This week’s theme over at Twisted Mixed Tape Tuesdays is “The Soundtrack of Your Life”. That’s a pretty tall order, but I’m up to the challenge. I decided to break it down into more manageable pieces — from my teens right on through to now.
My adolescence was marked by a period of unrest for my family — we moved around quite a bit during those years. It really wasn’t so bad. Actually, I came to embrace it, used it as an opportunity to reinvent myself, even — no one had known me as a child and, as a result, I could be whatever I wanted to be without having anyone around who knew me “when”. I could be tough, pretty, smart, artsy, athletic, funny, and, yes, even popular because there was nobody to point out that I had never before been any of these things.
In my twenties I got married, returned to and graduated from college, and in the waning days of this decade found myself pregnant with my first and only child. I loved my twenties. The world was, truly, my oyster. My future looked so bright that I had to wear shades. Things would go downhill from there, but I didn’t know that then.
If there is one word that I would choose to sum up my thirties it would be “tired”. The demands of motherhood, the feeling that I was doomed to a life of indentured servitude — not just to my family, but, quite literally, in my chosen “profession” — were all just too much to bear. Ultimately, the drink I drowned my troubles in became the trouble I found myself in.
My forties started off fairly rocky. Then, I stopped drinking, started writing again, and came to the realization that what I do is not who I am — it’s only how I put food on the table and keep my kid in Uggs. This is the decade that I’ve learned, no doubt because of all that came before it, to stand in the place where I live. Good, bad, or indifferent, this has been the time for recognizing who I was, owning who I am, and relishing what’s around the next corner.
To an outsider, my future may not look as bright as it looked to me when I was in my twenties, honestly, though, it truly feels like it has more possibility. Recognizing those things that are still possible and using them to work toward becoming who and what I was meant to be will require some courage. I have not always been a courageous person, but I’ve made a conscious decision to become one — to continue to let the words spill out, to say what I want to say. I want to see me be brave.
NOTES ON THE MUSIC:
New Kid in Town, THE EAGLES. From the album Hotel California (1976). Words and music by Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and J.D. Souther.
The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades, TIMBUK 3. From the album Greetings From Timbuk 3 (1986). Words and music by Pat McDonald.
Stand, R.E.M. From the album Green (1988). Words and music by Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Michael Stipe.
Don’t Talk, 10,000 MANIACS. From the album In My Tribe (1987). Words and music by Dennis Drew and Natalie Merchant.
Brave, SARA BAREILLES. From the album The Blessed Unrest (2013). Words and music by Sara Bareilles and Jack Antonoff.
As always, thanks to Jen Kehl over at jenkehl.com for hosting this weekly blog hop!
Why don’t you go ahead and hop on in?
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