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And Sometimes . . . the Music Saves Me

Me. Today.
Me. Today.
I’m going to be brutally honest. It’s the kind of thing a lot of people don’t like to hear or take seriously. The worst is when I’m accused of being dramatic. I think people do that sometimes because they don’t want to believe what I’m saying. But I’ll tell you, there’s almost no worse reaction to have because then I feel discounted and . . .

Dispassionately, here are the facts. Sometimes it occurs to me that I’m never going to achieve the things I want to achieve in life. I’m never going to get to where I want to be. This is the bane of the ambitious, I suppose. I’m not saying I don’t have a fine life—I do. But there are dreams I’ve had since childhood, and they always seem outside my grasp. And that’s very frustrating for me.

So sometimes, just sometimes, I think life isn’t worth it. That I’d rather cut my losses than keep struggling when it’s so fruitless.

This is why I try always to have things to look forward to on my calendar. Vacations, whatever. While I realize it’s selfish of me to use that as a motivator rather than, say, think of my family, well . . . I can’t help what works as a carrot and what doesn’t. I love my family, no question. And wanting to see the kids grow up is also a good motivator. But that seems so far away, so amorphous, and I need more concrete and immediate things to make me want to stay here.

January was difficult. February was overscheduled and difficult. It’s been a bad time. But today I heard Whitney Houston singing “Higher Love” on the radio, and I remembered how much I love Steve Winwood. So I downloaded Roll With It and some of his other songs and went for a walk. And the music brought me joy, the desire to dance again. It brought me happy memories of days filled with the scent of fresh-mown grass, nights spent in my room listening to the radio and just fully absorbed in the music.

Today, the music saved me.

To be clear, this is not a “cry for help.” This is simple fact, something I deal with regularly. I don’t necessarily expect people to understand, but I appreciate it when people let me know I mean something to them. It goes a long way toward making me feel less alone. I think ambition is tied to a need to feel important, and knowing I’m important to people helps.

The world is scary. I see the way water is going . . . I look at the direction my country is headed . . . Even outside my personal issues there are reasons to want to run away, disappear. So what I need are more reasons not to.



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