I suggest listening to the "Fun." radio on Pandora while reading the following. It is the soundtrack to my life right now.
Starting from a young age listening to my father play his instruments late into the night, on through puberty, high school, college, and into the beginnings of marriage and motherhood, music was my partner. It helped me through many difficult times. Helped celebrate the good times. Brought me places. Made home in foreign lands. Lifted me. Enveloped me.
Music and I have had our time apart for the last year or so. No CDs, no mp3 player, no fancy phone, and my dislike for computer speakers, and well, that doesn't leave much but the radio. I think we can all agree the radio does not grace us with the good stuff (for the most part, there are exceptions).
I am here to say that music and I have reunited. Let me add: !!!! Because as much as I dislike exclamation points normally, it really is something to get excited about. I forgot what a balm music can be to hurting a soul, and what strength even to a strong spirit.
My family is moving from this place we have called home since before we were called a family. So much life, love, heart break, difficulties, triumphs, celebrations. Good food, drinks, and friendships. All here. A place I am soon not to be anymore. I can truthfully say I am ready to go, but that doesn't change the fact that my heart breaks. That tears threaten to fill my eyes as I drive the streets so familiar, drink the coffee so comforting, the beer so rich, and eat at my favorite restaurants. I order only my favorites, not wasting any moment on unknowns. Unknown is my future. I am soaking up the known while it is here.
Today as I had the treat of driving by myself while running errands, I blasted my music as loud as I have ever dared. I sang. That kind of singing where your heart bursts and as hard as you might fight it the tears come down. Soaking your shirt, the way the music soaks your heart. Bringing all the feelings you feel deep down to the surface where it can do nothing but be felt. It hurts. But the pain is beautiful. Grief in it's rawest form. Because I'm not just grieving a place. I can always come back here.
It made me think... You see all those guys blaring their music, seats leaned back, shoulders hunched, and scowls on their faces. At first glance you may laugh to yourself. Thoughts may wander to things like, He thinks he is so cool. Or even, What a douche. But I wonder, if those boys actually let themselves sing as loud as their bass booms, if they could free themselves from the heavy packs of bitterness they carry on their hunched shoulders. Maybe then they wouldn't feel the need to prove themselves or keep their stereotypical image.
Music frees me, anyway. It's like those rare moments when you find yourself bare before the mirror and are able to say to yourself: I don't give a f*** what anyone thinks. You look good. No matter the cellulite, the stretch marks, the wrinkles. Those are just details to your story. And your story is f******g awesome. You look good, girl. I like what I see. Keep it up. Those moments don't come often. But when they do, they feel real good.
I'm not just grieving a place. I can always come back here. I am grieving the end of a very special chapter. And if I get into a wreck while messing with Pandora. So be it.