The Way the Stereotypical

Madeleine - Edina, Minnesota
Entered on June 11, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem

I don’t think that we have to be normal, sensible, and serious all the time. Instead, I see the freedom in laughing and singing off key. I know that spinning in circles can make everything better. I believe in the hidden power in a rain dance.

It started in eighth grade, the rain dancing, before softball games to which I didn’t want to go. My friend and I, previously model students, would slip from class to pay homage to the blossoming crab apple tree in the school courtyard. We danced there, throwing white petals into the air as we wheeled in circles before collapsing on the grass. Our laughter was boisterous. We giggled and didn’t notice how loud we were as we begged some unnamed power for just a few of those perfect translucent beads of water. In those moments, my life, formerly so dramatic and convoluted in a way only middle school lives can be, became simple and flawless. I didn’t have a worry in the world; I was just me, and that was enough.

Since then I’ve learned that everything has the power to change like that with a rain dance. In high school, where everything and everyone changes, a rain dance means moving forward. Embarrassing moments, which I have on a daily basis, just need to be lived through. Tests I didn’t study for, sports games that we lost even though we could have won, and clubs I didn’t join because none of my friends were going to, are all memories that are too painful to get bogged down with. Regretting them gets me nowhere.

And it’s the same for good memories. In the summer, when my family and I go to the ocean, I always want everything to be exactly the same as it was in summers past. I abhor change. Its not one of my better qualities, but I’m learning to get past it. I’m learning that while traditions are great, sometimes it’s fun to try something new. When I spend all my time remembering how it used to be, I forget to enjoy the way it is. In that way, rain dancing means optimism for the future.

So even though I try to live my life with my back to the past, it doesn’t mean that I forget, and it certainly doesn’t mean that I always forgive. My life is not perfect, and no amount of laughing and rain dancing will ever be able to change that. No, instead, the freedom I get from either literally or metaphorically spinning in circles like a crazy person, allows me to remember that it doesn’t have to be. Rain dances remind me that bad days are like bad haircuts. The only way to get through them is to remember that one day, your hair will grow out again, and everything will feel better. That’s the way I choose to live my life because that way I can just be me without worrying about the past or the future. That is how I am free.