Graduating college is not only difficult because you have to settle into housing & find a real job, but it is also challenging because you have to establish a group of friends outside of school. For many of us, the friends that we make in college come from all over the world. Life after college seems to be all about becoming more comfortable than ever with yourself, with being alone – with solitude.
The Honk! music/activist parade just came through Somerville & Cambridge. Honk! involves a three day celebration around music & community activism. On Sunday, I unfortunately didn’t have anybody to attend the parade with me. A couple years ago this may have deterred me from going; in fact, I may have even changed my plans to fit the majority. I went to the parade & festival alone, without hesitation, not because I was frustrated with others for not wanting to attend, but because it was what I wanted.
I find this is becoming a pattern lately. My growing comfortability with solitude. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy company about as much as the next person, but it is no longer a requirement. At the Honk! festival there was great music and a huge circle of dancers. Outside the dancers another ring of onlookers that for whatever reason were not outwardly moved by music. By the end of the day, I found myself covered in rain & sweat in the middle of the dancing orgy. White drums from the Loyd Family Band dictated the tempo & rhythm of our bodies.
There were moments where I thought of my former self – “the stoic onlooker” & “the too-afraid-to-explore-alone” – and I was happy that there were only little remnants of that person left. There is a beauty to meeting people through dance and music. As if everyone is there to make the other happy by a twirl of the hips, or a cheer while shaking their shoulders.
Somewhere in the midst of the Minor Mishaps, The Church, and The Loyd Family Players I remembered what it was like to be movement: to be sweat, and teeth, and stomp, and clap, and shimmy, and the air beneath a drum stick.
Today, when I woke up the festival was over. No brass blaring into my windows or colorful streamers stretching down the sidewalk, just Monday.
Cold & unforgiving like fall can be, but seemingly different than before. It is as if somewhere amongst the tuba, and the trumpet, and the accordion, and the drums I remembered what it meant to be alive, to measure myself not based on what I earn but how hard I love.