A while ago, someone sent me a link to song I’d never heard before by a guy I’d never heard of. It was a flirty and sweet sort of text, meant to make me feel pretty and hint at adventures to come. It did both of those things, but also a whole hell of a lot more.
First, it gave me a gentle nudge into country music. Or, perhaps it’s more accurate to say, back into country music.
I grew up on country. The John Denver and Kenny Rogers variety. I went through high school on pop, but also on Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood. I abandoned all that in college when I became liberal and literary and liked to imagine myself sophisticated. Because country didn’t jive with that.
But I’ve always loved the stories country songs tell. And these days, I have a lot more in common with two lane roads and dancing under the stars than popping bottles at the club. Not that I won’t always love me some Madonna and George Michael, but you know, both/and.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, it made me think about what I want, what I want my life to look like. Now, I know what you’re thinking. That’s a lot to hang on one little song.
It is. The song didn’t do it all by itself. I’ve had lots of reflecting, pondering, adventuring, and angsting along the way. But the thing about a really good song is that it can distill all that into four minutes of singable goodness. That’s what this song did. Does. Will continue to do, I imagine.
It reminds me that life is too short not to take chances, that the simple things can bring the most pleasure. It reminds me that letting go is sometimes what I need most. And, perhaps most importantly, it reminds me to surround myself with people who inspire me to be and do and feel all the things that are scary and fun and just a little reckless.
(Because, full disclosure, I don’t seem to ever have trouble being a worrying, grownup sort.)
So, here’s to dancing real slow. Flying down two-lane roads. Finding limbs to hang our clothes. And to the people who make us wanna.