I have lived on my own since I was 16, shipped off to the States for my college degree. That’s nearly 13 years of having my own space, coming home to a quiet 1 bedroom or house. I am not one of those people that needs alone time – I have too much of it. I’m constantly alone with my thoughts so what I crave, really crave, is human contact. Connection.
To that end I’ve become an excellent events organizer. Movie nights, karaoke sessions, TV marathons…I’m usually the one texting 20 different people and organizing it so we end up having dinner beforehand and coffee after. I love the fact that I have awesome friends around me and I love that I am usually out for dinner and only home to catch some Law & Order reruns before I turn in for the night. But one day you wake up and you realize you’re older – I mean OLDER. The kind of older where the number of people that are free to spontaneously grab dinner with you has dwindled. People are getting into serious relationships, getting married, having kids. Responsibilities change. Careers take off. If you’re life is not moving at the same frenetic pace…you can feel…a bit lonely. So you do push your life into that same hurried pace. You fill up your calendar with activities, hobbies, events. And suddenly you’re on the opposite side of the problem – you don’t have any time to just BE.
It isn’t something that I feel too often because I prefer to be in the middle of a bustling storm than to just BE. Still. Silent. Alone with my thoughts. But SOMETIMES…just sometimes…I do like the occasional “BEING”. And when I find myself craving that…I take off. My “room” is my car. I will drive and drive and drive. Windows rolled down. Wind in my hair. Music pouring through my crappy speakers. Me singing my guts out. Sometimes dancing. Sometimes crying. Sometimes rapping and headbanging away. Sometimes all of the above.
I live through music. My life – I have a mixtape in my head for every event. Small or large. Momentous or forgettable. And I have never been more in touch with myself, with my thoughts, with every emotion running through me – than when I am in my car playing the song that perfectly describes how I feel at that exact moment in time. Lyrics play a huge part yes, but more often than not a melody can move me to tears. Or give me goosebumps. Or warm fuzzies.
I have cried more to songs than I ever have in movies. Death scenes have a 50-50 chance of moving me to tears but listening to Iron & Wine’s The Trapeze Swinger nearly always has my eyes filling. Jimmy Eat World’s 23 is still one of the most heartbreaking songs about love I have ever heard. The Temper Trap’s Sweet Disposition causes this weird sense of aliveness to fill my chest. Luke Bryan’s Crash My Party and Blake Shelton’s Sure be cool if you did give me warm fuzzies. Joshua Radin’s The Greenest Grass and Glen Hansard’s High Hope leaves me hopeful and somewhat expectant. Amos Lee’s Colors and Mumford & Son’s The ghosts that we knew makes my heart ache in a bittersweet way. Switchfoot’s On Fire, Lifehouse’s Breathing and Of Monsters & Men’s King & Lionheart connect me to my God in a way I cannot begin to describe. I could fill a whole book with the songs that I love – the selection covering bluegrass, folk, country, pop, rock, alternative, r&b, 80s, 70s, praise, indie, rap, etc.
But all this emotion and poetry and sound – the whole reason why I can feel all that in every note, in every lyric – is because I am alone and yet somehow not alone. I am in my car. Windows rolled down. Hand shifting through the breeze. Speakers blaring. Somehow making a connection with the world despite the dark, despite the stillness. So really, even when I’m trying to be alone – I’m really trying not to be.
Truth Thursdays exists to connect people through writing. To initiate something honest, thoughtful, and meaningful. Truth Thursdays is an open discussion of expressions. There are no right or wrong responses, Truth Thursdays are just what they are.