When she was 19, she met a boy who loved her curly hair, her big dreams and never once told her not to eat popcorn after midnight. In fact, he ate the popcorn with her and they stayed up until sunrise watching country music videos. When he asked her to marry him, she never once hesitated, even though there were lots of people who told her she was too young. The girl and the boy had a lovely, pre-Pinterest pressure wedding and spent their honeymoon wearing too much sunscreen on the beaches of Hawaii. They came home whiter than they were when they left. People probably offered lots of opinions on how the girl and the boy should live their lives but, they didn’t seem to notice. They marched to their own music and gladly shared that music with anyone who wanted to listen.
After awhile, the girl and the boy had so much love that it overflowed and created a whole new person. The girl and the boy had never known a love quite like the one they felt now. The new person was so amazing, so smart, so kind and gentle and loving. They loved being parents and sharing popcorn after midnight with the little person who seemed to hear the same music they did.
The girl began to notice something strange, however. It seemed to her that when she pushed the new person into the world, she also pushed out the parts of her that made her so comfortable in her own skin. She didn’t blame the little person because he seemed to have gotten all of those parts but, the music in her head seemed to be drowned out now by the people’s voices that she had spent so much of her life not being able to hear. The voices were loud now, louder than her music, louder than her husband’s encouraging words, louder than the country music videos. Eventually, they became the only things she could hear.
The girl cried a lot when no one was watching. She cried instead of eating popcorn. She no longer prided herself on the quality of her naps because the people she could hear now told her that naps were nothing to be proud of. They told her popcorn was a bad idea. They told her that the little person she had created with the boy she loved would be better off if she did this…or that…or the other.
She searched and searched for the volume button for her own music but she couldn’t find it anywhere. Every once in awhile, she managed to find the mute button for the people’s voices, but the mute only lasted so long.
The girl and the boy’s love kept overflowing and more little people were created. Each little person seemed to hear their mother’s music, even if she could barely feel the beat. She watched them dance and was grateful for the songs they heard, grateful that her mother had taught them to her. She tried to write down the lyrics so she’d remember them. She held the little people as close to her as she could so she could hear what they heard, so she could hear the music again.
And then, one day, the girl discovered something. In a moment of desperation and frustration and exhaustion, she discovered that she had a voice. Her own voice. Her own off-key voice that was louder than any of the voices that had drowned out her music. So she sang. She discovered that if she just sang loud enough, her voice was powerful. So powerful, in fact, that it not only drowned out the people’s ugly voices, it changed them. Changed them into pretty voices and rhythms and lyrics that she could add to her play list. Different genres, different instruments, different sounds and beats and notes.
The girl liked the new sound. She liked her voice. She could hear the music again and, although the other people’s voices didn’t go away, she liked the way they sounded in her soundtrack now, most of the time. And when she didn’t, when she didn’t like the sound or the lyric, she just hit the Thumbs Down button on the stereo and skipped right over the top of them until she found something she did like.
And she sang. And she danced. And she marched. And she was comfortable in her own skin.
She vowed to never let the music die again and to share it with anyone who wanted to listen.
And she lived happily ever after.
Happy Thursday, Friends
go. do. be.