I still carry around an iPod Classic, 80GB, silver. It has my entire catalog of music harkening back to my days on Napster before it was paid for all the way up until the song I just purchased on iTunes about 5 minutes ago, because I get my music from legit sources now. I have spent a decade crafting playlists for every mood and occasion. But sometimes, every few weeks or so, I leave it to chance and shuffle among all the songs, just to see what gems pop up and shake up my world a bit.
Today was such a day. And a funny thing happened when I unleashed the full on playlist of all that ever was in my musical world (aptly titled LaurTunes). Today, my iPod decided that it was time to, quite literally, face the music. The songs that came up and the emotions they brought centered on love and, more specifically, the love that I lost.
The ex and I were big Nickelback fans – I know, I know, everyone thinks they’re a little douchey but they did write some songs that I can still dig and their concert was really fun – and because the beginning of our relationship through to 9 months after our wedding was actually long distance, the song Far Away was a big one for us. It played during our wedding. It played on my iPod today. I remembered that when it was playing at our wedding, I was busy in the lobby/ladies room getting my dress sewn up because my strap had broken. I wanted to be close to my newly-minted husband but I was unavoidably… far away. A metaphor for our marriage I guess. So close but, yet, so far away.
So, of course, I found myself crying. Was driving at the time but that seems to be the best/only place I’m able to cry these days. So I’m wiping the tears away and shuffling through random songs from what seems like a thousand years ago and one comes on that I just couldn’t skip. It was silly, but profound. I was driving down the road toward the kids’ daycare, the road that goes past where we lived when we first moved out here. The song was 6th Avenue Heartache by The Wallflowers. The apartment we lived in was on 6th Avenue. I only had the song on my iPod because it was from a compilation. I don’t really relate to it in any real sense. Except…. Except today. My heartache rests on 6th Avenue. It didn’t begin there, but it was where it came to rest.
There are only a couple of lines of lyrics in that song that make sense when it comes to my life:
I had my world strapped against my back
I held my hands, never knew how to act
This was me. This was me in my marriage as it unraveled and I tried so hard to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. I had all the stresses, dysfunction, responsibilities, and everything I was trying so hard to hide strapped against my back. I didn’t know who I was, I didn’t know who I was supposed to be, I didn’t know what persona to portray in public when underneath the surface of my skin my entire world was complete and total chaos and despair. I was trying so hard to keep it together and fix it. All I thought about was how to fix it.
But I couldn’t fix it. The man I fell in love with was no longer, he was too Far Away. So, what I ended up with, after 8 years of marriage, was a 6th Avenue Heartache. Not that it can all be boiled down to a couple of songs on my iPod, but music is what brings out the emotions I suppress when I can’t deal with them. Today was a message: I need to deal with them now. I need to heal. I need to recover from this heartache. I can’t put it off any longer. It’s time. I need to let the floodgates of emotion open. I need to feel through everything and face the rise and fall of the love and life that I had for the last decade with him. Hopefully on the flip side I come out wiser, stronger, and brighter.