This morning I had one of those moments that sucked me back into time. Full on trails as my body was pulled backwards to the me I was in the early 90s.
I was a funny version of myself then, early 20s, kind of hollow. I was filling that hollowness with music, very specific friends, some stupid decisions around a guy – one of those let’s just not get attached things, a tequila obsession (not addiction just obsessed with this stuff called Tequilapeno a guy we knew smuggled in from Mexico), cigarettes, and a lot of driving and making mixtapes.
Obviously music is my solace. When you’re a person like I am, and especially like I was then, music helped me feel. I will own that.
So when I was walking this morning and To Turn You On by Bryan Ferry showed up on my Spotify favorites. I FELT. It was visceral. I was walking but I was also racing down Lake Shore Drive in my Nissan 240SX (stick shift) going to meet friends at No Exit (the jazz coffee shop we frequented). That song is tangled up in so many feelings for me.
I was flooded.
I felt the me that kept me from being able to make good decisions about who I was having relationships with. The piece of me that was giving too much and expecting nothing in return.
To be honest, the me that was in control literally didn’t care anymore. I wanted to drive with the windows down blast Avalon and not stop.
I wondered where that person is inside me right now. Because if we operate under the assumption that every person you’ve ever been is still inside of you I started to wonder if I needed to be that person. And not only did I decide I needed that person I also realized I miss that person. That me had no ties- no one cared where I was, I am pretty sure there was not one person in the world who would have known if I had gone missing for a few days, maybe my job. I’m not saying that in a scary way, I mean it in a freeing way. The guy was a take it or leave it thing so for me to go radio silent for days was not strange. We were also a secret so no one could judge that decision.
I am not prone to risky behavior. I did make some bad decisions but I always had a voice in my head (my dad’s) that said “this is a line you shouldn’t cross.” I thought about how I had a boyfriend in high school who went to college as a beer drinker and cigarette smoker and came back doing coke. I drew a line there. I said choose. And he chose the coke. That was a line I wouldn’t cross.
Do you ever have a memory that has a sadness of longing attached to it? I have a lot of those tied to that time.
More Than This started playing. Imagine you are thinking about how you had this emptiness inside of you that you couldn’t fill, there was nothing.
If you’re a person who listens and loves without listening to lyrics you might think More Than This is a song about wanting more, and you might say, “she’s going to say she heard that song and realize she wanted more.”
But it’s not and I didn’t.
More Than This is a song about there being no more than this.
Sometimes when Avalon by Bryan Ferry comes on I feel only the sadness and emptiness and I have to fast-forward through the songs to get to the next set of memories, other times I leave it. I choose to feel.
Today I chose to feel a sadness for a time in my life that I did exactly what I needed to do but that could have been more if I believed there was a more. For a time where I chose loneliness instead of real connection.
I know we’re not supposed to talk about regrets. We’re supposed to say if these things never happened then you wouldn’t be who you are today. Let’s go dark now and say, I agree. My regret is exactly that. It’s a sliding doors kind of regret. What if instead…