In an MMMBop, your [decades-old expectations about others are] gone.
This has sat in my drafts folder since October, so I decided it was time to go ahead and publish it.
So. My girlfriends and I saw Hanson in concert a few weeks ago. We bought these tickets back in March, which means we waited SEVEN MONTHS for the gratification of seeing an MMMBop live and in person (plus all their other stuff).
I could write about the show, I could write about the dancing, I could write about the experience of being transported back 20+ years every! few! minutes! as these child pop stars of my youth were now adults, 100 feet in front of me.
Ok, yeah, that last thing is what I’ve been thinking about, what I want to write about.
There was a moment in between all of the “MMMBops” when I was transported back to middle school, back to that video. I tried to mentally time-lapse the decades between baby drummer Zac Hanson and grown-up drummer Zac Hanson. For a second, I thought to myself, “Nope, that one’s always going to be baby Zac.”
Almost as soon as the thought was fully formed, it stopped in its tracks.
I looked up on stage at this 32-year-old ADULT who has been honing this talent for over twenty-five years. He’s not a baby, none of them are babies, and to keep them in my mind as child stars, rather than adults who are professionals in their practice completely undermines the decades of work they’ve put into what they’re doing. Regardless of your thoughts and opinions on their musical abilities, you can’t argue with the fact that when you spend twenty-five plus years doing something and making a living on it, it’s your thing. To say you get to call yourself a professional at this point is a gross understatement (and not my call to make).
Flip that upside down and think about the people in your life.
How many people are we not giving credit to for having grown up, for evolving, for changing and growing? (If the answer here includes yourself, take note.)
Who are we limiting to their child selves or their adolescent selves or even themselves five years ago? (Again, if you’re internally raising your own hand, acknowledge that. I know I am.)
We can say, “people don’t change,” but haven’t you?
Have you grown up at all in the past year, five, twenty? I know I have. And I hope that other people will give me the space to grow into an ever-evolving self. To change. To shake my head when someone says, ‘That’s just the way she is,” and say, “No, not anymore.”
This small moment of trying to pigeonhole this trio of child-stars-turned-professional-lifelong-musicians reminded me that if I want the chance to prove myself better, growing, evolving, and that if I’m to demand that of others, I must also accept the same of them.