters a competition at a car dealership in which the person who keeps their hand on the car the longest wins, Sue explains to her opponent why she won’t give up: “You think I should give up? Let me tell you something about me. I never, ever give up. I have not made a hundred things, but I still try out. When they tell me that I didn’t make the team, I show up and ask to be manager. When there are no parts in the play for me, I ask to make the programs. The more I fail, the stronger I get. My whole life has led me to this moment.”

Sue DOES win the competition, and when she finds out that the prize isn’t actually a car but a trip to Disneyworld, she wastes no time being sad about the car and launches immediately into excitement about her upcoming trip, (see point 4: her optimism cannot be shaken).

Sue may be yet a teenager, but anyone would be lucky to call her a friend. If I could scoop her into my own real life friend group, I would do so in a second!

Jessica Mae Pelkey can’t help but think critically about friendships, relationships, and the media thanks to her Bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies. She enjoys astrology, tarot, and burning sage until others complain. Jessica lives in Seattle with her boyfriend and their extremely cute son Elijah. She blogs about parenthood at www.modernmamawisdom.com.

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