Monday, 13 April 2015

Life I know. . .

I've written about India Arie in a previous blog post (see Just do you).  The first sound that you hear on the track is the rhythmic heart beat, which is symbolic for me as it makes me think about how despite all of the turmoil and spirals that life puts you through, you know that you are still alive.  You know you're alive because you can still hear your heart beating, even when things seem too heavy to bear.  The style of playing in the guitar, the rhythmic plucking also makes me think about how your heart strings can be plucked from time to time when you face important emotional events, maybe even suffering emotional trauma that although you try to avoid it, you need to go through and survive as part of your emotional growth.

I have kept a secret from myself for far too long
The truth is I'm confused about where I belong
I'm not a mother or a wife and I'm living such a complicated life
And this is the life I know

My life is full in some of the most important ways

But empty in the core at the end of everyday
I lock the door, turn out the lights, and I climb into bed
And it's alright and this is the life I know

Do you keep secrets from yourself?  You're thinking - how can you keep a secret from yourself?  I guess you could call it denial, where you can't admit something to yourself out loud because if you do, then you know it's real and the weight of its living and breathing reality conflicts with how you choose to live your life - or it conflicts with the life that you want to live but are not currently living.

The important question that this song raises for me - should I settle for the life I know?

I cut the grass, take out the trash and fill the gas
In this house I'm the Mum and the Dad
What tomorrow brings I do not know
Yes I know it's unconventional
But it's the life I know

We all have a secret pain

We all have a tender place
We are born to want more
And no I'm not meant to live alone
But this is the life I know
Yes this is the life I know

You go about your normal everyday business (what you consider normal as part of your daily routine, weekly routine, the things that you have to do but can't control, the things you don't mind doing because there's nobody else to do it or the things you know you were born to do), but you've accepted the life that you know.  What's your secret pain?  Can it be healed?  Are you struggling to find your purpose in this world?  You don't know how you can connect with yourself in relation to others, having those meaningful relationships to create your own family?

All my friends are having families of their own
I'm still waiting for the perfect one to come
Almost four decades in
If I'm blessed then I've got  five more to go
And this is the life I know

Even if your friends are all moving through life's journey of settling down, having children of their own, it doesn't make you any less of a woman.  If you are happy with the life you know, then that's all that matters.  I can tell you that for myself, I never expected to be married.  I didn't grow up like most little girls dreaming of the perfect white wedding, keeping a scrapbook of what it would look like or played with dolls pretending to play "Mummies and Daddies".  I was never meant to get married as my parents never expected me to have a relationship.  The irony of an arranged marriage - the anti-thesis of an arranged marriage - the arranged unmarriage. So I got married.  5 short years and then I became a widow.  I never saw that coming.  I only knew I would be a widow 2 days before it happened.   

Sometimes it hurts like hell
But I walk away with a song and a story to tell
And this is the life I know
Yes this is the life I know
And this is the life I know. . .

As long as I have a song and a story to tell, I'll always be grateful for the life I know. . .