Thursday, March 27, 2014

Music to Me

Garth has taught me a lot in the 7.5 years we have been together. He makes me more generous. More spontaneous. He helps me not take life so seriously, or myself so seriously. He keeps my perspective on God. He teaches me patience and understanding. He really does balance me well. But one of the most surprising things I have learned from Garth is a passion for music…

Flashback! I remember years before I met Garth. I was at a Rascal Flatts concert and the guy next to me was getting so emotional over a song. I didn’t even know him, but he started to tell me how this band was there for him when his dad passed away. How the lyrics. The music. It all got him through such a hard time. Truthfully, I found it all rather strange. I couldn’t relate. How could music hold that much meaning? That much emotion? Transport you back to a dark place and remind you of how far you have come?

I told Garth this story when we were dating and he could totally relate to that stranger. The way Garth spoke about singers and lyrics that he could relate to and brought him out of tough times. Hearing it from Garth, it made sense. I could understand. I could see where he was coming from and the passion he had for music.

I couldn’t relate until years later though. It wasn’t until I was a newlywed in a tiny little apartment and I heard “You’re Gonna Miss This” by Trace Adkins. That song. In that moment. I felt like the lyrics were written for me. Years later, as homeowners I hear that song and am instantly transported to that tiny one bedroom apartment. And Trace is right, I do miss it. It was such a simpler time. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we didn’t have a lot of bills. Life was easier. More carefree. It was a good reminder to enjoy every stage of life. Live in the moment. You're gonna miss it.

I remember a time of hardship in our marriage. I felt people were attacking me. Garth. Our character. Our family. Our marriage. I heard Taylor Swift’s song “Mean” and I could relate. I could belt the lyrics and you know what? It made me feel GOOD. Known. Understood.  Looking back, that song was healing. It was a coping mechanism. I hear that song now and I smile. I don’t feel anger anymore. I smile because I remember that place I used to be. But I’m not in that place anymore. But I’m stronger because of it and I’m thankful I had that song to help me get through a dark time.

Two summers ago I was obsessed with "Springsteen" by Eric Church. That song was my jam. Still is. Anytime I hear it I am instantly transported to a July Saturday night up north sitting by a campfire. We were at a friends' cottage for the weekend and that song came on and G said, "Hey! It's a July Saturday night!" It wasn't a big moment, but it will always stick with me. It was just such a good memory. It takes me back to Northern Michigan summers. They are the best. The song reminds me of that weekend. Tubing down a river. Staying up late and talking with good friends. Cooking each other meals. Living life. Soaking up the little moments that always end up being the big moments when you look back.

Then there are just the songs that can instantly put me in a good mood. "Chicken Fried" by Zac Brown is that song for me. If I'm in a funk or a bad mood I play this song, sing as loud as possible and I'm happy. Carefree. Life is simpler and the pressures of life don't seem so bad. There is just a comfort to knowing the lyrics and singing along the happy lyrics. Smiling knowing what Zac is talking about when you wear jeans that fit just right. Have a cold beer on a Friday night. 

Songs take me back to a place. A moment in my life. Sometimes they are really good memories and sometimes they are tough ones. But both are good. Both help me grow and remind me of where I've been and where I'm going. Songs transport me. Songs remind me to live life. To soak up life and squeeze as much out of it as I can because life is tragically short. Songs rejuvenate me. That is what music does to me. What does it do to you?


Rebecca Jo said...

I can hear a song & always say its like a time warp... its like ZOOM, you're back in time. I can remember 8th grade dances from a song, even remember the clothes I was wearing. Songs can bring back scents even to me... they are powerful stuff!

hopeistrying said...

Ohmygoodnwss YES!! Music is my jam. All of it. And your story of the progression with you and Garth regarding music makes me giggle and think of Studly and I. It's been JUST like that with us, only opposite. He's taught me a lot of things, but one thing I can absolutely see that I've taught him is music. For sure! That's too funny... But I'm with you in that music always seems to take me places. Back to specific moments and experiences. And I love that!