I would like to write about my personality today.

See, that is something I would never ever ever say out loud in real life. I don’t wanna talk about myself. I don’t like doing it. It makes me feel selfish but on this blog … I feel like maybe I can, and I’m not writing this post because I feel like I owe people an explanation for my personality or for the way I am. I’m not giving explanations to anybody.

But the things is … There is a song.

There’s a song that makes it so so so incredibly easy for me to give an answer to the questions that I’ve heard my entire life. Questions like, “Why are you so quiet?” “Do you not like talking to people?” “You should socialize more!” “Why are you so boring?” “Are you tired?” “Why do you shut down so fast?” “Don’t you wanna go out?” “Why do you wanna stay in all the time,” and no, I’m not writing fiction, and these are things people have actually told me that I actually remember because you know, you remember that kind of stuff.

I’m an extreme introvert. I don’t really know if I’ve been that way all my life, but it definitely feels like it has gotten more extreme over time. I’ve never really cared about it. I’m the girl who rolls her eyes at everybody else. I couldn’t care less about whatever it is that everybody else is doing or wearing or listening to. Everything is different for me. The way that I have fun or enjoy time or forget about life is different for me, but the truth is that also makes me the girl who has to sit in the corner alone in order to watch and observe before she ever rolls her eyes .. When you act like you don’t care, but you really do.

Did the writer in me just expose myself?

I do have a confession to make though. Sometimes I lie awake at night and wonder what the answers to these questions actually are. Surely, it has to be more than, “That’s how I am.” “That’s what I”m like.” “That’s who I am,” and “Why does anyone care what I do anyway?” When you’re a kid or a pre-teen or a teenager growing up, you just keep wondering what the answers to those kinds of questions are. Why you aren’t like everyone else? You don’t know the answers. You feel like you’re not ever gonna figure it out. So you kind of just throw it over your shoulder and you keep accepting it because it is what it is. We are who we are.

Until you hear this song that consists of nothing but questions, but actually those questions were the answers you’ve been looking for.

DEAR EVAN HANSEN

Dear Evan Hansen is a Tony Award-winning hit Broadway musical, with music and lyrics written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul – one of my favorite musical duos to ever exist – and a book by Steven Levenson, about a teenager struggling to deal with the anxieties and stresses of being around and being accepted by other people. The musical is about depression and grief and pain, but then it’s also about hope, and it’s about realizing that you’re really not alone. It’s about being brave enough to accept yourself. It’s about putting the worst behind you and being truthful in every relationship you have, whether it’s between your friends, your parents, or yourself. It’s about looking up to the bright side of things, and trusting it will be okay.

Tony and Grammy award-winning orchestrator, Alex Lacamoire is a musical genius, and what he’s done on this album is thrilling. The music touches upon the subjects of grief, depression, and loss so softly that it feels SO powerful.

The song I’m talking about is the musical’s single, “Waving Through a Window.”

Here’s the song. There are the lyrics. Here I go .. Oh, also please try to hear out the orchestrations in this song like obviously the lyrics are gonna make you cry because Pasek and Paul are absolutely cruel but the musical build up in this song is out-of-this-world Alex Lacamoire genius.

Waving Through A Window performed by Ben Platt from Dear Evan Hansen

[Verse 1]

I’ve learned to slam on the brake
Before I even turn the key
Before I make the mistake
Before I lead with the worst of me

When I first heard this song, I was sitting in my room on my bed alone and couldn’t listen to the rest of the record after hearing this track because I cried over it for a full hour. I hadn’t realized until this song that my whole entire life story could actually be told through the metaphor of a car.

Give them no reason to stare
No slipping up if you slip away
So I got nothing to share
No, I got nothing to say

The idea that you won’t be judged or get hurt or get in trouble if you never say anything, so you just don’t say or share anything at all with anyone is a belief that I’ve engrained into my brain for as long as I can remember. I can’t believe someone acknowledged that lyrically.

[Pre-Chorus]

Step out, step out of the sun
If you keep getting burned
Step out, step out of the sun
Because you’ve learned, because you’ve learned

I don’t know who else nerds out about music this much, but I have this catalog of my favorite opening lines of songs and favorite first verses, favorite bridges, and favorite pre-choruses and this pre-chorus is on that list. It’s like you get hurt so many times just for trying to be someone’s friend or trying to fit in or just being you that eventually, you’ve learned your lesson and what’s the point anymore? I heard this and thought, “Someone is personally attacking me.”

[Chorus]

On the outside, always looking in
Will I ever be more than I’ve always been?

This question has passed through my mind ever since I was in elementary school. Not until hearing this song does this exact phrase still run through my mind at least once a day guaranteed.

‘Cause I’m tap, tap, tapping on the glass
I’m waving through a window
I try to speak, but nobody can hear

Welcome to why I write, ladies and gentlepals.

So I wait around for an answer to appear
While I’m watch, watch, watching people pass

I’m in this really weird limbo of my life right now where I just feel like things keep happening for everyone around me except me, and I’ve always felt that way, but these days the feeling seems amplified, and it really sucks sometimes but at least we can sing about it.

I’m waving through a window, oh
Can anybody see? Is anybody waving back at me?

Can a struggling writer without an audience stress this enough? Can a lonely soul with no friends stress this enough? Can a teenager who wanders treacherous high school hallways by themselves stress this enough, and it sounds so lame as I write about it now, but when you’re fifteen, what else on Earth matters?

[Verse 2]

We start with stars in our eyes
We start believing that we belong

This line to me is so beautiful because I think it represents youth and a kid being naive enough to think that everyone and anyone would want to be your friend just because you were nice or kind, and it wasn’t based on looks or popularity or status. I’m in love with translating this idea into “Starting with stars in our eyes.” We start out believing we can. We start out thinking we know who we are … and then stuff happens and you just don’t anymore. It’s a harsh truth, but I’ve been slowly learning that you don’t have to let it be true.

But every sun doesn’t rise
And no one tells you where you went wrong

This line feels like the hardest part because once you realize that you don’t have faith or see stars or believe as much as you used to, it’s only because you’ve realized it yourself, and no one’s told you so you’ve literally fallen down here the hard way.

[Pre-Chorus]

Step out, step out of the sun
If you keep getting burned
Step out, step out of the sun
Because you’ve learned, because you’ve learned

[Chorus]

On the outside, always looking in
Will I ever be more than I’ve always been?
‘Cause I’m tap, tap, tapping on the glass
Waving through a window
I try to speak, but nobody can hear
So I wait around for an answer to appear
While I’m watch, watch, watching people pass
Waving through a window, oh
Can anybody see? Is anybody waving?

[Bridge]

When you’re falling in a forest and there’s nobody around
Do you ever really crash, or even make a sound?
When you’re falling in a forest and there’s nobody around
Do you ever really crash, or even make a sound?
When you’re falling in a forest and there’s nobody around
Do you ever really crash, or even make a sound?
When you’re falling in a forest and there’s nobody around
Do you ever really crash, or even make a sound?
Did I even make a sound?
Did I even make a sound?
It’s like I never made a sound
Will I ever make a sound?

It hurts … Just a little … because even you feel like you’re trying hardest, people still aren’t listening or don’t pay attention, and that hurts a little.

On the outside, always looking in
Will I ever be more than I’ve always been?
‘Cause I’m tap, tap, tapping on the glass
Waving through a window
I try to speak, but nobody can hear
So I wait around for an answer to appear
While I’m watch, watch, watching people pass
Waving through a window, oh
Can anybody see? Is anybody waving back at me?

Woooo … Are you good? It makes me cry ….. Be right back. Getting tissues.

 ***

So there you go. That’s the way I feel it … and people ask me how I can possibly be so bitter all the time. Ha.

I can’t even deal with how musically subtle the song starts out because he’s so afraid to say the things he wants to. When the pre-chorus hits, that first piano chord literally jumps at you which is how it seems to feel when you’re being brave and courageous and trying on your own to step into the sun in life, but by the time you get to the chorus, the music backs away, just like you’d shy away from ever trying again and all that’s left are these questions you’re asking from the outside – I’m gonna yell about this! Pasek and Paul, you deserved that Tony for real.

WITH STARS IN OUR EYES

Growing up, I never once felt on the inside of anything. I have a deeper story about my own social experience, but it’s not something that I’m quite ready to type out and put on the internet yet. I’m not asking for anyone’s sympathy about it, and there is a part of me that is still afraid to share a lot about my life, but I wanted to put this song out there for people who didn’t know about it. I didn’t want someone to hear it for the first time and wonder, “Why’s he driving a car? Why’s he tapping on glass? Who wants to stand in the sun?” I didn’t want it to go unnoticed. I wanted to tell you that it means something.

I grew up loving musicals and studied theater in college, so I have that bone in me that really enjoys a good show tune. Occasionally, I will be writing about all that Broadway stuff on here, but I’ve never been to New York City. I’ve never been to Broadway, and I’ve never even seen this show, but I don’t need to see it onstage in order to know that the one thing it has done for me is that it’s helped me to accept my journey.

There are other amazing songs in the show. I encourage you to listen to the rest of the record, and once you do this might make more sense, but I have reasons for why I relate to a lot of the lines in this musical. I have reasons for why “Wondering how the world might look from up so high,” and “I suddenly feel the branch give way,” make me shake, and how I want to cry when I hear “All we see is sky for forever.” I have reasons for why the song “To Break In A Glove” is one of the greatest parts of the show. It’s because it’s the only song in the entire thing that actually gives you the answers – “It takes a little patience. It takes a little time. A little perseverance, a little uphill climb.” Just take that phrase and remember it when you’re going through a rough time. I promise it helps.

I have reasons for way the song “Words Fail” left me crying in my room until three in the morning the first time I heard it because I did not believe that anyone could have ever felt the same way I did about pretending and running and always constantly slamming on brakes.

Whatever your reasons are .. No matter what your reasons are, these songs are proof that you’re not alone.

I am grateful to this show for showing me that. I am grateful to Ben Platt. I am grateful to Pasek and Paul, you genius freaks. I am grateful for this.

I was avoiding deep conversations, and pushing all my strongest feelings away for years after hitting the bottom because I didn’t ever want to feel the way I did again, but what this show has given me is something to look at and say that it’s okay to feel those things and it’s okay to feel them again if and when they come back.

It took me a long time to stop caring about a lot of those questions that people were asking me. It took me a while to stop caring about a lot of things. I basically stopped caring about everything … but in the way that’s good for you this time, and I’ve been able to live my life going forward because of the recovery time that I allowed myself. We all sometimes feel like we’re the outsider in a situation, but for me, it felt like I just always was and was always gonna be … and yet I found strength in the fact that despite that feeling, I never changed myself for anyone. I’ve learned to take my interests and place them, amplify them, be proud of them in my life. This is me letting go. This is me loving what I love, and that’s it. This is me noticing that sometimes you just might see more from the outside looking in. This is me being me, and that’s enough. If there’s anything you take away from my ranting today, I hope it’s that you know that you just being you is enough too.

I have always felt different. I have never, once in my life, felt understood yet I feel understood when I hear “Waving Through A Window” so much so that there are days when I feel happy hearing this song because I know I’m not alone, and I’m grateful that it’s there for people to hear so that I don’t have to explain it.

STEP INTO THE SUN

One of the last songs on the records is “Words Fail,” and it ends with Evan Hansen asking another question. It’s “How do I step into the sun?” How do we move past this? How do we get better? How do we become brave when we know we’re not? How do we put fear past us? How do we forgive ourselves? How do we accept ourselves? How do we step into the sun? I don’t have a straight answer to give to you, but this album is showing me that there isn’t one. Everything that happens will lead us there, into the sun .. If we could just step in.

But then Evan takes a breath and says, “Step into the sun,” a second time but this time, it’s like a statement. He states it because it’s he decides right there on letting go, to believe, to accept, to step in, to try again. I think there is so much beauty and bravery in him saying this line twice.

We step into the sun. We move on. I’m not exactly sure how. It doesn’t feel like we can when we’re suffocated by the life around us. It doesn’t even seem believable, I know, but the days pass by … and one day you wake up and you’re tired of being sad. One day you wake up and you’re tired of feeling angry. One day you wake up and you’re just tired of being tired so then you let go … and you stop feeling those feelings and suddenly you notice how pretty sunshine is when it casts shadows through the leaves in the trees.

I could have used Dear Evan Hansen ten years ago. Hell, it would have saved me a lot of trouble. I might have realized a lot of things much sooner than I did, but I’m actually more than happy that it came right when it did because it’s just a reminder for me now that I can continue to be brave. The best part now is that there are generations of kids who get to have this show through middle school, through high school. They just might be able to have better social experiences based on the fact that they know themselves more. They’re going to learn they can accept themselves. They’re going to learn they’re not alone. They’re going to get to be saved, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

The last line of Dear Evan Hansen is, “All I see is sky for forever,” and that line is SO incredible to me because it’s just all hope. It’s endless, infinite hope. Looking up is hope. Seeing forever, looking to the future, believing in brighter days .. That’s hope, and that’s what we have to hold on to in order to keep going. The opportunity to tell stories like this keeps me going. I learn more about myself every day and I’m living with it. This show reminds me that if I’ve been Evan Hansen in “Waving Through a Window” and “Words Fail,” you can still be Evan Hansen in the “Finale” at the end of Act Two seeing hope for forever, and some days are worse than others, but the truth is, I see it now too.

If you’re curious to know more about the show, Dear Evan Hansen is currently on a national tour! You can check to see if they are about to stop by in a city near you, or you can purchase the script to the whole show and even a novel version of the story in book form from their website. I’ve read them all, and I think they’re great.

Sometimes I wonder what really got me through. Most days I feel like I can’t pinpoint the answer. I don’t know. I guess it just drains a lot of energy out of you, and one day you just wake up and you let it go. I don’t know how. You just do. You just do, and there’s this realization that occurs when you suddenly notice that you don’t have to let everything make you so bitter. You just don’t have to, and you end up finding courage in yourself because you did that. I ended up feeling stronger for letting go of that, and here I am typing away about it like a freak, and I found more of myself through it somehow.

You will be found … They never said it had to be by somebody else.

Waving Through A Window from Dear Evan Hansen 2017

Posted by:Erica Garcia

The fact is that nobody has a clue to what my life was really like. - Stevie Nicks

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