Many of us take music for granted. It’s an always available piece of entertainment that has an almost unlimited supply. There are a plethora of different ways to get music. Some include, Spotify, Rdio, iTunes Radio, mp3s, and yes even CDs (kids, ask your parents). I am one of those people who is almost always listening to something. When it’s not audiobooks or podcasts, it is music. I had a recent situation where a song made a fundamental impact.

It started with this video: created by Shannon McKarney. The video was shared by our own James (A sincere Thank you to James for sharing it on Facebook). I urge you to watch the video. All I will say about the video is that it a series of pictures of tweets, with the song “Let Her Go” by Passenger in the background.

The song in the video is “Let Her Go” by Passenger. I had heard the song a couple times before, so I went to my favorite MP3 Store, Amazon to get the song. They had the album for $5, so I opted to get the whole album. This turned out to be a wise decision.

I listened to the entire album. Besides “Let Her Go” another song caught my attention “Life’s For the Living”. I’ll go through some lyrics that made me think. The first is this, the chorus:

“Don’t you cry for the lost
Smile for the living
Get what you need and give what you’re given
Life’s for the living so live it
Or you’re better off dead”

People have said “Live every day like it’s your last”. It took a couple of listens, in conjunction with the above video, for it to really sink in and fully come to the forefront of my mind. You may be saying “That’s great, a piece of music moved you, but how?” That’s an excellent question.

I’m normally one who loves routine and I probably always will. However, I’m making a conscious effort to not always do the same thing. I am actually going to try and mix things up a little. In my downstairs bathroom there is this picture hanging.

James Dean Quote

The picture has been there for probably about three and half years now, it was put up not long after my ex and I moved in. It has been there and I must have looked at it no less than two or three hundred times. I’ve always dreamed big, but I’m not one to live my life like it was my last day.

While the chorus made an huge impact. This section of the lyrics really hit home for me.

“Well I’m sick of this town, this blind man’s forage
They take your dreams down and stick them in storage
You can have them back son when you’ve paid off your mortgage and loans
Oh hell with this place, I’ll go it my own way
I’ll stick out my thumb and I trudge down the highway
Someday someone must be going my way home

The part that really struck me is the first two lines. I have been feeling dissatisfied with my situation for a while now. It’s been a couple of distinct things. Work being the most prevalent, and being single for so long being the not-too-distant second. I’m not happy with either situation. I have put significant effort, and money into the dating situation. But I haven’t put nearly as much effort into finding a new job. But all of that’s about to change.

Many of us work in jobs that we do not enjoy, merely because it pays the bills. Then we get married, buy a house and have kids. We have responsibilities so we cannot follow through on our dreams. So “the man” takes your dreams and put them away. Once your bills and obligations are fulfilled, then you can have them back; but until then, you cannot.

At some point, we all become frustrated with our lives. Sometimes we make changes, many times we do not. We just trudge through continuing on the same path as before. For those who do decide to follow the route of Mark in Love Actually and say “enough, enough”, they do make that change and say “Oh hell with this place, I’ll go it my own way.”

The lines “I’ll stick out my thumb and I trudge down the highway Someday someone must be going my way home”, to me, represents that while you may not know which direction you’re going. You’re not staying where you’re currently at. You will likely find somebody else who is going the same direction as you. You may end up just being two people who plod along for a while and then diverge. Alternatively, you may become friends who end up helping each other the entire journey. The last passage surely does bring everything home.

‘Til then I’ll make my bed from a disused car
With a mattress of leaves and a blanket of stars
And I’ll stitch the words into my heart with a needle and thread
Don’t you cry for the lost
Smile for the living
Get what you need and give what you’re given
You know life’s for the living so live it
Or you’re better off dead”

There are times that we make a determination that we will change, but we never follow through on this. If we are going to be true to ourselves and change, then we must take it to heart. Hence, the entire meaning of the line “And I’ll stitch the words into my heart with a needle and thread”.

Many of us get into ruts and routines. We do the same things over and over and expect things to change. Yet, we do not do anything to help move them along. I have made the decision that I can no longer do that.

I don’t set resolutions, because I know that I will never follow through on them. However, I do have some goals for 2014. I’m not 100% confident that I know exactly what they are, right now. I know I have them though.

There is one person that I must thank and that is Amanda who, unknowingly, made this transformation happen. It is a debt that I can never repay. Thank you.

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