No, This Is Not About COVID


Last night, I was on the phone with a friend.  She asked me, “I saw your Facebook post about your blog. Have you found time to write?”

I sheepishly remembered that just a week ago, I had publicly declared I would start blogging again.  “Hm, that’s my intention.  But I’m not sure how I’m actually going to do it,” I replied. Then I came up with a dozen reasons why it’s probably not going to happen.

In between my many roles in life, how am I actually going to find time to do the thing I really enjoy?  The one thing outside of my work that I feel I have any talent in.  How do I make time to write?

How does a mother make time to do anything that she enjoys?  No, I don’t mean that raising a child is not joyful.  But it’s nice to have something that’s all your own.  Something independent of your child or your spouse or your house.

I make excuses. But the truth is that I want to write. I need to write.

And the only way this is going to happen in my life is to become comfortable with people reading my unfiltered, barely edited, grammatically jumbled words.  Scribble in your journal type of writing. There is no other way.  Sorry, I am not going to pull a Glennon-Doyle-style weeklong escapade to write a best-selling book.

Every day, I have to make time to pull ONE trail of thought out of the millions that swirl inside my cranium—and pull it apart—and lay it on this digital piece of paper.  So here goes attempt #1.

Last night, I had one of those bizarre dreams about being back in high school with people who haven’t crossed my mind in 15 years.  The dream ended with me belching out the tune of Third Eye Blind’s “Blinded (When I See You)”.  One of my favorite songs EVER.

Third Eye Blind is my favorite musical group of all time.  I’ve listened to them since I was 12.  And I go through phases of my life where I like to listen to them a lot.

12.  I had borrowed the CD from my cousin (?) when I went on my first trip back to my home country Vietnam.  Riding on the back of a motorbike with the wind combing my hair, there was no better song than “Motorcycle Driveby” to explain how I felt during that time in my life.  Puberty unleashed a deep emotional emptiness that I had not really recognized prior.

“I’ve never felt so alone…and I’ve never felt so alive.”  It’s hard to know if 3EB’s songs described my reality at 12 or helped to construct it. Or both happening simultaneously.  I just know it was one of the first times in my life where I realized how music could so beautifully capture the ups and downs of living. Stephen Jenkins sang about experiences that were very far from my reality—overdosing, a dying partner, and suicidal tendencies—but I loved learning about these human experiences through his music at a young age.

23/24. This was another major stage in my life.  I was living in Berkeley, had just graduated from college but was slowly realizing I was meant to go down another path in terms of my romantic relationship as well as my career.  At this time, I started listening to their newer albums “Ursa Major” and “Out of the Vein”.  The music had a darker tone to it and it reflected how I felt during that time.  Confused and at a crossroads.

27. I was at a new stage in life. I had just gotten married and finished graduate school. I heard that they were coming to town and my husband bought us tickets to see them at the House of Blues.  We went 2 hours early and got to stand a feet away from the front of the stage.  It was one of the best experiences of my life, listening to my favorite songs sung directly to me.  I am hesitant to see them again in concert—the first time is always the best and I don’t want to wipe away any of the joy from the first concert.

34. That’s how old I am now.  This morning, I spent the morning chatting with my friend about metaphysics and all kinds of interesting topics.  He shared with me a spiritual teaching he had heard—a very simple one—”do what brings you joy.”  I don’t remember the larger context of that conversation.  But I remembered that phrase when I was at home, cooking dinner, my neck very tense, with my 5 year old trying to ram herself into my ear. All I wanted to do was hide away in a cave and be alone.

I opened my Tidal app and searched for the song that played in my dream.  It’s been a while since I last listened to 3EB.  My daughter saw me dancing to this music she does not understand and thought it was amusing.  She wanted to dance too.

The music reminded me of how much I’ve grown in the last 22 years when I first started listening to 3EB.  It was nice to remember why I fell in love with these songs in the first place.

How can music be packed with so many memories and emotions?  What an amazing thing.