Today, I have another featured ‘Five Songs’ post for you! Interested in participating? Send me an e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We all have songs that have changed our lives. Songs motivate us through hard times, make us happy when we are down, and really speak to our hearts unexpectedly. From the time you are a teen to the day you die, you will have songs that mean the world to you. Ones that take you back to a special time in your life. Here are five songs that made an impact on me.
When I was in high school I watched Roswell with my mom. I loved that show, despite the fact that I did not understand half of what was going on. The whole CD that went along with the TV show inspired me, but this one song in particular gave me hope through those tumultuous teenage years. It talks about how even imperfect people can be inspirations. I had a big issue with imperfection as a teen. I thought I had to be perfect to be really loved, and it took me a long time to get over that. This song made me think about the people that I loved and that loved me, and why that loved worked. It was not that they were perfect, in fact many of the people I loved did not get along well with others, but it was because they were perfect to me that the relationship worked. Getting over the fantasy of being a perfect person that everyone would love helped me to learn what it was to be me, free of other’s ideas of what I should be.
This is one song that affected me as a young person. I first heard it when I was going through a hard time in my life. My father had left and my mother had been in a bad auto accident, leaving her in the hospital for weeks. Afterwards I tried to keep everything going by myself while taking care of my much younger brother. My father came back, on drugs, and caused even more problems for us. Much to my chagrin, my mother continued to try to love him enough to change him, fix him. I was so angry at her because I could not understand why she would do that to herself and to us. When I heard this song on the radio it was like someone else understood what I was going through. I loved my mother and wanted what was best for her, but, as the song says, “If it makes you happy, then why the hell are you so sad?”
I always cry when I hear this song. Sad, I know, but true. It is just so… me. I never believed in love. Ever. I always thought that I was the one who would get married for convenience or because my partner had a good personality or was stable or maybe not even get married at all. In fact, I used to plan on things that I could do by myself as I got older and retired, figuring that I would be all by myself by then. I kind of counted on taking care of my mother and just enjoying my life on my own. And then, quite unexpectedly, I discovered the one person who could make me believe in love. The only exception. And we have been together ever since. Now when I hear this song it makes me want to cry because I truly did find my only exception. The only one I have ever been attracted to, ever wanted to hold hands with, and ever wanted to build a future with.
I will start out by telling you that I am a writer. Duh, you say, you are writing this! Well, what I mean is that I am a writer before I am anything else. I have been writing from a very young age and love to write, anything, anywhere. For a while I thought I had lost my writing mojo, however. I just could not seem to get anything done. I started and abandoned half a dozen stories without success and felt lost. You probably know the feeling. Anyway, I started what was supposed to be a short story, a cop drama, and felt the same pattern reemerging as I strained to put forth the effort to move beyond the first few pages. And then this song came on Pandora. I listen to instrumental music when I write to both block out distractions and keep me from typing the lyrics. Anyway, this song came on, a beautiful duet of piano and strings, and my story suddenly changed. It went from a cop drama, dry and fast and full of action, to a tragic romance. The secondary female character suddenly was more than a damsel in distress. She was a love interest for the hard and bitter detective, one that could soften his sharp edges and bring more into his life than criminals and court houses. A three year writing drought was broken by this one story and, believe it or not it changed my life. Once more in love with writing I decided to leave behind my dead in career and try something different. Applying for job after job in anything related to writing I finally got a job as a writer of SAT practice books, which led to…
Now employed temporarily as a SAT practice book writer I continued my story on the side, hoping to make it into something I could sell. The story moved beyond the romance and back into the action it started out with. There was only one problem. That secondary female character I had started off with never really made it beyond the two dimensions she started out with. Yeah, she was pretty and junk, but she was not much more than your standard female character in any cop drama. As I hopelessly looked at the slow unraveling of my plans, this song came on Pandora. Inspiring piano soared with a quick paced and yet deliberate melody. And then she took over. My character, the one I thought lost, came out in this song. Her voice, harsh and discordant, made its way known through the fluff I had surrounded her with. I was mistaken all along. She was no wilting flower. Rather she was a spider in disguise; full of machinations and calculations. Every movement planned, every word spoken had been weighed and measured. She knew exactly what she was doing. Like a single thread unravels a blanket, this song brought the truth to light. As she spoke she became more and more real. More three dimensional. Suddenly I had a story again. I wrote furiously, anxious to get her story down on paper before she left me. I had this song on repeat for hours, listening to her voice. I finished my story and with it found my dream job. As my time as an SAT practice book writer drew to a close, I harnessed the energy of that character and applied for a job I thought I had no chance of getting. A full time writer. I got it.
As you can see, songs have made a large impact on my life. Through family struggles, though relationships, and through career changes music has made me take a second look at my life and wonder if I am going in the right direction. Music can move you, inspire you and open your eyes to new opportunities. But only if you make the effort to listen!