I was driving to work today and noticed this woman walking along the side of the road, alone, smiling and laughing. I believe she might have even been singing or talking to herself. She looked like she was having the best time. Which got me thinking.
I think I’m one of those people. The people you see who seem to always be having a great time, alone. The people who laugh outloud when they’re by themselves, the ones who sing in their cars, radio blasting, nodding their heads to the beat. I’m one of them.
I used to make fun of those people. You know, the standard… man… look at her/him, they must be a bit off, a bit strange, a bit… challenged. When I was a kid I’d see my mom whistling in public (hands down, she’s the best whistler you’ve ever heard, and I’m not just saying that), or volunteering to participate in a sing along and I’d slink down in my seat and think… oh god, everyone is going to know she’s my mom… how embarassing. As if there was some sort of spot light on her that would suddenly then jump to me and everyone around would look at me sadly saying to themselves… there’s the poor pitiful girl who’s mother is… gasp… singing.
Now, here I am, one of them. I don’t volunteer to sing, though I haven’t been given the chance. And I still don’t and won’t do karaoke (what can I say, it’s not for me), but I do blast the radio, singing along, not afraid to bob my head and play the drums on the steering wheel. And yes, people do look, occasionally, but I don’t care. I also find myself being incredibly chipper in stores, restaurants, or wherever. I make chit chat with clerks and waitstaff, in genuine attempts to engage them, find out about them, and set them at ease. I have even danced in public, at a park, when there was no obvious music playing. Shocking… I know.
I think maybe this is something that happens as we get older. I am over 40 now. In fact, I’m a couple years into my 40’s. So maybe that is it. Maybe we just don’t care as much what others think. Maybe we don’t worry so much about how what we do is going to look to everyone else around us. Maybe, just maybe, we decide that living and being happy, being out there with who we are, being alive, is so much better than hiding ourselves behind our fears and insecurities. Or maybe it’s just that I am off a bit, strange, or a bit challenged myself. I don’t know. Ingnorance could be bliss. And in fact, if that’s the case, I’m glad about it.
One thing I do know… I’d rather be like this, free to be me, without hesitation or reservation, than worried all the time about appearances. I’d rather be one of those smiling happy people. I’d rather be singing aloud.