I don’t dance often. I actually feel guilty saying that most of the time I hate it. I don’t know the certain steps that some people know because they practice it. I don’t have the natural knowledge of moving my feet to La Cumbia or any rhythm in general. I don’t like other people watching me as I miserably hop and try my hardest. This isn’t any skill of mine but there are times when I am completely content and I don’t care if I look like a fool so I smile and bend my knees, and I dance. I don’t do much but I do hop and shuffle my feet and have some sort of rhythm. At these moments I like it. And I like it mostly because of the reason I am doing it.

Since 2nd grade I’ve had a feeling. It was weird but I just continued to do what I did. In 7th grade it became a problem. Parents yelled, I cried and lied and told them and myself this feeling went away. It obviously didn’t so it crept out again and yet history repeated itself with yelling, tears and again denial. At the start of 9th grade I knew I had to make sure history would not repeat itself so I withheld. The definition of withheld is, “To suppress or hold back (an emotion or reaction).”

If this sounds pleasant, I hope you know you’re wrong. It’s against all nature of anything. Holding back anything is against the whole universe because if it’s one thing that we as humans and as modern civilizations do, its move forward; it’s continuing. But, I tried because when your parents tell you you’re a disappointment it’s what you almost have to do.  Against my best efforts yelling arose again, but this time so did doubt, terror and anger.

The definition of “apart” is, “of two or more people or things separated by a distance; at a specified distance from each other in time or space.”

“Time and space.” “Separated.” “From each other.” Again not pleasant and this unpleasantness didn’t seem to be understood. At this point I decided enough was enough because both my heart and body could not physically bear it. So this time I fought. I didn’t fight the feeling, I fought the restraints. Usually these restraints that I am calling the humans that raised me are not easily defeated in any situation. I admit at times I gave up and at times I lied but never did I once forget who they were. I love these people. I love my mother and my father so I had to save what I call drastic measures for more or less drastic times. The day before school was a drastic measure. No only for me but for my mother as well I suppose.

I didn’t understand when she said it that night. So I asked for clarification but knew it probably was not what I thought, but it was. I understood and heard right. She said, “Okay.”

She said the one thing I had been waiting to hear for three years. At this moment, the day before my first year of being a sophomore I was allowed to be with and talk to the one person that made me feel safe and made getting up in the morning a little bit easier. At this moment I probably could’ve danced.

Yes, yes it was great. I looked up at my ceiling that night and said, “Thank you,” many, many times. So after a couple years of squirming through a box, I was free.

Hopefully I am now understood where I am coming from. Coming from there you could imagine my hurt and my frustration a week later,  the night after my first cross country race when my mother told me, “I thought you’d be more discrete about it.”

I thought about the race day and I remembered how I had danced. How there was a band playing and I had all the joy in the world with my significant other, my best friend, my person next to me laughing with me and not having to worry about if my mother saw.  I remember looking into the sky and thinking, “This is nice.” I remember dancing and having a feeling of comfort as I bent my knees and hopped with some sort of rhythm.

Discrete means; “apart or detached from others; separate; distinct.”

“Apart.” “Detached.” “Separate.” These were all the things that I squirmed though, that I cried about and that I fought to get away from.

I wasn’t discrete because for once I was allowed to be something other than afraid. I wasn’t discrete because being discrete means withholding and withholding means being apart and being apart means being separate. For so long I had been separated. For so long tears ran down the side of my face as I laid in bed and I kept still as I felt them run into my ears. I held still and silent as a sharp stinging pain slashed across my chest every time I thought of my feeling and the box I was in.

I wasn’t discrete because I was physically relieved and didn’t care if I looked like a fool while I danced. I danced because my body was so content it couldn’t hold still and my brain and my heart agreed that they liked that moment. They like this life. They were in sync.

For some reason we are treated differently. For some reason we have to work harder and prove that we are like the people around us. So when I work so hard to be seen as barely human for who I actually am; I am proud.  I am ecstatic and have no means to suppress it. When I work so hard for me and am finally content the word discrete doesn’t apply anymore. When I am content and proud I dance and I don’t dance often.