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  • It was raining earlier today. The sun just came out in Philadelphia's Love Park, and there is one solitary woman in a long robe dancing her heart out to the radio played on giant speakers. No one is dancing except her, but she is waving her arms and moving her feet with such joy in a perfect embodiment of the mantra "Dance like no one is watching."

    I've had a pretty bad day. The boy that I waited a year for is never coming back. I'm going to college soon, but for now, in the summer that I'm supposed to be living the Real Teenager life, I am completely alone.

    Yet at this moment, in spite of everything, I feel so full of love for the world I could laugh and cry at the same time.

    There’s a wedding going on in front of the fountain, and a little old woman with a trash bag looks at me, surly towards my smile. I note a couple of girlfriends gossiping. One is wearing bright red sunglasses, and across, I see a businessman hunched over. Behind him, a straggly haired photographer in a shirt too big for him gazes at his camera. The fountain is there big and glorious, and this is the city, this is the world, and I am a part of it.

    Maybe I don’t need a boy or anyone else to feel alive. Because I feel alive right now, walking by myself in a city full of strangers, circling a fountain. This can be what it means to be young. I am so happy right now you wouldn’t believe, on a day that everything has gone wrong.

    I am so young, goddamnit, I am seventeen and full of potential and I am going to change this world. This world that has so much love and beauty.

    I walk back to the woman in the robe, still dancing her heart out. I tap my foot to the beat of the music and begin to dance with her.
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