The odometer in my Subaru hit 150,000 miles this past week. Not really that big of a deal for a Subaru, but that car had just 50k on it when I bought it not even three years ago.
I’ve been hauling some you-know-what.
As many of you know, my life hit a reset button in February 2010 when I finally summoned the guts to leave a years-long abusive relationship.
I had years of living to catch up on. I’ve been writing, recording, performing, traveling, exploring, breathing the free air deeply. The Sube has made two cross-country journeys and dozens of other shorter (yet still pretty decent-sized) trips to places like: San Diego, Phoenix, Chicago, New Orleans, Reno, Tampa Bay, The Grand Canyon, Houston, Las Cruces, Nashville, Flagstaff, Niagara Falls, Moab, Boston, Las Vegas, St. Louis.
I show no signs of easing up. Next month, the Sube will be bringing me and Shawn to Rhode Island, Maryland, NYC. Adventures in Asheville and New Orleans await us later this spring, then New York state again this summer, Long Island and upstate NY in the fall.
I’ve done more and experienced more in the last four years than I did in the previous thirty.
Am I running away from my past – or running towards a brighter future?
It’s a question with which I have occasionally grappled, and there is no definitive answer.
Sure, yes – I admit that part of me is running, full bore, from being trapped in a situation from which I saw no easy exit. And yes, I am running with my arms outstretched towards a future that is much brighter when compared to the life I was previously living.
The challenge for me, though, has been to do neither of these things and instead to simply enjoy each of these new adventures in the moment, without any reference to the past or to the future.
Easier said than done.
It takes a while to sweat out all the poisons.
My ex said, for instance, that recording and releasing music was very “ego-centric” and “not very community-minded.” In the time since I left him, I’ve recorded and released three new CDs and, because of it, I’ve widened my circle of friends, of community, indeed, of family.
Even in my own kitchen, when I do something as innocent as closing the crisper drawer with my socked foot instead of bending down to do it by hand, I sometimes catch myself thinking, “My ex would kill me if he ever caught me doing this.” Indeed, he did catch me doing that once and he screamed at me unmercifully.
Why I stayed as long as I did will always haunt me, but it doesn’t have to define me. Certainly I’ll be exploring it in my songwriting for years to come.
What does the future hold for someone like me? Sometimes I feel like I’m late to the party – 38 years old and just now attempting in a demonstrable way to break into a business that is dominated by people so young that I could have given birth to any one of them.
As ever, I pay very little attention to trends. I love what I love, with all my heart, and share it with others whom I hope love it too.
This moment, right now, the one in which I’m communicating all of this to you, is the only one I have, that you have.
Yes, I am wounded – aren’t we all? – but I am healing – as I hope we all are – and despite those wounds, I am hopeful, excited even, for what lies ahead. Yes, I have a tremendous amount of love to share with this beautiful and uncertain world.
So, let’s rack up some more miles, then.