Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Waiting for my real life to begin

Sometimes when I work, I need something to tune out the crazy lady that shouts in a cubicle near mine. Her voice, at times, grates on my nerves like the sound of cats mating in an alley. While four year olds try to learn to whistle. And Nickleback songs play. Basically, it's like all the sounds I hate most at once.

Anyway, when those times of clarity are needed, I find myself streaming music to my computer, which I should mention is Not Allowed at work. But I can't help it. The site I pick is Pandora and the great thing about them is that when you put in an artist's name that you like, it will try to pick artists that sound like the first one you like. It's been a great way to discover new bands and songs.

So yesterday, I heard Colin Hay's "Waiting For My Real Life To Begin" for the umpteenth time. I probably haven't heard that song in years, so it was a treat. I've always loved that song. It's soft, strangely calming, and melancholy. For those that are interested to hear it, you can click below to hear the song (if you're reading this via Google Reader or some other RSS feed, you may actually have to come to my page to hear it).

But this time, in the middle of all the crap I had to do just then, it really hit me...the lyrics and the message.

I can read the lyrics (which are below) and think that Colin Hay probably wrote the song wistfully thinking of his second chance to make it big. Sure, he was the lead singer for the 80s band Men at Work, but that success was fleeting. The song (to me) is about a guy who is hoping for his luck to change - for his ship to come in - and is counting on that to happen. When it does? Why THAT is when his real life will begin.

The guy in the song? That's me.

How many times have we said to ourselves, "I'll do THAT when I'm skinny." THAT could be run a half marathon, learn how to perform a striptease without giggling like a nincompoop, eat organic food, go on a date, get married, sky dive, or play with your kids.

But I realized something when I listened to the song yesterday. I may not be waiting to do things until I'm skinny, but I am waiting for life to just be easier. I'm waiting for my luck to change - for the clouds to open, sunlight to shine down, and for things to just not have to be so hard. Surely all of this hard work that has gone into my dieting the past 20 years is WORTH some reward, right?

But as I read the lyrics, and listened to the song, I wondered what would happen if his plan didn't pan out? He'd be this guy, checking to see if his ship came in - always hopeful and disappointed. The tragedy is that he wouldn't have lived his life as it is now. He wouldn't have let the light shine in, have opened up his heart - perhaps to new possibilities. He would never have lived in the present.

As much as it pains me to admit it, this is me.

I'm self conscious of my jiggling thighs, protruding belly, saggy boobs, and creaky knees. My hair can get greasy easily and is painfully straight. It frizzes in the rain. My eyes have dark circles under them. When I look in the mirror, I think "You have GOT to do something about the way you look." Unconsciously, I tell myself that my zits will disappear, my hair will be soft, shiny, and manageable. Joe would propose, my wedding pictures would be beautiful, and I would finally get paid what I am worth...all only if I could just get rid of these next 50 pounds.

Well, no more.

I don't know about you, but I'm ready to start unpacking the baggage that I've had since I was a kid. I'm ready to leave behind the taunting words of kids that didn't know better. I'm ready to release the old ghosts. Sure, I have goals, but I'm missing NOW by always thinking of my wedding day, the awe of us expecting kids, the pleasure that I'll feel when I can tell my boss to take this job and shove it - along with countless other joys that I hope to experience.

My life won't be complete or easier in some distant day. It's complete now. Unfortunately, NOW is as easy as it's ever going to be.

I'm no longer waiting for my real life to begin. It starts today. It starts now. And even when pain and sorrow come, I'll address it head on by FEELING my feelings - no matter how difficult. Life may be difficult, but I can live in the now to experience it and then move on.

So watch out world, because here I come - flawed as I may be.

Starting today, I'm going to live my life as authentically as I can...in the present, in the now.

Any minute now my ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
And I'll stand on the bow
And feel the waves come crashing
Come crashing down, down, down on me

And you said,"Be still, my love
Open up your heart
Let the light shine in"
Don't you understand?
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

When I awoke today suddenly nothing happened
But in my dreams I slew the dragon
And down this beaten path
And up this cobbled lane
I'm walking in my own footsteps once again

And you say,"Just be here now
Forget about the past
Your mask is wearing thin"
Let me throw one more dice
I know that I can win
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

Any minute now my ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
And I'll check my machine
There's sure to be that call
It's gonna happen soon, soon, oh so very soon
It's just that times are lean

And you say,"Be still, my love
Open up your heart
Let the light shine in"
Don't you understand?
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin


McCulley's said...

We all need to live in the now and take it a minute at a time. I think we all try to leap into the next month before we even really get into the one we are in. Thank you for the reminder.

Marion said...

What a great posting. I have been feeling a lot the same as you have. I am going to start living too!!

Lesia said...

great message. Never heard that song before but I listened and sang along with the lyrics. I agree it could have been me too.smile.

Debbie said...

I use to think if I lost the weight everything would be better. I would feel better, look better and life would be great. Life is great now I just needed to see that. I liked your blog and could really relate to it.

Katy said...

First of all, you had me at Nickleback. Ugh, hate that band. Second, I can so relate to this post. We're all just waiting for our reality to change, while we waste away our days. Time to stop that...and we both know it takes hard work. Like we just emailed about.

Misspudding said...

Great post.

I never heard that song, by the way. Great choice.

Missa said...

I am so ready. Let's just jiggle and giggle and kick some tail!


Lanie Painie said...

I'm with ya sistah! Let's get rid of the baggage and MOVE ON! I'm sick of waiting and no good at it anyway. We have the power to MAKE THINGS HAPPEN! Watch out world!

Lynda with a Y said...

You put into words what most of us are feeling at one time or another, and that's why I love your blog. Tomorrow may never come. So let's live all we can today. Thanks for introducing me to a great song, too!

Margie M. said...

I posted something similar to this quite a while ago...mainly about my best friend, Margaret. I've known her for over 20 years and she has always weighed around 240 lbs. She never let her weight hold her back and I was always so impressed with that and loved her all the more for it. Even at that weight she: piloted her own small plane, sailed her own sailboat...solo or with others, went horseback riding, went snow skiing, rode bikes, was a camp counselor (volunteer), earned a B.A. and a Master's in Education, got married (even at that weight), and did so many more things. So, I urge you...Smaller Fun Pants....RUN, don't walk to this new life you want to have. You've earned it, you deserve it.

Margie M. writes at:

Joy said...

Such a great post - thank you!! I am right with you. I'm ready to live!!! Hugs

LouLou said...

Excellent. Have you read Shapely Prose and her "The Fantasy of Being Thing?" Do it, if you haven't. SERIOUSLY.

AutumnAirz said...

I love this song so much, and I pulled it up on my iTunes as I read your post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It was a great reminder for me.