What I love best is when I find a song that moves me. The kind that I immediately have to look up the lyrics for, because one line catches my ear and I'm suddenly sure it's been written just for me. It means a lot to me when I come across a song that just NAILS my life and heart at the moment. You can bet that if I find just such a song, it's going to be on loop for hours/days/weeks to come. It's like it puts into words/notes what I'm feeling and I just need to let it soak into me until maybe some of those feelings will untangle themselves somewhere around the climactic bridge and drain out of me with the final chords.
I usually love February (hello, birthday month!) but this year I was hurting so bad through most of it. In matters of the heart, I was dealing with more than one letdown in the form of dating (one boy who stopped calling, one who I asked to stop calling, and one old flame who put a ring on someone else's finger). In career world, I was emotionally spent and then some. As of February, I was 7 months into my California adventure, 9 months out of my last full-time writing job, 3 months into my random retail Ralph Lauren gig which (finally, gratefully, amazingly) paid the rent but also made me feel like a guppy out of water, and still 2 months away from landing my current temp gig at Google. Like I said, emotionally spent, but trying so-so-so-so hard to keep a smile on my face and a grip on the handlebars.
It's one thing to be in the middle of a long tunnel with a definable end (e.g. school and graduation, etc.), but it's another thing entirely to have zero concept of the length of your tunnel, where the end might be, what happens at the end, if there even is an end....it's taxing. And all the risks that made you get into that tunnel in the first place start to feel questionable, but also thrilling, but also exhausting, and maybe slightly pukey. (Which is accurate, because I totally had the flu for a solid 9-10 days in February. I think my emotions became a raging fever and attempted to assassinate me from the inside out.)
I was sitting at my kitchen table when I first heard the Pioneer song.
I don't remember what I was doing. Blogging? Reading? Eating? Job hunting? Staring out the window? Anyway, music was playing in the background as it always is, and I was checking out The Band Perry's latest album at the suggestion of a boy. And there that song was. And the words caught me, and kind of paralyzed me, and a few lines in all these hot little tears started rolling their way down my cheeks. I hit repeat the minute the song ended, wrote the lyrics in my journal that night, and can't even tell you how many times I listened to that song again in the days, weeks, months to follow.
I've moved on to different songs in the few months since then, and many of the dark spots of that February tunnel are now just bumps in the past as I navigate my current bumps/turns/crevices.
But the Pioneer song came on my shuffle again today and, for a minute, took me back to a kitchen table in February, all those hot little tears sliding onto my neck, and one scared, exhausted girl trying very much to be an adult but very much not feeling like she was even close to pulling it off.
Just a good reminder for me that all things pass. And that you gotta trust your heart when you're somewhere out on that plain not sure where you're going or why you even left, other than that it felt like the right thing to do. And that new bumps replace the old ones, but it's good to know that you've already forded a few rivers when you're faced with the next one. (Insert witty Oregon Trail analogies.) (Please bless no dysentery or lame oxen.)
And now you can give it a listen and enjoy the lyrics:
Oh pioneer, I sing your song
It's the hymn of those who've gone before and those who carry on
Pioneer, your work is hard
But the future of us all rests on the shoulders of your heart
Where are we going?
Oh I don't know
But still I've got to go
What will become of us?
Oh I don't care
All I know is I'll go anywhere
Oh pioneer, so young and brave
Be careful of the careful souls who doubt you along the way
Pioneer, you orphaned child
Your mother is adventure and your father is the wild
Let your heart not be troubled
I won't run when bullets chase me
I won't rest where arms embrace me
I will love when people hate me
I won't hush, no you can't make me
Send the dark but it won't break me
You can try but you can't change me
Take my life, they will replace me
I won't hush, no you can't make me
I won't hush, no we will sing