Friday August 16, 2013

I've been tapping into my music this week.  I decided while mowing the lawn the other day that I would listen to my music library on my phone by putting it on shuffle and letting it play all the way through.  1,506 songs on there.  It might take me a few days...

What am I searching for?  Comfort?  Connection?  Inspiration?  I think it might be all three...

The songs that come up on my shuffle each seem to have a story.  They remind me of a place, or a person, or a time.  They remind me of the before and the after.   They remind me of my youth (Madonna and John Mellencamp), they remind me of Dan (Bruce Springsteen and Jackson Browne), they remind me of our struggle with Shannon (Jason Mraz and Coldplay).

The new stuff that comes up on shuffle has a story, too.  It's part of our new story.  Music from the show Once, that we saw in London.  Music that Erin has introduced into my repertoire (Of Monsters and Men, Passenger).

I am feeling the need for this comfort, connection, and inspiration as fall is fast approaching.  Fall is the beginning of the "regular" schedule where kids go to school and parents go to work.  It is time to start that cycle again.

I have been thinking and thinking and thinking about what's next for me.  I have thought myself right into such uncertainty that I have no idea where to go next with my time and energy.  Sure, I will continue to mother Erin and wife Dan (is "wife" and appropriate verb??).  I will continue the foundation work and continue sharing Determined to Matter.  I have two speeches to write, including the one for our St. Jude Fall Festival appearance next month.

But what else?

My need to find the perfect fit has kept me from doing anything.  Should I find a job?  Should I write?  About what?  If I'm not sure I can succeed, why try?  What if I don't know any of the answers to any of these questions?   I could sit here and try to think my way out of it indefinitely.  I've lived through a certain kind of hell these past two years, and it's very easy for me to just accept that this is how life is for me.  To just say, "this is who I am now because of what happened."

I have been torturing myself with these questions now for some time.  Dan, Erin, and my dear friends have been supportive.  Last weekend, a dear friend told me it's OK to not know where you are headed, but don't stand still.  Do something.

I don't want this to be all there is.  I do believe there is more.  More for me to give to this crazy world while I am here.  So, I will attempt this fall to move myself forward.  I'm going to take a creative writing class and see if that can spark further development of this skill and passion that I discovered in this very blog.  I'd love for writing to be my vocation in some capacity.  Who knew...

As I worked through a few hundred songs over the past few days, one set of lyrics struck a real chord (no pun intended) with me.  It's from the California folk rock band, Dawes, and their song When My Time Comes:

So, I took what I wanted 
And put it out of my reach
I wanted to pay for my successes
with all my defeats

Well, you can judge the whole world on the sparkle that you think it lacks
Yes, you can stare into the abyss, but it's starin' right back

So, this fall, my goal is to stop looking at the obstacles in my way, and start looking for opportunities.  It's time...