January 10, 2011

Takin' a Drive...

I woke up this morning feeling grateful. Very grateful. To the point that, in my typical girl-emotional-ness, I burst into tears. Even though they were tears of gratitude, it still was an awkward way to wake up, and boy am I glad that I had some spoons in the freezer (the cold metal does wonders for puffy, red eyes…).

My alarm this morning was Christian Kane’s “Let’s Take a Drive,” which is arguably my favorite song of his. I’m not one to wax poetic about a singer, or his/her songs; but this morning, the song took root in my soul – again. Here’s how and why…without sounding too much like some fangirl reviewer, I hope (‘cuz, he has A LOT of those)…

A good song tells a story. That’s the purpose of a song. But, a great song…that tells many stories. It hits to the bone and marrow of its listeners and connects on a deep, soul level – whether to bring laughter and joy, or to remind its listener of their own journey.

“Let’s Take a Drive” is mine. Well, part of mine. In it, Kane sings about a friend who had forgotten who she was, and he talks about their childhood – the crazy adventures they’d gotten into, and the wild, chase-after-the-wind young woman she had been. He told her to take a drive with him, and he’ll remind her of that young woman. He’s actually said that it wasn’t that “deep” of a song, and it really wasn’t that big of a deal; and I’m sure that, to him, it really wasn’t. It’s a song for a friend – that’s all.

There was a point in my life where I had forgotten who I was – had lost the sense of adventure and the lust for life that had defined ME until that point. How I forgot…what had happened to me is a whole other story (which, ironically enough is told in another of Kane’s songs – an earlier one called, “Mary, Can You Come Outside?”). Life was dark. Hard. It literally HURT. There was a deep pit of pain, but I felt as though I had to mask it from those who loved me (hey, pain does WEIRD things to people. At the point when I should’ve been talking and getting help, in my skewed-logic, I was protecting those who loved me from my issues. They had enough of their own, I would think, they don’t need my messed up world, too.).

I’m a great actress, I came to find out. Some of the best friends in my world didn’t even know anything was wrong. But, man am I incredibly grateful for those who were able to catch those moments when I thought no one was looking. When the fa├žade would slip just enough and they could snatch a glimpse to the inner turmoil.

Those were the people who set up camp in that dark night of my soul and led me back. My kilt-wearing, rugby-playing, rough, crass, behemoth of a brother (who’s also a marshmallow) who would literally carry me to his truck and drive…sometimes for hours…reminding me of the girl I once was. Of how I viewed the world…and how I let it view me. My best friend, who saw the destruction that the lies had caused in my soul, would “hold up the mirror” (her words, ones I find quite apropos) and whisper, “THIS is you, not who you’ve come to believe… .”

God is gracious, and I came back “to me.” Came out swinging, as some friends put it. I just don’t ever want to forget that time. Not that I want to relive it (oh, Sweet Jesus, never again!); but for the sake that scars are a reminder of an injury, the scars on my soul are a reminder of deep pain – and deep love that brought me through.

Today, that lust for life is back. I dance in the rain again (I really do. I should be embarrassed about it, but I’m not). I laugh, loudly. I sing (on-key at times) in the shower. I try to find joy in every moment – even the ones that hurt. I’m forever grateful to those friends and my brother, for not giving up on me. Not letting me stay in that pit.

Songs like “Let’s Take a Drive” remind me of the hell I walked through, but they also allow me to remember that life is GOOD. The tears were of thankfulness; that life is worth living, because I’m ALIVE.

Not that Christian Kane is ever going to read my tiny, little blog…but if he did, I’d just say thanks. For putting words to the struggle some of us have gone through, and giving us an anthem to sing. That, and if, at some concert in the future, you look out while singing this song and you see a blonde woman trying to hide her tears in her beer, don’t worry too much about it. Really. I’ll be fine.

To those of you who just slogged through my damaged psyche in this post…I apologize for my dirty laundry. Those memories – of pain and of love – have just been following me around all day. I can’t shake ‘em, so I’m giving them a name and a voice, recognizing them for what they are; and I’m choosing gratefulness. Deep, deep gratitude.

Now, I’m going to go hug my annoying-as-hell-brother’s neck extra tight. And, I’m going to sit at my best friend’s table, snuggling her babies, and thank God, again, that life is worth living. It’s good.

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