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Current Mood: cynical
I listened to “Wild Wild Life” by Talking Heads on the drive home tonight.
It makes me sad for no particular reason. It’s not the lyrics at all. I honestly can only understand a few words that he sings, and I’ve never really tried to figure out what David Byrne is talking about. It must be a chord change in there that does it. There are a few other songs in my life that make me sad, and I have no idea why. Among them are “Drive” by The Cars and the theme from the old Heathcliff cartoon. I’m not kidding. Although the Heathcliff one may have something to do with the fact that it was always just starting (thus playing the theme) each morning on TV about the time my mother would have to take me to daycare. I guess I used to dread it because I knew what hearing it meant. So maybe even now, I associate it with loss?
Anyways, I can remember listening to that very song (“Wild Wild Life” I’m talking about now) about 10 years ago. In fact, it may well have been 10 years ago to the day, for all I know. I was driving around in a red, sporty car that I had borrowed from my big sister. On my way to Tae Kwon Do classes I think, giving this pretty and punky classmate of mine a ride there too. I probably had a crush on her. I was confused. And 16, so I had a crush on pretty much any girl I knew at the time. I was listening to a Talking Heads CD, because my sister’s car actually had a CD player. I can only assume I thought I was hot shit.
My point is, I was 16 years old, and the world was wide open to me. I didn’t yet know anything about anything. Cliché of clichés, but the simple fact was that I had nearly everything going for me, and anything was possible.
Now it’s 10 years on. I’m 26, and I guess maybe anything is still possible. But my how life just hurries by, huh? I know there are some 20- and 30-somethings on my list who know the feeling I’m talking about. I’m taller, but slower. I’m smarter, but so much more jaded. I’m more powerful, but not as full of promise. And I wonder which is more valuable?
Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled with the way I turned out. I have crafted a world for myself that I am the king of. I have a job I’m happy with. I am surrounded by great family and friends who love me and whom I love. I live in one of the greatest cities on the planet. But back then… I might have been president, or an astronaut, or hell I don’t know, a pirate! Unlikely, sure, but there is such power in the possibility! Such beauty in that great unknown. And I’m not even saying I wanted to be any of those things. God knows I never took any pirating classes in college.
But I feel stronger, smarter, and better-looking than ever. I am more powerful (mentally, physically, spiritually, financially) than I have ever been. I walk dark streets without fear. I abide closely by my own principles and am in a near constant state of peace. I can hold a conversation with a homeless guy in the subway and the CEO of my company in the same day. On the terms that I live on, I feel nearly untouchable. So yes, now the path has significantly narrowed, but I know it so well by now. The good news is, I’m comfortable on my path. The good news is, this path was designed for me by me. The good news is, this path I’m on, I fucking own it.
But I miss the days when so much seemed unknown. So much seemed totally out of my control. With power comes responsibility. It occurs to me that I may be getting bored of both.
“Check out Mr. Businessman, oh ho ho…
He bought some wild, wild life.”