Funny thing, time. When this video came out back in the day, my friends and I sneered at the earnestness, the barefoot hippie vibe, the awkward flailing – the audacity.
With those young eyes I saw a woman who was trying too damn hard. Everything about the song screamed LOVE ME!
How dare she.
I hadn’t heard the song in 30 years until I heard it again last night in The Big Door Prize [AppleTV+]. With fresh ears I listened to a formerly familiar song with a damn good groove, sung by a woman who’s voice didn’t grate but eagerly called out her longing.
Absolutely nothing wrong with it.
With older, softer eyes I look at a video of a young woman having fun. Of a young woman stretching out and deciding who she wants to be.
We all do that. So much of so-called pick-me behavior is just that – people trying to find their people. People putting themselves out there, some authentically, some not – but every single one is trying to fit somehow.
Now, we can (and do) go on to judge the appropriateness. Sometimes it’s warranted, but most times is none of our business. Most times we use it as a measure of power over someone else. “Look at how ridiculous!” We sneer for no other reason than that we could.
We forget the times that we wanted to be chosen. The times we tried too hard.
Age gives a lot of things, but the most important – to me – is perspective. I wish I could have been as bold in my 20s as I am in my 50s. I had my pick me moments, but I didn’t have enough. Those moments, if you learn from them, can hone you. Can teach you how to course correct, can teach you who you really are – supposing that you actually listen.
It took me until my give-no-fucks fifties to learn those lessons. To take risks, to put myself out there in ways that would make my 20s self curl into an anxiety-ridden lump, to say pick ME because maybe, just maybe, we’ve got a few things in common.