Disclaimer: I haven’t even seen the musical Dear Evan Hansen. This post doesn’t actually have anything to do with the musical itself. This is all about my personal thoughts on the song “Waving Through a Window” that comes from it. I’m not implying I know what the song was really intended to mean but this is what I get from it. The metaphors in this song can mean something different to each person. And like I said, my thoughts on this have no real context from the actual musical since I haven’t seen it.
I’m a writer- I love a creative analogy. I also have anxiety. A few weeks ago I somehow heard a clip of Ben Platt singing the hit song “Waving Through a Window” from the musical Dear Evan Hansen. After hearing that clip, I went and listened to the song. The longer I sat and listened to it…the more I couldn’t believe how accurately this song described social anxiety and any anxiety disorder.
I’ve never seen Dear Evan Hansen but I’ve read enough to know that the main character suffers from very severe social anxiety. And I would go ahead and guess that this song is used in the musical to sort of describing what goes on in his head. Today I wanted to go ahead and share a few of my thoughts on this song. I’ve been listening to it on repeat because it reminds me I’m not alone in my anxiety. I hope others that are struggling with some kind of anxiety disorder also find some comfort in this song and post. Before we go any further, make sure you listen to the song…I’ll post it below.
“I’ve learned to slam on the brake
Before I even turn the key
Before I make the mistake
Before I lead with the worst of meGive them no reason to stare
No slipping up if you slip away
So I got nothing to share
No, I got nothing to say“
“While I’m watch, watch, watching people pass
Waving through a window, oh
Can anybody see, is anybody waving?”
“On the outside, always looking in
Will I ever be more than I’ve always been?
‘Cause I’m tap, tap, tapping on the glass
I’m waving through a window”
The actual title “Waving Through a Window” holds some really powerful insight into anxiety and specifically social anxiety. Most of my life has been spent watching life go by from my window. A figurative window. Just like I said that you sit on the sidelines watching people go by…you also wave from your safe space at the world around you. You always feel like you’re on the outside, watching from your window because your fear keeps you from being able to take part in life.
The biggest thing is that often you want to leave your window, you want to not be on the outside but your fear feels debilitating. So you continue to watch things go by and wave from your window, looking in at what you are too afraid to experience yourself. The fear compounds the loneliness and you feel like an outcast. Do you know how that feels? You tap on the glass desperate to break free but sometimes your anxiety feels too overwhelming. I feel like I’m being a bit repetitive but I just want to explain how I interpret these lyrics. You are too afraid to be on the inside so you constantly sit, looking in from the outside.