Anyone remember that song? I never got it. In my mind it is inextricably linked to that wonderful piece of advice universally given by adults to frustrated teenagers: (perky voice) "Just be yourself!" I never got that one either. Anytime I heard that I always thought, "how on Earth do you do that?"
Fortunately, there have been some people in my life who DID get it, and who have taught me lots about freedom.
There is Gaylyn, my friend who lived with me for 2 months one summer. She used to dance in the kitchen. I had never really seen that before -- not many kitchen-dancers in my life, unfortunately. It looked fun though, so I tried it. I have discovered, with Gaylyns's help, one of the secrets of the universe. Always dance in the kitchen...and the living room, bathroom, and anywhere else that looks as if it could use some dancing. there is nothing in the world quite like it.
There is a family I know who has a karaoke machine. The first time I went there when they had it out I'll confess I was a little, um, disturbed. Who has a karaoke machine? I have only done it a few times, I am too chicken. But I have to admit, I am always a little jealous of anyone with the guts to sing karaoke, particularly the ones who do it badly. Maybe someday I'll break out into "Baby One More Time". Maybe even in front of other people.
The most recent freedom-teaching person I have in my life is my friend Laura. Laura spontaneously busts out into songs of her own spontaneous making. Often. Life is, to her, one long Andrew Lloyd Webber show. She also makes random obscure Friends references, and makes her students play improv games. She says things like "fudge-nuggets!" She's incredible, but I think the most incredible thing is the freedom she posesses to be herself -- to be funny and random and clever and vulnerable and real. In the short time I have known her I have already learned so much. I even made up a song today. Freedom is right around the corner.