Cutting Loose

It was a Michael Jackson concert, somewhere in Europe in the 80s, and the people around me went wild. They danced, they screamed, and they let go of whatever they had bottled up inside. Yet, I couldn’t.

I enjoyed the concert. I clapped, I sang, and I moved to the music, but I never let loose.

“Dance like nobody is watching” never worked for me. Someone was always watching, even if it was just me.

I never let loose at home when I was alone either. I never screamed uncontrollably or jumped up and down. I watch the TV shows, the endless clapping, and cheering and I can picture myself in the middle, sitting still, probably shaking my head, wondering what all the fuzz is about.

Cutting loose! Enjoying the moment so much that you don’t care what others think?

It’s funny and it doesn’t make any sense, because I do live my life not for others, but for my own approval, and don’t necessarily care too much about what others might think of me -considering I behave within the normal, legal human range we all are given.

Was I afraid to lose control?

I have never gotten really drunk either. I had a few drinks, sometimes even a bottle of wine, but never to the point of losing either control or temper.

I assume a lot of children of alcoholic parents act the same way when they become adults. It makes sense and seems logical.

Losing control, like the little girl on stage, dancing to her own rhythm, enjoying what she is doing to please the one that counts the most -herself. Having a good time, that happened later in my life and it happened in the middle of the road, on the side of our home.

The first portable MP3 players had come out and I was listening to my playlist. I had three of them, one for working out and running, and the other one was just full of songs I loved, and a third one with classical music.

I was holding a water hose in my hands, drenching the Crape Myrtels that I had planted the year before. We had a corner property. It was not a large subdivision. Cars were not racing, they kept the speed limit and neighbors were greeting each other when they passed by. The roads were small, in some areas one car had to pull over, so the other could go by.

I had my first MP player in my jeans pocket and headphones -with wire of course- were covering my ears.

I had mixed up the playlist, and instead of soothing ballades, I listened to a hit mix, meant to make me push through 20 minutes on the ecliptic rider and then MY SONG came on. It’s not a favorite song, but one that makes my toes wiggle and my body move.

I suppose we all have one of those. For me, it’s Barry White’s You are the First, The Last, My Everything.

Not caring who was around, I started dancing. Holding the water hose, rocking around to the music in my ear. Nobody else could hear it, but they saw me. I twirled in our front yard, all by myself, on a summer day, sometimes between 2006 and 2008.

I was in my forties and behaved like a young girl and it felt good!

When Barry was done -and I stopped dancing, a car honked. Later on, for many months, I was the talk at neighborhood get-togethers and cookouts.

And while people laughed, they always smiled with their eyes. They didn’t make fun of me. Perhaps I had made their day a bit brighter and they got reminded to cut loose themselves once in a while.

To this day I can’t sit still when I hear the song, even when I am forced to sit, my feet dance under my desk.


14 thoughts on “Cutting Loose

  1. Where I cut loose…. a live concert! Something about the music mixed with the mutual love for the performer – I dance and sing and scream my head off. Good for you for letting go during the Barry White song. We all have at least one song that keeps us tapping our toes. Live for the moment!


  2. I have always loved this song, and I still play Barry White in some of my favorite playlists. I think my “cut loose” song is “September,” by Earth Wind & Fire. There are probably others, but for me this one never grows old. This was a fun post, Bridget.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Aw, I LOVED this post 🙂 I am that quiet person who always disappears into the corner of the room. EXCEPT when I am listening to music. I have never been able to sit still. If I cannot dance my feet will at least be tapping. Until Covid, I sang in our local choir with a lot of other (mostly) white-haired ladies and when we would put on a concert, my best friend used to joke that I was always the only one in the choir, swaying to the music 😂 It made me very happy, picturing you dancing as you watered those plants. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could all be that free, all the time?


  4. “Dance like nobody is watching” never worked for me. Someone was always watching, even if it was just me. This line made me laugh because that is me! I am just not so uninhibited. It makes me so uncomfortable in my own skin. Good for you that you let loose- it does feel good the few times I have just let myself go.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Dance like nobody is watching,” never worked for me, either. I am far too self- conscious. I do get that someone is always watching and the only times I will cut lose to a great song with a killer beat, is more recently in the privacy of my work room, when no one IS watching and I am writing!
    Occasionally, my daughter spots me bopping away, saying nothing til much later when she tells me how she giggles at the spectacle! Haha!
    Great writing, Bridget! Happy New Year.

    Liked by 2 people

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