Thursday, May 1, 2014

For the girl in the brewery

Photo by Ken Douglas

I wanted to say that I am happy for you, and proud of you.

You must be fourteen or fifteen. There in the bar, surrounded by college kids and young adults and your parents, you were so clearly you. The weather had just turned warm, and your wore your spring cotton dress over leggings. You didn't look out of place in a bar. You walked back and forth across the room like the ground was familiar under your sandals. You didn't overdo it either. There was no attention-seeking, just a face full of laughter. You twirled and danced and leapt as the music changed. You moved with friends, or with the music, or on your own.

You just looked yourself; you just looked free.


I was a tiny bit jealous.

I wish I would have been a little more like you when I was your age.

Don't get me wrong, I am mostly happy with who I was. I had a purpose--study hard and love people. I had good friends who are still my friends. I was bathed in love.

I'm glad my clothes weren't stylish by the standards of any clique. I'm glad some of them were hand-me-downs, because it gave me a heart trained on simplicity. I'm glad I was a little lonely, because it gave me eyes to look for the lonely ones. I'm glad I was always thinking, analyzing, considering, because it gave me patience and thoughtfulness and depth. I am even glad that it took me longer than most to grow into the rhythmic motions of my body (though that was not without cost) because I made friends while standing on various walls, because my mind and spirit were grounded in an firm identity by the time I learned to dance.

But looking at you, I see that I missed something, too. Something of joy, something of spontaneity and freedom.

In a world where so many girls your age are not comfortable in their own skin, you made me wistful, and glad.

So keep laughing freely, friend. Keep twirling.

No comments:

Post a Comment