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NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour “Life Changing Songs”
One of my weekly favorites is to listen to NPR’s podcast, Pop Culture Happy Hour. The latest episode featured a segment on “Life Changing Songs” It made me wonder…what song(s) changed my life? When I wrote What’s Your Theme Song?, I was kind of on the same page. Many of those songs are from life changing moments, but really, is there a song, one song, that changed my life. A song that really made me take it all in and change the course of what was happening. This is not a song that just marked a passing in time, this would have to be a directional changed.
I immediately went to Dave Matthews Band. Within a few bars of a melody, I can be in a place and time of joy, love, sadness, regret. The music and lyrics to these works are autobiographical to me. Many have multiple meanings. I knew my life was forever changed when I listened to this one. I was very freshly broken up with my first true love. Grace describes “Adam” as my relationship Utopia. No one has ever put me more in that place of total trust than Adam. Recently, I was trying to explain why it was so easy to love Adam. I had no one else to care for. I was 18, moving to college and he was my world. It is easy to love when you have no other worries in the world. It is easy to love before you grow up and realize that life can really be hard, really be sad and really be devastating. This is terribly hard to explain to people that were fortunate to spend a lifetime with their Utopian loves. If you can take a moment, go back with me…are you there. Remember him or her….I give you Dave Matthews Band “I’ll Back You Up.”Dave Matthews Band, “I’ll Back You Up” 7.12.2000 For Adam and I, Dave Matthews Band was our band. Most of the 13 shows I’ve seen of DMB, he was there.
With this song I moved on and past him. I moved into adulthood. It may be possible that no relationship will ever be like that one, ever. I had it once, for 3 amazing care free years. I grew up and so did he. He became a wonderful husband, father and professionally successful. I can’t ever put myself in that life with him. We were so young , I don’t think I would have remained “in love” with the adult Adam and to be honest, I don’t think he would have remained in love with me. Sally at 21 is definitely not the Sally at 35+. We all have to grow up sometime, and this song is my growing up song. I realized this when I attended Adam’s father’s funeral. I’ll always back him up, and I know he will always back me up.
The biggest change I ever experienced was becoming a mother. When I was on maternity leave with my oldest, Gilmore Girls came on everyday at 10 am and 3 pm. I still remember rocking her to this. Gilmore Girls Theme. When my second daughter was born, we watched the Gilmore Girls too. Anytime I think of being a mother to my girls, Lorelai Gilmore is who I most relate to. We are not foreign to making mistakes, we are not foreign to bad timing, and we are most definitely not foreign to our children knowing when our relationships end and what it’s like to be hurt by men. My one true worry, is that they will follow in my footsteps when it comest to love. I want them to love with their whole hearts like I do, but I also want them to keep their hearts close and guard them deeply. That’s the Gilmore Girl mistake. It’s a new process for me, but I believe it is working out for the best.
In the last year, I have had to change my heart to forget someone. Do you know how hard that is? I have to purposefully attempt every day to not think of him. I thought when I wrote him a letter, I could put him past me, but it isn’t that easy. Most days I wonder if I am really trying. The truth is, I have never been able to tell the entire story. You got pieces of it in Break Up Via Selfie…Again? and I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter, but you have no idea. My soul was punched right in the stomach when Joy Williams released this song right about the time…all that happened. Joy Williams, “What A Good Woman Does” I promised never to tell the truth about Cleats, and I never will. Yesterday, that promise was truly tested.
I have spent all week, studying my musical history, and I am at a loss…what song has CHANGED my life? I have plenty that were a part of “changes” but as much as I love music, I can’t put my finger on a song where I heard it and did something different-actually changed my life. I look forward to the one that does…it’s going to be epic and it better be good, real good! As my dear friend, “Shannon” told me this weekend, “I have a feeling you will have everything you need by the time you are 40.” I said, “You realize, that’s in 2 1/2 years, right?”