I must have been 15 or 16. I’d just gone through some silly teenage heartbreak, and I thought it was the end of the world. The next day my eyes were nearly swollen shut because I’d spent so many hours crying. I’d felt desolate, and detached from everyone around me. The last thing I wanted to do was go for a Friday family lunch.
But we went nonetheless. I rode with you in your car, just the two of us. Maybe you sensed something was up with me, and wanted to save me from the process of sitting silently with everyone in the other car, where my quiet sniffles would be heard all too clearly. You didn’t say anything though. At least not right away.
I sat looking out the window, trying to distract my lonesome mind with the scenery outside. Even the palm trees reminded me of what I wanted to forget.
“Listen to this. Listen to the lyrics closely.” That was all you said.
The song that played was Ronan Keating’s ‘I Hope You Dance.’ I heard the lyrics, just like you told me to.
I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances, but they’re worth taking
Loving might be a mistake but it’s worth making
Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out, reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance,
I hope you dance.
Everytime I feel down in the dumps, whether its about my own insecurities or the affections of another, I listen to this song. I listen closely to the lyrics, the way you wanted me to, I listen and I feel like maybe everything isn’t so horrible after all. Like it’s true that the easiest way to do things isn’t always the right way, like taking a risk which doesn’t pay out isn’t a bad thing. Heartbreak isn’t the end of the world, or even the end of the road. It’s a turn you don’t anticipate, but you keep walking anyways; because eventually, after all the turns and twists, there will come a clearing so pristine and clear of tangles that you’re glad you decided to keep going all along because no place other than this was worth resting at.
Bhai, you’ve been gone six months. I need you to tell me to listen to the lyrics again, I need you to show me again that I’ll be okay. I wish you were still around to give me advice whenever I need it, or at least just recommend a song that would do me some good. I need you tonight, because I’ve hit a turn. But I’ll keep going. Don’t worry, I’ll always keep going.