I’m sitting on the fourth floor of the Student Union - my favorite study spot - alone. I get out my books and lunch and get down to reading. Most of the time the fourth floor is so silent it makes your heartbeat sound loud. I start to eat my lunch and it sounds deafening. The crinkle of a package of crackers being opened, the extra-loud chewing of an apple...I’m getting really embarrassed. I’m sure that the two other people around me are probably annoyed with the sound of my chewing/cracker-package-opening/paper-crinkling self.
I’m driving down the road with the windows down and Shania Twain comes on my shuffle so naturally I’m singing my heart out. I’m drumming on the steering wheel and engaging in a series of weird hand movements that just happen when I’m singing in the car. Maybe because you can’t fully dance while driving? I don’t know. But then I pull up to a stoplight. Afraid the person next to me will think I’m weird, I turn down the music and roll up the windows slightly and assume a look that says “driving is so whatever.”
I rent books at the library for my Adolescent Literature class and feel the need to explain to the woman at the desk that no, I don’t have the reading level of an 8th grader, I’m just studying to be a teacher one day...Did she ask? No. Did she even care? probably not.
Maybe I’m actually super weird and you don’t do stuff like this and I’m really the only one in this boat. But can we agree that it’s downright ridiculous behavior I’m taking part in? When did I allow what random people “might think” of me change my actions and make me less true to whoever it is that I am? When did I let that become okay?
I envy those people I see who could care less what others think. They’re wild and free and they do what they want and some people think they’re crazy for it. They speak their ideas without listening to the lying voice that says they don’t have anything to offer this world. They sing loud and dance freely not “like no one is watching” but because it doesn’t matter who’s watching. They believe they are beautiful and they believe they are worthy. Which is what makes them truly beautiful and truly worthy.
Which brings me to a decision I think I forgot to make somewhere along the way...a decision to value my heartbeat enough to break free of what people think. Because maybe the answers to the questions we have in this life are have never been what people think of us. Maybe the Voice that really does speak truth - the One that tells us we are loved and enough and forgiven and free and valuable and beautiful and captivating and worth it all actually created us - the people - and it is His Voice that matters.
And He has given us our own drum, our own rhythm to which we dance if we can slow down enough and drown out the voices of the people people people enough to hear that wild beat.