(Wrote this post a few weeks back, just got around to editing.)
As a single person, I often listened to the calls of nature more than responsibilities. I know, not the best thing to brag about, but it’s who I default to when The Man is getting the best of me. If the day is perfect, I will do what is necessary to catch the sunlight, or the perfect sun:wind combo, or a burst of energy. So today, although the laundry was shouting my name, it was one of Florida’s few perfect days. And also, it’s not Thursday, the weird day in which I recoil to a robotic machine and cannot do anything out of routine. So I put on my funky little shape-ups (that I only own because Husband says they’re cute) although I think he’s just getting on my good side. Gotta let the cripple win some. I went out for a walk.
The breeze was perfect and the right blend of cool and warm. The afternoon shades were dreamily falling over the city line (albeit, an ugly city in my humble opinion). I put my iPod buds in my ears and set out to walk in a public area where I won’t be abducted (and quickly returned). It was hard to resist not taking off running, just like the old days. After so many years of trying to find my niche, aside from home, work, and family, it was this. Hitting the pavement, beating my own records, listening to my music, and separating my thoughts from everything that could disillusion a person. Now here I was treading ever so lightly to make sure my foot bones won’t slide around, my hip won’t rub on direct bone, my knees won’t hyper-extend, my ankles won’t swell, my ligaments won’t snap. I about started to run to forget it all. But I didn’t. I’m paying heed to the lessons I’m finally learning about over-doing it.
Another aspect I noticed about my single-self versus married-self, with the added struggle of being as fragile as a porcelain doll, is music. Music would set my mood, or I would set the mood with my music. I don’t usually care for music in the background while I work or while a group is enjoying a conversation. I ritualistically listen to it when I can be in the car, when I’m running, or when I can blare my lungs out while cleaning. But lately, I hardly listen to music in the same style I used to. Husband and I have a relatively small margin of music in common compared to my otherwise limitless taste in music. We enjoy many styles together, but not the type I can play all day and certainly not the type that macho guys will jam too. I’m left to banging my head or waving around glow sticks; otherwise I opt for quiet time because of how easily overwhelmed I get to loud noises on days that I’m tired; and I usually am. Also, my car has been getting customized in the shop, along with my iPod friendly sound system. In my makeshift ride, I’m stuck with the radio and I’d rather listen to NPR than Bieber. So I found that I don’t listen to music as much anymore and when I do, I’m not affected by it in the emotional style I used to be.
“Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?” -John Cusack
I’m more of the melancholic type, more so before than now. Being happily married, I’m no longer an industry target for the hormone-driven roller coaster girl. I’m no longer ‘need’ to relate to the pining Fiona, or bitter Lilly Allen, insecure Jem, or clueless Britney Spears. I mean, I still rock out to all my favorites, but I don’t relate to those feelings that have been replaced by real life and real love. It’s hard for me to listen to boppy and poppy music all the time because it doesn’t feel realistic to me. All this nonsense and shenanigans about Just Dance, It’ll be Okay…Uh Dancing won’t make it okay. Really, it won’t. And Rude Boys, please! We want gentlemen! Yes we do, so don’t make me sing along. But I’m happy now and love my melancholic music just as much, so it was weird to shuffle through some of my old songs and immediately flash black to a time that I invited turmoil over a boy or a guy who played with my head. How different things are!
The feeling of being married didn’t happen overnight. Becoming ill did not happen overnight. I never picked a particular day and exclaimed, “Today I will be okay with being ill” or “I know what it feels like to be an established wife”. Every once in a while I get a surprising whiplash into the current reality and have to take stock of where I am and how much I’ve progressed or what else might need adjustment.
Stepping out of my new element and into my old one, I realize I’ve settled in to the emotions that come along with being bound to someone and also how to leave single selfish emotions where they belong, in the past. The transition into new stages of life have always been violent for me, but recently I feel like its falling into place like butter. It’s not without some work and introspection but it’s nice not to have to resist so much. Even in the subtler things, like completely surrendering to another person or deciding to walk 20 minutes instead of run 10 minutes. I’m learning how to pay attention to myself whether I make the personal decision or if life throws a curve ball.
Anyway, you don’t lose who you were or everything that makes you the person you currently are. It just evolves and grows. So I can still listen and pine to sap songs when my husband is away for business:
Paolo Nutini – No Other Way (The Scottish and arpeggios. A beautiful blend.)
And yet I’ve learned to party right along with him and our blending lifestyle. One that we both are continually accommodating to without looking back, and hoping that one day I’ll be much healthier so I can run the circles around him that drove him wild:
Skrillex – Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites (It’ll make your brain oooze. Best enjoyed with headphones)