Monday, June 14, 2010

Day One: Favorite Song

I am not a person who generally has a "favorite." I don't have a favorite color or city or much of anything else. I don't mean to be difficult when faced with this question, but I always have to ask, "Favorite for what?" I may like to decorate my house using burgundy and green...but I wouldn't want to paint the outside of my house either one of those colors. I like Heidelberg here in Germany, but I like Cincinnati in Ohio and Gatlinburg in Tennessee. I like all the things I like for different reasons and I can't really pick one thing over the other and say that this, here, is my very favorite.

As you might guess, this is going to make some of these "30 Days of Me" posts a bit of work for me.

I love music. Love.It. I tend to go for music that is slow and wistful sounding (think Sting's Fields of Gold). I like music from the 60s through the 70s best...mostly. I like James Taylor, the Eagles, and Christopher Cross. Music from the 80s is fun too, though. Jason and I have a lot of private jokes concerning the soundtrack to Footloose. Great car music is Justin Timberlake, Gwen Stefani, and The Black-Eyed Peas. They're just fun to "sing" along with when I'm driving the kids around. ("Sing" because I am profoundly tone deaf. Just so you know: you never, ever want to hear me "sing." That old saying, "Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't."? Yeah, I own that sentiment.)

I will, however, go through stages where one song will touch me more than any other. And I do have one song that speaks to me in the place where I am right now. That song is Miranda Lambert's "House that Built Me." In particular, these lyrics really get to me:

You leave home and you move on and do the best you can,
I got lost in this old world and forgot who I am,

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it,
This brokenness inside of me might start healing,
Out here it's like I'm someone else,
I thought maybe I could find myself,
If I could just come in I swear I'll leave,
Won't take nothin but a memory,
From the house that built me.

Some of this probably stems from the general feeling of disconnect that I have been feeling with my extended family, particularly on my dad's side. My grandma was always the one who kept me anchored to home; she kept me updated on everyone and passed on the happenings from this end to everyone else. ("Home" to me has always been Grandma & Grandpa's house. I came home to that house from the hospital at birth and that house was the only constant home I knew growing up as a military brat. It's the closest thing I've ever had.) I talked to her a lot. She kept me grounded in terms of parenting issues as well. She had five kids and a husband who wasn't home much (my grandpa was a firefighter) so she understood the stress in a way that others in the family can't. Since her death I have been a little adrift.

I have spent a lot of the last couple of years figuring out how to heal and I feel like it would be easier to do around my family. As disconnected as I feel when I am out here in my own life, when I am home I mostly feel as though I belong. I think this song speaks to me right now because I was really thinking that the possibility of going to St. Louis would be my shot at getting back to that centered feeling I get around my family. My last shot at claiming my place just by virtue of being so much closer to home. The fact that it isn't going to happen has been something of a slap in the face.

I do think that music is a healing force in and of itself. The fact that someone wrote these lyrics (and that the song is so popular) lets me know that I am not the only one out here feeling this way. I just have to have faith that I will be able to work my way through all this in my own way.

What songs have touched you during stressful times in your life? Do you often find yourself identifying with a song because of what is going on around you?


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. I totally understand how you feel. The only home I ever knew was my grandma's home in Lawton, Oklahoma. We used to spend ever summer there as kids. When my dad would be stationed somewhere new, us kids would go stay with her while my parents got the new house set up. My grandma died almost 20 years ago and I still miss her terribly. I miss the times we would spend there and the feeling of home.

    It's difficult not to have "roots" and not to know where home is. When you have moved all your life, where is home??

    I choose to believe that home is within me. Home is in my daughter. Home is in my husband (but he's not around all the time). You have to find the strength within yourself to make a home for your children, even if it's teaching them to find home within their own hearts.

    I do believe that music can help express what a person is feeling during a certain time. "When words fail, music speaks."

  2. Most of the time I would completely agree with you. "Home" is wherever the five other people living in this house are. There are just some days and times that are a little harder to remember that than others. I was so hopeful that the St. Louis gig was going to work out because it's soooo much closer to my family (in Indiana) than we've ever lived but it just didn't pan out. I think I let myself think about it a little too much. I'm getting there, though. :)



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