Do you remember where you were when you heard that song? The song that must have been written for you because it grabs you and won’t let you go until it’s ripped through your soul?
I doubt it’s coincidence that music often hits me in this manner during turbulent times. That was the case with the Counting Crows which made the 2.5 hour drive from Ogden to Rock Springs less dreary by taking my mind off my crumbling marriage.
After the chips had fallen and papers signed, I was left with my computer, a cat and a 20-inch television that was wedged up against the wall because the broken stand alone wasn’t enough to keep it off the floor.
The speakers attached to my computer were so weak that I tuned my TV to MTV in order to listen to music while I typed away in the dark. But these were not happy times. I was 900 miles away from my family, I barely earned enough money to afford a one bedroom apartment in Seattle, and I had no idea where life was taking me.
I knew it would take a while to get back back on my feet. I decided to start working out each morning. I’d slip on my running shoes at 6 am and head towards Volunteer Park. It’s not uncommon to run through mist in Seattle, and I didn’t realize how wet my clothes were until I stopped to rest a few blocks from home.
Yellow earphones hung around my neck that were connected to an FM radio. As I was about ready to remove them, I heard a piercing harmonica followed by this woman’s voice that felt like a slap across the face.
But it was this lyric that stopped me in my tracks:
And what it all boils down to
Is that no one’s really got it figured out just yet
When the song finished, the DJ mentioned the name of the song which I didn’t catch. Luckily, he mentioned the track was off the Jagged Little Pill album. On my way to work I walked by Westlake Center and bought the CD.
That’s what good music does. It compels you to buy it now. Not tomorrow, but right now.
That night I slipped the CD into my car’s player and headed east up I90 towards North Bend. I listened to Hand in My Pocket over and over. The lyrics were spot on. Over time, I began to see that I wasn’t as bad off as I’d thought. When I looked around, others were struggling. I wasn’t the only one who was confused. And that gave me hope.
What it all comes down to, my friends
Is that everything’s just fine fine fine
It took a while but I eventually began putting the pieces together, and my life began to take shape again.
When this song comes around today on my iTunes playlist, it takes me back to that misty Seattle morning where a young man stood soaked to bone wondering if his future was as bleak as the weather.
Yet I’m more optimistic today knowing that nobody really has it all figured out.