Lucy liked to sing in the store while she shopped, and enjoyed the odd looks when she broke into a little booty shaking in the aisles. With Pandora on shuffle, a list in hand and a plan of attack, this had become a weekly ritual right along with laundry and picking her daughter up and getting ice cream on Fridays after school.
She liked the smiles she got and outright laughter when she was a little too loud and slightly off-key or doing a little dance to music only she could hear, though this wasn’t always the case. She had been taught to be quieter, because she was always too loud, to laugh softly when she brayed like a donkey and to just tone all of “this” down. She was too abrasive, too passionate, too everything. From her childhood to her marriage, she had been told to be a little less than herself, or a lot less really.
It took Lucy much too long to realize she had let people tell her these things and it had been her choice to change for them. That look in the mirror had been rough, but she had decided changes must be made, quickly. She started small, and this act of song and dance, this small act of inappropriate behavior was one of her first acts of bravery. What did people think of her? What would they say about her? She didn’t want people o look at her and think she was strange, that she wasn’t normal. Why couldn’t she just be normal??
Yet Lucy hated stores and shopping but she loved music and dancing, so she decided to try the latter to negate the former as an experiment and tiny act of rebellion.
At first it was hard and she stopped moving if someone joined her in the aisle and started whispering under her breath if they were within earshot. Sometimes she completely failed and became silent and still like everyone else around her, like a normal girl, but she kept at it. Soon, she realized she was making more people smile than frown and she caught them singing along, winking or trying to catch her when she passed them. She realized that they were laughing with her and not at her and the perception she had of herself and the the world she lived in, shifted on its axis just enough to let more light through.
As she sang and helped an older man get a collection of bottled water into his cart, he thanked her and smiled with her.
Much larger changes came after, many were still in process now, but this small thing that most wouldn’t consider an act of the utmost bravery, made her heart sing along with her voice every time she did it.