an open letter to the girl walking down the street doing the macarena

Dear Girl Walking Down the Street Doing the Macarena:

I see you there, in your youth-fresh skin, hearing something others have long ago quit listening to. I'm not talking about the early 90's tune to which you were so clearly doing the motions-- an art long forgotten in itself, might I add-- but rather the music of your soul.

I'm almost thirty, and it's been a long time since my hip bones and knee caps protruded through my skin like I see yours doing now, flesh taut across barely there, gangly limbs, but I do remember dancing once. I remember hearing music where others heard none. I remember not thinking about the people in the cars whizzing by; not thinking about any other people, but just dancing. 

I'm going to be honest: someday someone is going to make fun of your hair bow. Its size. Its loudness. Its pizazz. But hear this-- please keep wearing it.

Someday someone is going to say you're odd, or different. Or, if they are trying to hide it in a compliment they will say you are "unique." At school you will see banners that say, "Be yourself!" but you will feel the walls pushing in that whisper, "If you're weird, then don't be yourself." They will taunt, "THIS is what normal looks like. And this? THIS is what YOU look like." Please ignore them. Those voices will be the ones that make you stop dancing on the sidewalk.

I only saw you for about 10 seconds, and then you were a blur in my review mirror. But I wanted to turn around and tell you all these things. I wanted to get out of my mini-van, out of my adulthood, out of my follow-these-rules head, and do the Macarena with you. I wanted to introduce your heart to my little girls who were in the back seat.

It may be a few years before you study Thoreau, but he once wrote: "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears the beat of a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however distant or far away."

Keep listening for that beat, Girl Walking Down the street.
Keep listening.


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