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Little Mountains Blog

And if the music is good, you dance.

Originally posted August 22, 2017 on the previous Little Mountains Blog website.

I’m big into Pinterest quotes. Being a word lover by heart and by trade, reading quotes that other people have carefully and thoughtfully crafted makes me feel connected. It makes me feel like someone else might understand what I’m going through and it reminds me that we are all only human after all.

Awhile back I came across a quote I’d never seen before. It stuck out to me because it was simple and obvious and not the kind of dramatic or metaphorical snippets of poetry I tend to let myself indulge in. I'm not sure where it came from or who said it first. But it went like this –

And if the music is good, you dance.

If you know me, you know I’m a huge music fan. Music has shaped and moved and changed my life and I wouldn’t be myself without it. So at face value, I immediately resonated with this quote. It’s true – if the music is good, I dance.

But this quote cut deeper than that. As a metaphor, this quote got me thinking in simple but profound terms about life itself.

Lately, the “music” has been good. I recently moved into my own apartment that I can afford as a writer – that I can afford using my English degree (take that all you liberal arts degree haters). And I’m all by myself for the first time in my life.

The idea of living on my own felt scary at first but it has been so, so nice. I feel settled for the first time in a long time. I wake up to cuddles from my one-eyed kitten Monica (points if you know why on earth I would name her that). I make my own meals and plan my own days. I’m figuring out how to just be with myself, and it’s been challenging and incredibly refreshing all at once.

I’m finding that my emotional piggy bank (I think I heard that phrase used on a Bachelor in Paradise commercial so for that I’m sorry, but I digress) is more full and available to others than it has been in years. I don’t typically consider myself an empathetic person. I would like to, but comforting others and being a safe haven for their emotions has not always been my strong suit. Now, as I’m finding more and more peace within myself, I’m realizing that closing myself off to the feelings of others was (and is) a coping mechanism. I’ve spent a lot of my life trying to push down my own feelings, my own anxieties, my own heartbreaks. And it’s really hard to be there for someone else when you’re exhausted from shoving shut the busting doors of your own heart. But as I settle into my own space and give my feelings a little room of their own, I’m finding myself honestly able to be there for the people I care about. And I like myself better for that.

The music is good right now, so I’m dancing. I’m taking advantage of this time, of this adjustment period. I’m leaning into my fears and my lonely moments and my small triumphs.

And I’m aware that things won’t always be this good.

At some point the music will change, or I’ll trip over my own two feet, or the speakers will blow out. I don’t want to get too comfortable thinking life will always be just peachy. But I am learning about what I need to press play again. And I’m learning what good music sounds like to me.  

As I write this, I’m baking cookies and watching Monica try to destroy my favorite houseplant. I’m alone. And the music is good.

If you’re reading this, I hope the music is good for you, too. If it’s not, know that it will be one day soon. And know that sometimes making good music starts from within.

JL

Jenna Lazzarone