Totally Rocking Out

Vanessa - Auburn, New Hampshire
Entered on April 17, 2008

I believe in totally rocking out. I believe that at a dance when a circle forms around someone in the center, being watched by the silent majority, people speak volumes about who they are. Most people have to be this person at some point in their lives, and whether it is in math or French, there are times when I have to sit back and watch other people have the magic. Everyone has to step aside at some point, but the habitual onlookers, I fear, will miss everything that life has to offer when we are truly ourselves.

The person I learn the most from and believe in the most is the person in the center. It takes such courage to be that person, and I am inspired by the ones with enough reckless abandon to put having a good time above the potential judgment by their peers. I try my best to be that person, to put myself on the line and take risks even though many times I have laughed myself to sleep over the stupidity of my mistakes.

I believe in stepping out of the crowd and making myself heard. This year, as a junior in high school, I spoke at sophomore retreat. I told the best story I had, the most intimate and closest to my heart. My voice shook, and I almost backed out at the last minute. When I sat back down, someone whose opinion I value so highly whispered in my ear, “that was amazing,” which I still have to repeat to myself once in a while in order to be myself and really say what I feel.

But I also believe that we all play a part in freeing ourselves and each other from the grasps of fear. I only had a topic to share with the underclassmen because I took a risk at the encouragement of someone I trust, just as there will always be those friends that you hate who push you into the circle. There are times when I must stand awkwardly and wiggle my way back into the mass. But there are also times when I know it is right to take my moment in the center, good or bad, popular or not.

I can’t do the worm, but I have a mean robot that I stand behind no matter what is said about it. I believe that everyone has a funky chicken, a moonwalk, or some sweet break-dancing moves that are stifled because of fear. My robot has been cultivated and encouraged through the years, and if everyone’s moves were encouraged and told how amazing they truly were, there would be no circle with no center. There would be lot of people on a dance floor getting down with their bad-selves with no fear of one another.

I believe that by dancing to my own beat, I liberate others to find their moves, making the dance floor a more fulfilling place to be.