Friday, September 16, 2011
The Soundtrack of My Life, "My Life"
I think the most liberating part of this journey has been gaining the knowledge of what and who is and isn't important. Some of these discoveries have come in fleeting thoughts, others have been raked out over the coals, but all of them have made me stronger.
"I never said I was a victim of circumstance..." I'm not. These are my choices. This life, who is in it - my choices. My life.
The "They's" in this world, those who like to hand out their opinion without thought or provocation. Those people who are the first to open their mouths and the last to shut them. They usually don't know what they're even talking about - but they must be right. (even if they're arguing the same side of the point you're arguing...) Those people are the speed bumps in life that we want to punch in the face, but in reality they make us slow down long enough to think about what we're doing - is it right? Are we wrong? Or are they just filled with a lot of salt and vinegar and want to rain on your parade?
Originally this song wasn't on my list, but there I was yesterday driving to teach some of my wonderful students and it came on the radio. "My Life" by Billy Joel - Now, if you're my age, you may know this song as the "Theme of Bosom Buddies" and if you're not... well, that's a little sad. Bosom Buddies was a great show (that launched the career of one Tom Hanks...)
"Got a call from an old friend we'd used to be real close; said he couldn't go on the American way. Closed the shop, sold the house, bought a ticket to the west coast, now he gives them a stand-up routine in L.A."
How is that NOT a perfect opening to my life? No, I don't want to do stand up (ever - honestly I'm just TOO funny to do it... HA!) But there is truth to that one line, "said he couldn't go on the American way." Yes, the "American Way" is debatable in this day and age, but there is this ideology in the U.S. that included a 9-5 job, house with a picket fence, kids, a pet and a spouse. "The American Dream" that snags our personal dreams and convinces people they need to have this or that to BE someone they're really not... Silly, right?
But it has risen in topic once or twice when I drop the L.A. Bomb on friends/family/students. "Why would you want to go there?" Like we decided to move to the 7th ring of Dante's cone shaped hell. Well, why not? I look at people who move into these neighborhoods where the houses all look the same and wonder if they ever get drunk and go to the wrong house at night. (I really do) But if that's what makes them happy then, who am I to judge?
You have a house here. You have jobs. Yes we do, but we're not happy. How can you be truly happy when you don't at least TRY for your dreams? I don't know... and then I judge you as you judge me and the circle keeps going....
"They will tell you, you can't sleep alone in a strange place, then they'll tell you, you can't sleep with somebody else. Ah, but sooner or later you sleep in your own space, either way it's okay to wake up with yourself..."
But that's the reality. All in one moment you suddenly realize that it comes down to you.
I tell people about this trip, this move, this MASSIVE change in my (& my family's) life. Secretly inside of me I hope for exuberance, but I wait for pessimism. I wait to be told that I'm making a mistake - but over all, 95% of people I've spoken with have been amazingly supportive. Either way... it doesn't matter. What matters is that I believe in my heart of hearts this is the right thing.
And it is, because at the end of the day, at the end of our lives there is only one person we have to contend with, and that is ourselves. If we can't love ourselves, and believe in ourselves NOW... what makes us believe when judgement day comes we'll be able to look in the mirror?
"I never said you had to offer me a second chance... I never said you had to
I never said I was a victim of circumstance... Of circumstance
I still belong... still belong
Don't get me wrong... get me wrong
You can speak your mind
But not on my time"
To all those out there that have been supportive of us - thank you.
To all those out there who haven't - thank you too. You both have made me look and realize that I need to listen more and talk less.
I look at life like this. If it's meant to happen, it'll happen.
If we're meant to be friends, we'll be friends.
The past is over - and it doesn't define me, because with each new day I have a second chance.
The future isn't certain - so I have to live this moment how I see fit, even if that means ignoring people I care about to stay in a positive frame of mine.
This really is my life... just like you, right there reading this, that is your life.
Go ahead with it. Don't wait for me. Don't wait for anyone, because life won't wait for you... it just won't.
All those excuses that end with, "...I'll start tomorrow." There's never a perfect moment, just this one. So if you want to pack up shop and move - you've just given me another destination to travel to.
Go ahead with your own life and leave me alone....
keep it to yourself its my life....
keep it to yourself its my life...