When I was 14, I discovered the band that I thought was going to be the love of my life forever. Every album release was a precious treasure, a divine sign from God that spoke directly to whatever internal teenage or early 20s crisis I was having at the moment. I had a signed t-shirt that I wore when I needed to feel confident, the cds were always in my car, and I’d seen him live almost 10 times. This band was my life.
In 2015, after four years of radio silence, this band released a new album. For the first time ever... it didn’t resonate with me. And I felt bad about it. It felt like a surprising sign of growing up, like I'd betrayed an important part of myself, or an old friend. But upon closer examination, this made perfect sense. A lot had happened since the last time we’d seen each other--I’d graduated college, held my first adult job, and moved across the world. His style had changed, and mine had changed too. It was sad, but it wasn't the end of the world.
I don’t really listen to his music anymore. But I haven’t lost my love and gratitude towards the Artist (1), and I wish him success as he continues to grow. And when one of his old songs does happen to find its way to my ears, I smile. I remember how much it meant to me in an important era of my life. This Artist taught me to be passionate about something, and to find solace and hope in music. He was a reminder that good things happen at unexpected times, and I've held on to that.
Conversely, sometimes people and places are ready to be done with us before we’re ready to be done with them. College graduation sneaks up on us before we feel ready, people we love leave us before we think its time, or lose interest in the things we have to say. This will never be easy, but sometimes its inevitable, and maybe even necessary for our own personal growth. Everyone and every thing is on its own journey, and when we are no longer part of theirs, we should still wish them happiness and success.
This is true for a lot of things--for music, for lost loves, and schools I went to, for entire years of my life. What suited me before doesn’t have to suit me now, and I don’t have to suit it. But we can still love and appreciate each other for what we were while it lasted, and for the lessons we've held on to from it (2).
1. I'm not naming the artist because I'd be sad if he came across this, I think. Break-ups aren't easy in any form.
2. But, as we learned in number 2, don't feel like you have to take it all with you. Also the sweater I'm wearing in the photo from number 2 ties in very closely with the first part of this number.