“…I’m Hemingway with a shot of whiskey. I’m a TV dinner on a tray trying to figure out the Wheel of Fortune. I’m a Texaco star, I’m a Gibson guitar. I’m still a teenage kid trying to go too far. I’m a jukebox waiting in a neon bar for a quarter…”
Lemme just be really honest here. It’s taking every ounce of self-restraint in my body NOT to write every single one of the lyrics to that song up there! If you haven’t heard it, it’s Keith Urban’s new one and it’s called John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16. And it’s…to say it’s fantastic doesn’t do it justice. To tell you that I’ve probably listened to it 200 times in the past two weeks may be an understatement,. It’s pretty much the song that all other songs wanna be. Okay, okay so maybe that’s not 100 % accurate but the writers? Josh Osborne, Shane McAnally, and Ross Copperman? They outdid themselves. It’s catchy and quirky. Tongue-in-cheek and mischievous. Absolutely pure of heart and completely describes everything inside me that I could never articulate myself.
It did something else though. Yep, it did a little more than just rock my world and become the official song of the summer of 2015. It made me think about my last blog post.
You know the one, right? If you haven’t read it (and really, you totally should because it’s effing amazing) here’s a link to it. (For real. Just click on the word “link” back there. It’ll take ya’ right to it!) It pretty much talks about the dream we all have about running away to the beach and how unless we figure out exactly the kind of life we want, we’ll just end up being discontented in a different environment. Pretty much, it calls everybody (myself included) out for blaming external factors instead of ourselves when our life feels icky to us.
What I realized while listening to Mr. Urban about fifty times in a row the first day I discovered this song was that unless we know WHO we are, we’re never gonna know what we want our life to look like.
Just like I said in that previous blog post (For real, your need to go read it. I curse a little in it but it’s nothing too scandalous and really, if it isn’t at least a little irreverent then it’s not me.) I have this dream of running away to the beach. Just clicking my heels and ending up in a tiny bungalow with the warm ocean breeze ruffling my hair as I effortlessly write my book. And play guitar. And have absolutely no desire to shop online. My ambitions- to paraphrase another country crooner a little bit- for the finer things in life would fade with every wave. I’d be content. Joyful. Relaxed. Free and easy. The thing is, THAT’S NOT ME. I can’t play the guitar worth a crap and while I enjoy having written, the process of writing feels like someone’s pulling my guts out through my belly button. If I ran away to that life permanently, I’d be just as discontent as where I started.
So the bigger question is, if that’s NOT me, then who the crap am I?
I’m not talking about the ole’ “I’m a wife, I’m a husband, I’m a fork-lift operator, I train monkeys” kind of definitions of ourselves that we we love to fall back on. I’m talking about who we are deep down on the inside. Who we REALLY are. Like imagine if all of the external factors of our lives were stripped away from us and the core of us was left exposed. Who would THAT be? I’m not talking about titles or accomplishments. I’m not talking about how others describe us. I’m talking about if our bodies were replaced with descriptive words that blazed around us, what would those words be?
I’m not gonna lie. Thinking about that scares me. In all honesty though, it scares me less now that I’ve spent some time with that song up there. Maybe it sounds a little crazy. There’s a good chance I AM a little crazy but there’s something about the lyric and the melody “I’m a TV dinner on a tray trying to figure out the Wheel of Fortune” that just…it just…it gets me. GETS. ME. It IS me. It took me a little while to figure out why it resonated so strongly with me. I knew I liked it. I knew it made me smile but until I really thought about it, I didn’t truly understand why.
See, I’m the nice girl, the good girl, who mortified her parents by getting tattoos. Not teeny little delicate ones either. I’m the responsible girl who almost FUBAR’d her marriage by having an affair and it’s ONLY because of the grace and love of JC (That’s what I call Jesus. We’re tight like that.) that I didn’t. I’m the girl- okay, the WOMAN, I guess- who had this crazy idea to start her own business with absolutely no business training at all and no idea where it would take her. I’m scared. I’m vulnerable. I wanna succeed so damn much I can’t hardly stand it. I’m irreverent, sensitive and sarcastic. I’m a fixer and a dreamer. And terrified of being high-maintenance. I’m amazing at what I do but secretly worry I’m not good enough. I’m a recovering people-pleaser. I say yes too much. I’m equally terrified of failure and success. I think spray cheese is delicious. I lead with funny instead of smart. I probably self-sabotage more than I’d like to admit. I love to laugh and problem-solve. I wanna be a hero. I wanna be rescued. I’m plain and complicated.
“I’m a TV dinner on tray trying to figure out the Wheel of Fortune.”
Now maybe that makes absolutely no sense to you. Maybe you have absolutely no idea how that lyric could be my perfect description of myself. And you may be right! From where I’m sittin’ though, on the inside of myself, it’s dead on. And the life that I have? The life that I’m building? It’s gotta line up with that or I’m never going to find contentment. If I don’t honor who I am on the inside then I’m always gonna be draggin’ around weight that isn’t mine to carry. A LIFE that isn’t mine to live.
So what does that mean for you? I mean, why do you care? Why should you pay any attention to me at all?
I see a lot of people with a lot of stuff that does absolutely nothing to enhance their lives. I see people struggling to reconcile their outer surroundings with their inner self and their inner self with their outer surroundings all the damn time. I see people struggle with knowing what they don’t want their lives to be like while having absolutely no idea what they DO want their lives to be like. I see people trying to dig out from under a load of C.R.A.P. and finally be free. I see people trying to fill themselves up with C.R.A.P. that they’re not sure is right for them. And I see people finally figure it out. I see them blossom and radiate joy. I see them embrace the self they’ve always wanted to be. Embrace the life they’ve always wanted to have. Realize that EVERYONE is a work in progress and always will be!
And it’s amazing. And totally worth all the work it takes to get there. And that’s what I want for you.