The Soundtrack of My Life: Twisted Mixed Tape Tuesday


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.

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 for hosting this weekly blog hop!

Why don’t you go ahead and hop on in?

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21 thoughts on “The Soundtrack of My Life: Twisted Mixed Tape Tuesday

  1. I love the songs you chose, and they really helped tell the story of your life. There is definitely a lot more to life than work! We need to find what brings us the biggest joy. 🙂 Here’s to a bright future (put on your shades)!


  2. Jen says:

    This couldn’t have been more perfect. Thank you for sharing this with us. Not to sound morbid, but it is so nice that you wrote the “real” you. We all know life isn’t perfect, and man can I attest to the indentured servitude. It’s nice to feel not alone…
    Also, awesome songs, and New Kid in Town is a personal favorite and I loved the way you used it!


  3. diannegray says:

    This is great. I just love your song choices! 😀


  4. Miriam says:

    What a fun idea! I’ve been thinking about what my choices would be, and I can relate to much of what you say about the decades of your life.


  5. SAM says:

    My 40s are pretty interesting too. I like to call these the wake up years. No wonder it’s called middle-age/midlife.


  6. Marcy says:

    I loved your song choices, and this was a really cool post. It was inspiring to journey with you through the decades!


  7. Rick says:

    The Eagles = Awesome


  8. These are all great songs. You are very kind to give us the backstory for why you chose them. This is an interesting task. I’d have to think about it for a while. Hmmmm.


    • javaj240 says:

      When I saw the challenge, I thought it would make for a good post, not just a post about the songs, but a more in-depth post. It did require some thought, though 🙂


  9. A cool challenge. I really enjoyed the way you presented it. Very honest and learned a lot about you.
    P.S. I was waiting for a Springsteen song based on the quote you have on your page. And because he is my favorite!!!!!


  10. I love this idea. I think perhaps all of our group should do this. It involves a lot of introspection!


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