Over the Labor Day holiday weekend some friends and I went to my roommate’s parent’s cabin in Shaver Lake. First, Shaver Lake is about 45 minutes east of Fresno. Second, when I say cabin I really mean mansion. It was one of the most beautiful homes I have ever seen. Tammy, the lady of the house, intentionally thought of every little detail she put into that house. Anything a home could need was accounted or, even the basket of cleaning supplies she leaves in every bathroom and showers that are outfitted with matching shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. This attention to detail allows her guests to spend a carefree weekend worrying about nothing more than how they wanted to spend the next couple of hours. It was the perfect relaxing weekend; we went to the lake, I took naps in a hammock, and we ate ice cream from the local ice cream shop. I rested.
Shaver is a good three hours from where I live so my car mates and I listened to some really great music to and from the Daily cabin. We sang along with Brice Avery, grooved along with Fleetwood Mac, and contemplated the words of David Crowder. During those hours in the car I feel in love with my musical collection all over again. I wanted to hear more and more of it. I was so excited that on my drive into the office my first day back I grabbed a cd, rather than listening to NPR.
Now, this is the time for me to give a disclaimer about how much I love NPR. It’ll be quick, so bear with me. NPR has saved me over the last year. When I feel disconnected from the world around me, NPR helps me to know what is going on. When I have to make conversation with an awkward IT consultant, it provides topics of conversation. It helps me to feel informed about different parts of the world and it distracts me when I feel the need to pull my hair out of my head because I’m going 15 mph on the FREEWAY! Needles to say, it holds a special place in my heart.
Saying that, over the last year I have dived headfirst into my love for local public radio. It has been all that I listen to while driving to and from work. I even listen to it in the evening because there is always an interesting program to hear. I became so devoted to NPR that I disconnected from the music I love so much. I don’t want to make it seem as though I am being overly dramatic in describing my relationship with my music, but music is a very powerful thing. People choose music that correlates with their mood and then apply the lyrics to their own lives. Couples spend hours, days, or weeks deciding what song perfectly reflects their love for one another. And people will choose a song to represent various stages of their life. Music is so intertwined in human existence that we cannot ignore its connection.
I hadn’t realized the size of the hole that was left from the lack of listening until it was re-introduced into my daily commute. Over the last two weeks I have soaked in every lyric I can get my hands on, having a cd playing in my car constantly. I haven’t listened to NPR for over an hour in the last two weeks, and this is a big deal considering I spend almost two hours in my car everyday. One album that has experienced more speaker time than others has been “Of Men and Angels” by The Rocket Summer. The Rocket Summer (TRS) is a band my husband introduced to me while we were dating and that I have followed every since. Over the last seven years Brice Avery’s musical transformation has been apparent in his music. Each album is similar to the one before it, but its style varies enough to where my untrained ear can spot the difference. His lyrics are honest, transparent, and real; he has an ability to connect with his audience in a very humble way. In his latest album his sings of passions and pursuing what he loves to do. This has been inspiring.
Settling into a 9-6 job has been difficult for me, to say the least. I feel as though I am missing out on my life and what the world has to offer. I am terrified that I am going to wake up when I’m 30 and regret that I never took advantage of my youth and really pursued what I cared about. Identifying my passions and how to pursue them is a completely separate post, but it is still a fear I carry with me daily. Not all hope is lost; I have been rejuvenated over the last two weeks. Listening to Brice’s struggles, fears, and courage to step out in faith has inspired me to do the same. I am no longer feeling as though I am trapped, but rather that my daily routine is a means to an end. Don’t get me wrong, I am so fortunate to have a job and to be able to have freedoms this job provides. For example, I have fun things planned for every single Saturday during the months of September and October. If I had an unconventional job, I would not be able to take those Saturdays off. I have evenings free to read, write, paint, go on dates with my husband, or veg out with my roommates.
This newfound inspiration is still new and I am still trying to form my ideas into actions. I don’t have all of my ideas ironed out, but I do have ideas. There are days where I feel trapped, but I have hope that these feelings are only temporary.