Since I quoted Fiona Apple yesterday, I listened to Extraordinary Machine and Tidal in my car today driving to and from my “big” gig.
Many great songs, many great lines, but the one that caught my attention, as it has many times in the past is:
Here it comes, a better version of me.
Such a layered line. Cynical voice comments:
- Promises, promises.
- What’s wrong with the present version?
- Ah, yes, the continuing striving for self-improvement. Good for you.
- Yeah, yeah, heard that before.
And it reminds me of what I’m writing about here.
When is what you see as your “issue” YOU, and when is it the rest of the world?
If other people misinterpret what I mean, or what I say, or the expression that I wear, is that my “problem,” or theirs?
When do I take advantage of “learning from my mistakes” and when do I take the lesson to be one of self-acceptance?
I spent a lot of years with my head down, trying to keep my mouth shut and the voices in my head* clamoring with all of the reasons I should be happy. What I’ve learned from it is that one should hesitate to pass a verdict on how “happy” one is, or how much of a “waste” a certain job or situation might be — because really, unless you’re dying, you don’t really know how it’s going to turn out, and if there’s a possibility that you might learn something valuable, or let something unfold, there might be something really really amazing this particular crappy situation is leading you toward, and you just can’t see it yet.
Now I’m certainly not saying that we should all sit around with our heads down and our hands folded — I only managed to find happiness by initiating a divorce from a kind and responsible man (with whom I had nothing in common, and for whom I still feel a great deal of affection and fondness); buying a house in a town I really wanted to live in; building a career that could support me and my family; and then eventually marrying the man I had been looking for in my 20s and had decided didn’t exist. A lot of upheaval, a lot of tears in pools on the floor in the back of my closet (I used to think this was just a line in a song, but I have actually done this, cried pools of tears; the good news is I haven’t cried in the back of a closet for at least 5 years),
Happiness, peace, contentment, joy, all need to be fought for; but sometimes the “fight” consists of waiting, and sometimes it consists of throwing everything you know into the air and reorganizing it all as it lands.
But EVERY day I will strive for a better version of me.
*I hope you all know what I mean by “the voices in my head.” I am not suffering from any diagnosable mental illness, although I have been heard on occasion to say: “The only difference between schizophrenics and the rest of us is that we know all of those voices in our head are ours.”