“I’m waving through a window, oh
Can anybody see, is anybody waving back at me?”
These are the last lines of the chorus for ‘Waving Through a Window,’ a song from the broadway musical ‘Dear Evan Hansen’. The song is sung by the protagonist of the musical, Evan Hansen, who struggles with social anxiety disorder. He feels alone, as if he goes through life passing by people without ever being noticed. He’s trying to avoid mistakes that will alienate him and trying to do everything that will make him accepted. Like the song says, he feels as though he’s looking through a window, waving, wondering and hoping that maybe someone notices him and is waving back too.
A dear friend of mine suggested the musical to me, and especially suggested this song, thinking I would appreciate the song — and boy was he right.
The music is wonderful, the singer’s voice is spectacular; but what really makes this song stand out are its lyrics. The lyrics perfectly put into words some very raw experiences and emotions: the fear of people judging you for making mistakes, the simple desire to fit in and belong, the hope of making a difference, the loneliness of not being noticed or cared for — all of this is contained in this seemingly simple song.
Who doesn’t relate to this, even a little? Fear of being judged by everyone else, desperately wanting to fit in and that sense loneliness are very relatable feelings, and very painful ones. Some people are fortunate, only having felt that for a small fraction of their lives. For others, they are all too familiar feelings, something they have to experience every single day.
The ones who feel like this so often, the ones who have that horrible lonely feeling of waving through a window, just hoping that maybe somebody will care enough to notice and wave back — those are the ones that make this song so important. How often do we live life, completely ignorant of those other than us or those who are not a part of our immediate friend group? We all know how painful that loneliness can feel, and yet we don’t seem to care about anyone else who is experiencing that very pain.
We need to be those who are willing to wave back. We need to take the time to just consider someone else’s perspective, to think that just maybe someone else is not doing as well as we are. Just take that time to actually look through the window of your own life. Maybe you’ll notice someone who’s been there waving this entire time.