David Byrne wasn’t kidding around. How many times have we all just stopped, looked around and wondered, “My God, what have I done?” or, “Am I right, or am I wrong?” How many times have we uttered to ourselves with self-disapproval, accompanied by a full on head shake, “Same as it ever was… same as it ever was.” One thing is for sure- there IS water on the bottom of the ocean. And the hopeful advice at the end of the song holds true- “Time isn’t holding us, time isn’t after us, time isn’t holding us, time doesn’t hold you back.”
This song, oddly, has been a good luck song for me over the years. Whenever I hear it, I know whatever I’m worrying about is nothing to worry about at all. This was first brought to my attention when I was in high school, stressing out over my first leading role in the musical, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” I hadn’t heard it for a LONG time on the radio. It was well out of rotation for years at that point, but there it was, just when I was stressing out the most. It made me smile. Byrne’s delivery is comical, but has such depth. It made me forget for 3.5 minutes about my fears. Of course, those fears crept back up on me about the show. “My God, what have I done?” Then I heard it again. Different station. I felt like someone was trying to tell me something, as I hadn’t heard that song for so many years, and here it was twice in a matter of hours. I aced my show and was elated. The next day, before show number 2, I started freaking out again. You guess what song I heard again- Once in a Lifetime. I aced the second show and learned a few things along the way about what I wanted out of my life.
“Time isn’t holding us, time isn’t after us, time doesn’t hold you back…”
I have never lived my life by a timeline.
While I know this was frustrating for my parents, both teachers who saw nothing but promise and talent in me, I just wasn’t willing to go the path of most of my friends. I was not interested in school, though I did give it the old college try. Literally. In two years, after I completed all my music theories along with some other key courses I wanted to take, I realized that all I wanted to do was play music. Music has always been the driving force in my life, and I have done everything to this day to support and protect that. I have worked a semi-professional job for all these years to support myself and for health insurance. I have excelled at my job, but in my heart it is the sideline. A place I have to be right now. I never jumped around from job to job because I figured I’d never be fully invested in any conventional job I might have. What did it matter? “Same as it ever was.” While I have gone through many bouts of feeling mundane, it has been a very flexible job that has served my higher purpose. I have been able to cultivate projects, play in some the best area venues, play a good deal up and down the east coast, record albums, become a studio musician for hire, make good money at what I love doing. Amazing. Now only if it were a little more steady!
I spent my 20’s and much of my 30’s living life and having fun. Flitting here and there, networking, playing music, having tons of fun, but being loyal to my job. I had a few long-term relationships, but took a 2 year break from dating anyone. I wrote and wrote and wrote. Journaling, for me, has been an amazing tool for figuring it all out. So has songwriting. In my early 30’s I started to get more serious about music as a viable career choice. I was making almost as much at music than I was at my regular job. When I was 36, I bought a house, all by myself. I was a success. Finally. “My God, what have I done?” I don’t know if I was more proud or more scared to death!
A true GenX-er, I had been putting off the growing up for quite some time. It was the first step I took to being a “normal person”. I laugh, because I’m still far from “normal”. But by buying the house I started thinking about letting other things in that maybe I’d kept at arms length before. The possibility of a real adult relationship- and maybe children someday. I’d always said, “I don’t know, maybe someday….” in regards to those things. 3 years later I’m married and pregnant for the first time. The little boy who is currently kicking the crap out of my lower abdomen will be born in June. “How did I get here?” I’m sure my son will be asking himself the same question soon enough.
Well that’s a little about my background. Now on the fun stuff!!!