So I left for my work trip Monday afternoon, settled into the car and plugged my phone in so I could listen to some music. About an hour into the trip I realized that each song had some significance in my life and as I thought more about it I determined that they all applied to one of three important relationships I have had in my life.
These three relationships are my defining moments and made me who I am. They are how I came to be the person I am today. Of course one of those defining relationships is with my husband, but the story begins many many years before I met him.
The summer after I graduated from HS I met this guy. He was fun, interesting, different and sweet. He was my first real relationship, one where we had real ups and downs and experienced life as adults. He was a great introduction into the real world, he helped me define myself, he let me try on so many hats to see which fit best and allowed me to be creative and adventurous. I explored the world and myself, learned about who I wanted to become and made a million mistakes. I learned so much from that relationship and while I was sad when it ended, I left so much stronger, wiser, and confident because of who I became within the safety of that cocoon. The songs I associate with that relationship are all about dreaming, thinking, being and loving yourself. They are songs of youthful daydreams and finding oneself, and when I hear them I think back on a much younger me and remember all the silly fun we had, and the feeling that the world was at my fingertips.
After we broke up, the next major relationship was when I was a few years into college. It was hard and intense. Everything about that time makes my shoulder hunch up a bit and gives me a knot in my stomach. This was the relationship where I laid it all out, I was in with both feet and wanted it to go somewhere. I wanted there to be a future, but there wasn't and it was for the best although i couldn't see that at the time. I said it was intense, which is an understatement, it was also so incredibly draining...we were either head over heels and all over each other or ready to kill each other. There was no comfortable spot, there was no safe place to fall and the pain was very real when it ended. I left that relationship broken, truly destroyed and shattered as a result of the dynamics, the situations we dealt with, how we dealt with them and the constant ups and downs. All that confidence I had after the first relationship, the feeling of security and strength was gone and I was a sad little heap on the floor. Those were hard, hard times for me. My darkest days. The next year was spent just trying to put myself back together and finish school. The songs from those times are sad and angry, they make me want to cry out and wish I could remove some of the really bad memories. I hear them and I feel so sad for the young me, so sad for how I felt and that I allowed myself to get so very hurt by it all.
Interestingly enough during that time my ex from the first relationship and I were friends and I swear he saved me from myself. He was my date to my sister's wedding just months after the horrific break up so I didn't have to go alone and face everything and everyone. He made me laugh so I didn't feel all the pain and sadness. I would go over to his house and just sit on the couch with him, and he made me feel OK again. That friendship made me feel worthwhile again, made me feel like I was going to be OK and that I was lovable and would find my way.
About a year after the horrible break up, my now husband and I struck up a friendship at work, then started dating. He was going to be my rebound, my toe in the dating pool, my re-entry into the world, but somehow he was my beginning and end. We had a rough go the first few years, but we both decided that the other one was worth fighting for, worth holding onto, worth loving regardless of how damaged and here we are now-loved, happy, supported and strong. The songs that remind me of my husband are the love songs, the strong songs, the safe and secure in your arms songs, because I am home with him.