My grandma spoke not a lick of English, and although she didn’t understand the lyrics to it, one of her all time favorite songs was the song Stand by me, and I don’t mean the original 1961 version, but the 90ies version by a Chicago-band called 4 the cause. I remember one time, when my dad was driving and she was sitting on the back seat with a 10-year-old-me when the song came on and she told my dad to turn up the music to the max and out of nowhere she started car-dancing. I remember starring at her in disbelief, because in my family we rarely danced, we rarely sang songs, we rarely did anything out of ordinary. But that moment, I realized, that in order to be happy, you need to dance. (Maybe this is also why my parents took up dance lessons and my dad became a Zumba instructor…)
There are a few more episodes much like this one that I remember fondly, when I saw her dancing. These touching moments I carry with me where ever I go and they make me feel loved, in a way, very hard to describe. But every now and then the emotions pop into me, out of nowhere and they make me feel happy. Incredibly happy even, so happy, I start crying out of nowhere. And I am not ashamed to say, that this is the person I have become, randomly dancing on the street, crying happy tears every chance I get and feeling content with the choices I make in life. Because, after all I chose the life I am living now.
Of course, it is difficult. It always is, and there is no easy remedy for this, some days just downright suck, no matter where you live, no matter what decisions you made, some moments are just going to be painful, that’s the bottom line. But getting up and making the best of it, that is a choice you make and that is one I made for myself every single day, and that is exactly what makes me happy. Of course, not everything you have is what you wish for and not everything you wish for will play out like it does in your mind, but either way, you made that choice, stand up for yourself. Stand by yourself… and dance.
Just dance, throw your hands up in the air, in the car, in the park, at work, in the shower, wherever you are and just dance, because that is what we need in life. More dancing. Because if it wouldn’t have been for my grandma dancing in the car, some odd 15 years ago, I know I wouldn’t have been walking home today, grinning to myself, as I was listening to her favorite song. I knew then, that she was by me, and I knew I didn’t have to be afraid, as the moon was the only light I saw, and the all the mountains crumbled to the sea… Well, something along those lines, but either way, I know she is standing by me.