Monday, October 25, 2010

Music Speaks to the Soul

Began 10/25/10:
Most of you are fully aware that life has taken me on a roller-coaster ride of emotions, a ride that has lasted much longer than I anticipated. While this ride will probably last long into the future, I do hope that I develop better coping mechanisms, preferably sooner rather than later.

A few weeks ago I realized that it had been a while since I really connected with a song on the radio. Even though I'm not very in-tuned with music and all things related, I really enjoy country music and I feel as though it has some weird way of reaching deep down into my soul and connecting with both the "really awesome" and the "really tough" parts of life. [Maybe I can blame Rascal Flatts' lack of new material for all this introspection, ha.] But really, I've been aching and searching for a song with which I could really connect.

Flashing forward a bit, it looks like this week is shaping up to be a tough one emotionally...less for me and more for my friends, but still. Two of my really good friends here in Raleigh are going through a very tough time right now. It's strange how much I, too, am hurt by their pain. I'm not really sure why this is, but something about their situations is really weighing on my heart right now.

As usual, there are the ups and downs that come along with "birthing" a thesis, too. I am so thankful for the support we all have for each other in our little office/class cohort. The "rock collector" parable (have I talked about that here yet?) really has stuck with us, just as we stick with each other through all of the challenges that we seem to face on a daily basis. (At this point, I'm beginning to think that in order to get a Master's degree, your computer has to die at least once, you have to lose at least one data set or document/file, and you've got to think your capstone project is absolutely worthless at some point...just to earn that darn piece of paper.)

Continued 10/31/10:
I say all of this because in my search for "the" song of the moment, I realized it would be difficult to find something that really applied to me, and even more specificially, to the things going on in mine and my friends' lives. It's not every day you find songs about grad school, losing a child, making a tough decision, shattering your dreams, etc. I mean, sure, talk to T-Swift about heartbreak, and Good Ole Kenny can help ya with daydreaming about life on the beach, but those other things...they just don't sound so eloquent in a country song.

Last week, one of my co-workers/classmates (rock ladies, if you will) came into the office bursting at the seams wanting to play a song for us. As it turned out, the song was Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer," and she was so right when she said it fit our group quite well. Really the parts that apply to us are...
//We gotta hold on to what we've got
It doesn't make a difference if we make it or not
We got each other and that's a lot...
//...Oh, we're half way there
Oh oh, livin' on a prayer
Take my hand, we'll make it I swear
Oh oh, Livin' on a prayer!
In our case, we DO have each other, and that IS a lot. We ARE (more than) half way there. Together, we WILL make it. And really, we are lucky, blessed even, to have what we do. I truly believe that I would never make it through this challenge that is grad school without the support, encouragement, and understanding from those around me. And I know I can speak for all of us when saying, we really are "livin' on a prayer."

Only one day earlier than our little "Livin' on a Prayer" moment, the lovely Mrs. Pandora presented with me with my own version of "the song," yes, the exact song I had been waiting for all along. While I really hate to make this blog even longer than it is, most of you are well aware that I tend to post lengthy entries, and I don't think it would do the song justice to not include the lyrics, so please bear with me. Here it is:

One Day You Will - Lady Antebellum
(Click the link to watch a lyric video on YouTube.)
You feel like you're falling backwards
Like you're slippin' through the cracks
Like no one would even notice
If you left this town and never came back
You walk outside and all you see is rain
You look inside and all you feel is pain
And you can't see it now

But down the road the sun is shining
In every cloud there's a silver lining
Just keep holding on (just keep holding on)
And every heartache makes you stronger
But it won't be much longer
You'll find love, you'll find peace
And the you you're meant to be
I know right now that's not the way you feel
But one day you will

You wake up every morning and ask yourself
What am I doing here anyway
With the weight of all those disappointments
Whispering in your ear
You're just barely hanging by a thread
You wanna scream but you're down to your last breath
And you don't know it yet

[Repeat Chorus]

Find the strength to rise above
You will
Find just what you're made of, you're made of

[Repeat Chorus]

One day you will
Oh one day you will

Honestly, I don't really even know where to begin discussing this song. The Lovely Lady A somehow put out a song that reaches down into the depths of my heart and puts into words every bit of what I have felt, feel, and (probably) will feel. It's no secret that graduate school has been a struggle for me, and while I don't mean to sound depressed here, they really just say it quite perfectly. The beauty about this song, though, is not even about how I relate to it in my own life, but rather its universality.

For the friend who knows what she wants, but is scared she won't get it, or for the friend who has no idea what's next. For the friend who hurt someone or the one who was hurt. For the friend who lost everything, and the friend who lost just one thing. ...One day you (we) will.

One day we will have insight and understanding. One day all of the pain will be gone. One day we will be blessed with exactly what it is that we need.

We will find love. We will find peace. We will find the us we're meant to be. Right now, that's not the way it feels, but one day we will.

Wow. All I can say is wow. No amount of words or reflection here can really do this song justice in my heart. I guess, I really just wanted to include it here because I feel like it's a really profound set of insight for those of us who have daily struggles (hey--doesn't everyone?). We have to remember that "down the road the sun is shining, and in every cloud there's a silver lining."

On a lighter note, I think we should compile a GSG (Grad School Girls) soundtrack. It should be complete with a collection of empowering, reflective, motivating tunes. And just like us, this "Tune Rock" will pull us through, because...

One day we will.


PS: I haven't forgotten about the promise I made in my tweet-blog, nor that I need to write about the LeBlanc-Richard wedding, among other more-thought provoking topics.


Lendylou said...

Very empowering Lauren.

Justine said...

What a beautiful song by Lady A. It is a great tune for this time in our lives. "Livin' on a Prayer" fits very nicely too. I always use music as a way to express myself... and even though Lady Gaga's songs (for instance) do not have a true personal meaning in my life, the songs still make me feel good when I need to dance around the apartment like a fool or sing at the top of my lungs in the car.

We will make it through this-- the road is bumpy... and may continue to be very rough, but I, personally, am soooo thankful and blessed to have MY ROCKS who I know will make me smile when I need it the most.

To be cheesy, I think... as we approach the end... we should adopt "We Will ROCK You" (ha!!) as another theme song... and once it is all over... follow it up with "We are the Champions"!

We can do this!!!!! :) Almost 6 more months to go! EEK! :)

MooMooGaL87 said...

Thanks, Lendy. That means a lot.

And Justine, what great ideas!! I'm adding them to the list I started in my "Book of Lists!"