I've always felt a bit like the 4th of July. 

An obnoxious combination of noise and color living inside of a girl so afraid, she only explodes one night a year. 

I have always felt the weight of being a lot. Of being a girl with a firework heart. Holding sparks beneath my skin, unpredictable and loud. And so I sit still. I breathe softly. And I cross my fingers that I will not be too loud for someone. 

But it feels like 3 days ago I was 8 years old. I was barefoot and outside, running like I had no idea anything was chasing me. I was heading towards the stars, trying to catch them with my longest finger, reaching into the sky as if it were an arms length away. I was loud then, thumping and tapping and moving my feet, the ground, my stage, the street lamps on my tiny cul-de-sac, my spotlight. And I was simply performing, in the only way I knew how, by showing up, by being myself, by opening my mouth, speaking up, telling bad jokes. 

These days I don't tell as many bad jokes. These days I rarely speak up. I do not open my mouth as much as i used to. These days, it seems, there are are far more critics, far more people in the audience of my streetlamp show holding red pens, writing bad reviews about my reaching. And I shiver under the weight of their opinions. Hide behind the curtains of my imagination so they can't critique my visions. 

But frankly, I am tired of being a firework girl. I have too much loud to only put on a show for one night. 

And I hope the critics show up, I hope they bring their red pens. And I hope that my thumping and dancing and strangeness make them want to take that red pen and doodle on the back of their hand because they too remember what it was like to be 8 years old and reaching for the stars.