I have always been someone who loves and responds to music. When I was six, my grandma Patsy gave me a purple radio/tape player for Christmas. I was in love. Sometimes at night when I was supposed to be sleeping and my parents were watching the news and M.A.S.H, I would be in my room sitting by my night light quietly listening to that purple radio. When I was eight my big Christmas present was a full, sized huge stereo with a double tape deck and a record player. The speakers were almost as tall as I was. It was my pride and joy. I quickly bought my first two records - Michael Jackson's Thriller and the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.
Lately I have been rather emotional and I have noticed that the music that I listen to seriously influences how I feel. It can pick you up and bring you down in an instant and to me that's wonderful! Bon Iver makes me want to live in sweatpants and never leave the house again. When you can't shake sadness Bon Iver is the place to go. From the song Skinny Love - "I told you to be patient and I told you to be fine then all my love was wasted and who the hell was I". When I hear the Stone Temple Pilots, it's almost as if I'm once again that 14 year old girl who smoked Marlboro Reds and wore a black leather jacket. I can feel the weight of that girl's lies. I can taste the smoke and feel the chill of that cold 1994 October air. For just a minute, I am that fake, insecure, empty 14 year old girl again. I don't like to stay in that place for very long. I never listen to STP.
By the way, if kids "grew up" quick in my time then I can't imagine what John and Anna will be facing, seeing, doing when they are 14..... My parents tried to protect me, just as I will try to protect my kids. I grew up with love, care bears, cartoons, big Christmas mornings, church camps and happiness so why at 13 did my parents lose the daughter they knew and I morphed into a girl that even I didn't recognize or know anymore?
When I hear Cat Stevens, it reminds me of being 16 going on 21 and thinking that I knew it all. I read Javan, Abby Hoffman and Jack Kerouac. I read poetry and philosophy books. I listened to the Beatles, ditched school and spent entire weekends at coffee houses talking about life with people like me who thought that we could change the world. At 16, I married a man that I still love. My poor Mom, Dad and Brother. Did we ever really make it back after all those bad times were over? I don't think so. All of us lost some of who we were before all of that. Remembering those things makes me think of what might have been lost if Heavenly Father didn't protect my past so I could have today. He knew me, he loved me, he had plans for me to be better, to be happy, to know Him and to be the mother of my children. God's love saved me then and it saves me now.
When I listen to Dave Matthews, my crush of 16 years, I go back to the sunny days of being the girl that thought she could completely throw herself into the world and just exist and live life to the fullest. I didn't understand that the world was kind of a bad place and the bad that I did understand, I thought I could change. I wanted to travel the United States in a VW bus, love Ryan forever and take him with me to write and photograph the world. He was a pretty different person back then too. We were free spirits. One day, if I'm lucky enough to be an old woman, maybe I will write and travel and take photographs like I dreamed that I would. I think Ryan has other plans for when he's old and they aren't even close to that. Maybe we will end up serving a mission for the church or babysitting grand kids. Who knows!
Memories are irrevocably tied to music and some of our most personal feelings are expressed through music. Some of my best memories of my Dad and I together were of us in his Oldsmobile when we would take road trips to the lake where my Mom was waiting for us and we would camp. My Dad and I would listen to The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and just talk. I love those memories I have of he and I together. I love that he and I saw Eric Clapton, Nirvana and Widespread Panic in concert together. I love that every time I hear Elvis, I see my Mom when she was in her thirties singing and happy and young.
I'm a music addict. Always have been, always will be. I can't even clean the house, cook dinner or drive a short distance without music on. When the van radio was first stolen, I would drift off in thought and actually be surprised at my own inner thoughts because I didn't even recognize the sound of my own mind. It was a very weird experience to be lost in thought. It's funny the path your mind will take if you just give it a chance to drift without the influence of music, tv, Internet, conversation or literature. It's almost as if media is our constant companion instead of our own quiet beings and the Holy Ghost. All that being said, it has prompted me to follow the council of our church and be careful of what kind and how much media I surround myself and my family with. I need to spend quiet time in scripture study, prayer, journaling and family time. Honestly, my own mind kinda drives me crazy and I think that's why. My thoughts are heavy with the cares of this world and not the peace we find in Christ. My mind is often times scattered and random and loud and overwhelming so if I ever have a stroke, go into a coma or become incapacitated, someone please take my ipod and the docking station and leave it playing while I am alone. Wish I was joking. I'm not.
I'm surprised at how much of my past came out in this post. I guess now that I'm a parent, my past keeps calling to me. I want my kids to be different than I was. Actually, I just want them to stay little and happy and I want to stay young. I guess it's time to let go and move on and do the best I can for today and tomorrow.