I had an amazing Christmas, I’m back in Tennessee, and I’m trying desperately to catch up on life.
No, wait. I am not.
I got terribly used to being terribly lazy while I was at home letting someone else doing the cooking and the cleaning up for an entire week, and that combined with two old/new Nintendo games (I have an NES, because I’m cool, and I got a few used games for Christmas. Mario 3 and–you better believe it– Jurassic Park. Because, again, I’m cool) means I’m getting NOTHING done.
But at least I’m listening to awesome music while I do it.
Did you know I was nominated for a 20SB Bootlegger Award? I’ve been a part of this community for literally years and this is the first nomination I’ve ever received. It’s not something I ever expect or even feel disappointed about in the end because I know I could be much more active– however, seeing my name on that list as I was voting completely took my breath away. I’m flattered, so, whoever you are, thank you. The nomination was actually for best second blog, and what do you know… I posted over there today! So go check it out, and vote if you feel so inclined. I’ll love you forever.
Now, back to feeling guilty about the lack of unpacking going on around here.
Or… I don’t know what kind of plane, really, but tomorrow, I’m leaving on one.
I’ll be home for Christmas.
I haven’t ever flown anywhere. I’ve been in airplanes, yes. I’ve flown in them, yes. But joyriding. Never to actually travel to a new location. The airport thing? Terrifying. The thought that the temperatures at my destination are probably 50 degrees colder than they are here? Petrifying.
Getting to cuddle up and watch Christmas movies on the couch in front of the fire with my family?
I cannot wait.
It’s not really so different. I thought maybe it was completely different, but it’s not. Not at all.
I’ve been reading back through archives. I’ve got a bit of a project happening at the moment and part of that project is deciding whether or not to keep the past open for business or to lock it up and mention it when I’m comfortable doing so. It’s not that there’s anything incriminating going on in my archives… it’s just that they’re not me anymore.
Or so I tend to think.
But then I start reading them and I realize that maybe while my surroundings change, I never do. Maybe taking these archives down and labeling them The Past; A Person I Used To Be, is not only unfair but inaccurate.
Maybe I’m lying to myself.
The act of dating with no known expiration date is something I haven’t done since the very beginning of college. Even then, I was always aware that the relationships would expire, I just didn’t know when. For some reason, I made it a habit of dating guys I never really intended to fall in love with.
I think I was tired of being hurt.
I eventually got over that and started dating guys I knew I could fall in love with. I knew they were wonderful, amazing men with whom I’d be lucky to spend my time and maybe even my life. But I STILL knew it would NEVER happen (deep down, anyway) because of the circumstances we always found ourselves in. One of us is leaving town. One of us is graduating. We never lived in the same zip code to begin with.
Now, all I seem to find are men who are completely content with spending time with me and telling me beautiful things but still “aren’t looking for girlfriends.”
It’s not all that terrible and dramatic and many of you know I’m currently dating someone and I know that last comment didn’t come out sunshine and rainbows but it’s mostly a general overview of the past few months, maybe the last year, of My Life And Men. I’m becoming a little jaded.
And even though this thing is moving slowly, even though we’re both terribly busy and have our own lives to deal with, even though the possibility of geographical separation is coming into play yet again, even though there is no guarantee this will ever become more than it already is and neither of us is pretending there is, there is still the possibility, after all of that, that it could last.
But the caution and the apprehension, the daily reminder to myself that I’d best not be holding my breath… it’s reminding me too much of those situations that were doomed from the moment they started, and it’s taking some of the magic away. I’m finally at a point in my life where I shouldn’t have to run and I shouldn’t have to sabotage situations that might otherwise tie me down.
Is to hope for more, though you know it may be months or even years before you get it, though you know that hope could be shattered mere weeks from this moment… is it foolish?
Or should I stop worrying and enjoy every moment I have with someone who makes me laugh and understands where I came from and has so much to teach me about music and life and myself?
Am I letting the past repeat itself, or am I just being brave?
(Alternately titled: Why do we ALWAYS end up discussing Moby Dick?!)
Me: Someone told me the other day that Moby Dick was actually not very well written. I couldn’t fairly comment because I’ve yet to read it.
Aaron: Well, I wouldn’t say it’s poorly written. It’s not fantastic. The 86 paragraph tangent on the fact that whales are mammals and not fish was actually quite astute for its day, but that doesn’t make it any more interesting or terribly relevant to the story.
Me: So are you telling me I should read it, or not?
Aaron: Let’s just put it this way, if writers were architects, Melville would be no Frank Lloyd Wright.
Me: HA. So who would he be?
Aaron: Courtney, I don’t know anything about architecture.
Me: Oh! I know!
Me: TED MOSBY.
I wrote a song last night, and as I was writing it, felt quite satisfied with the melody I sang. Descending fourths are somehow terribly comforting, and the range in which I was singing almost made me believe it was Colbie Caillat’s voice escaping my mouth instead of my own.
I was writing about him.
I love conversational phrases and metaphors and perfect rhymes. I strive to always write the truth, but I almost never embellish accurately. I live for a good lyric, especially accidentally come by, but I believe words never really say all that they are meant to until they are sung.
I’ve been known to lose my footing faster than I care to admit.
My balance goes and everybody knows I’m falling in.
It’s okay, right? You should hear it.
But there’s a problem.
As I hummed this song through the rest of my evening, I found myself distracted by different words in song after song until I realized I’d already written this song about twelve times before.
The words were different, but the melody wasn’t.
And neither was the reason I wrote it.
I watch the breath escape your lips; it’s cold outside; we’re running around.
I step into the mist that hangs in the Chicago air; you’re taking me downtown.
It’s autumn in Tennessee but it sure don’t feel like fall to me.
I’m waiting for the cold to settle in.
Southern hospitality applies to the weather too, I see.
I miss the bite of the Northern wind.
The melody for all three of these songs, all written this year, and two of them quite recently, is basically the same.
I guess I should be thankful I can’t in trouble for ripping myself off.
But I never did it intentionally, and each time I did it, as I sang and played and wrote and rewrote, I really thought I was doing something new and beautiful.
The truth is, it was beautiful.
Because I ache.
I am a naive, innocent, inexperienced girl. I’m idealistic and I believe in dreams and daydreams and I hope for too much and I give more than I have and somehow all of that has led me here, to this place, in a hundred situations I don’t know how to handle because I was never given the chance to learn.
And I wouldn’t change it, not for a second, but it does hurt sometimes. It hurts and it’s a hurt that can’t be slept off or dulled with medication or even kissed away.
It needs to be sung out.
And even though the words change, even though they’ll take me from Chicago to Tennessee to the moon and back, the melody is the same, every sing time.
When I’m too close and too far away, all at once.
When my heart needs to hold on and let go.
That melody bubbles back up and evaporates into the air around me.
This time, I sang,
Slow me down.
Don’t let me let you get away.
Sometimes being honest means being specific. Most of the time, really, at least in my book.
But sometimes details and being the complete opposite of anonymous really don’t mix well.
That’s when it’s time to start writing songs.
Because that way, I can claim it’s “just art.”
And I only have to admit the full truth to myself.