I saw a high school rendition of High School Musical last weekend. With my soft spot for musical theater, I was excited to go. It was under the auspices that I was supporting my friend whose daughter was in the show, but the truth is that my inner twelve year old really, really wanted to be there.
As we waited for the curtain to open, they played old Michael Jackson tunes on the sound system and it moved me more than I anticipated. Crocodile tears poured down my face when I heard the words to Man in the Mirror… the lyrics seeming so poignant suddenly.
I’m Gonna Make A Change,
For Once In My Life,
It’s Gonna Feel Real Good,
Gonna Make A Difference
Gonna Make It Right . . .
But it didn’t stop there. I was choked up for the entire two hour show, wiping away my tears as each dance number came to a close and those bright little faces beamed out at the audience. I don’t even have a kid up there! I thought. What are you crying about?
But I was thinking of Ben up there dancing one day, with all that joy and hope in his eyes. I was thinking of myself up there, remembering the musicals I had done in junior high school, and how I practiced so hard each day memorizing the words to every song in the production, not just mine. I remembered when I was Maisie in The Boyfriend and there was a scene where I was supposed to kiss a boy named Noah and how terrified I was, having never kissed a boy in real life before. We never rehearsed the kiss but had sworn to each other and the director that we would do it, no problem, in the actual show. In the end, he left me up there alone for our big moment, having bolted backstage too scared to go through with it. I waited a few heart stopping seconds for him to come back, and then relieved, ran offstage as well.
As I watched, I remembered and felt the excitement and promise that performing at that age felt like–the feeling that you could do anything, that anything you dreamed was possible. I also remembered, like a bolt of lightening, that I was a dancer and a singer, that somewhere deep inside me was still that girl who loved to cartwheel, sashay and sing out loud. Life covers up so much of that essence, that distilled sense of who we are. When I look back, it seems so simple and clear, so easy to see all of her.
And for a moment, while watching High School Musical, I remembered, that she is still me.
P.S. The LUCKY winner of the Orla Kiely bag is: Robyn who said, “It’s so lovely! I would love to fill this bag with all of my little treasures.” You will be getting an email soon from All About Cute! We are all very jealous. 😉