A Song For You

 I’ve been so many places in my life and time; I’ve sung a lot of songs, I made some bad rhymes. I acted out my life in stages with ten thousand people watching, but we are alone now and I’m singing this song to you.

I love music. Before books became my link to reality, music was my escape. Give me a good beat, a great rhythm, a helpless crooner, a haunting melody and you have me hook, line, and sinker. The thing that ties me and music together is our determination. Music, no matter what genre, is created to attract, inspire, motivate, encourage, and enlighten. Have you ever listened to the words? Looked up the lyrics? Sought out all the works of the same artist/ writer? Whether you download, buy, bootleg, or scan the radio, music is earnest and purposeful.

I live my life with the same persistence that music used to bewitch me. I went to college after turning 16. I came there with a four-year plan drafted in ink and color coded. I think I even laminated it… It didn’t matter that I went to four different high schools, I still graduated in three years. It didn’t matter that the guidance counselor in high school told me that I would never get into Georgetown. It didn’t matter that the undergraduate advisor never approved my plan, I was determined.  I graduated at 20, after spending a year in Niger and four months in Russia; it took me almost 5 years to finish my degree. People said it couldn’t be done. The money was never there. The encouraging words were few and far between. The love of my family was all I needed. And I graduated, with honors in Russian.

The problem was and still is the after graduation plan. I knew I wanted to work abroad, and since I thought I left my heart in Niger (more on that later), I was determined to return. Too bad life isn’t this picture perfect production put on by MGM studios. No one wanted to hire me. Not enough work experience in my field (umm hello I lived abroad!); Not enough language skill (see afore-mentioned comment).  Too many unreturned phone calls and emails. I sent out my resume like a lost child on a milk carton. No response and no family nest egg to settle back on.

I conceded to the never-ending stack of bills and the dogged calls by Sallie Mae. 9-5 here I come, dreams on the back burner. Am I satisfied? Not in the least. I can’t even be slightly contented because this is not what I slaved away to accomplish.  I gotta find peace of mind, I’ve gotta find peace of mind. He says it’s impossible, but I know its possible (Lauryn Hill).   “Oh honey you still have time!”, “Oh but you’re still so young!” I know people mean well when they say this, but time doesn’t stand still. Life isn’t guaranteed. If I don’t start now I’ll forever be the hopeless dreamer, living in the fantasy of my songs; acting out my life in stages with thousands of people watching my wasted potential. In 2009, so many amazing people lost their lives, from celebrities to personal acquaintances. As I mourn their loss, I also realize that life is precious and I can continue living paycheck to paycheck or I can take a chance.

It is so easy to get caught  up in the routine and watch life pass you by, resigning yourself to the fact that life is nothing more than the present. But I want a future. I want the American Dream, Manifest Destiny, the rags to riches story with my name in the byline. I have a few ideas about what I want to do: travel journalist, international social worker, entrepreneur (hostels/ bed & breakfasteer), bee keeper, journalist… who knows?

 Now I’m so much better, and if my words don’t come together listen to the melody because my *future* is in there hiding.

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