The song starts playing at the café where I usually spend my Fridays, this new coffee shop that is right around the corner from my house and has an awesome selection of coffee, ISN’T Starfucks, and is the equivalent of my “Bigfoot Lodge”, only without the alcohol. Which is probably good, considering if it did, I might never leave. EVER.
This café, they have a feed of music that has a great variety, often rewarding my guilty pleasure of pop music with a little Sarah McLachlan or Tracy Chapman or – dare I admit it – U2. I mean, we all need a little “All I Want Is You” to realize that somewhere, someone should feel that way about you, and you shouldn’t settle for anything less. That, or perhaps Bono was full of shit, just like the rest of you. Jaded much, Aubrey?
So I find myself listening to lyrics, and – as always – overanalyzing them, since they often are so very fitting for the current situation I’m in. It’s as if the gods of music sent that song directly to me, a not-so-subtle hint to open my eyes, to realize what I’m doing wrong and to just listen. I love those taps on the shoulder, those “a-ha!” moments when you feel like the song was written just for you, just for right this second, just so you could glean a little bit of wisdom from it. It makes you feel like someone out there has also felt what you’re feeling, adding a touch of validation to whatever inane situation you are finding yourself in right now.
As of late, I’ve been very affected by sappy love songs; that’s not to say I’m usually immune to them, especially since if we know anything, we know I’m a romantic at heart, as socially unacceptable as that may be. But for some reason, I’ve not just been affected, I’ve been Affected, similar to the way people are Affected by those they care about in an active, as opposed to passive, sense. This music, it is Affecting me. Greatly.
The songs that are making me perk up my ears run the gamut of formats, genres, voices, etc. What they have in common is the fact that they’re all about love to some extent, though I suppose that could be said for the majority of any of the songs ever written. It’s as if in our quest for the meaning of life the songwriters have realized that we already really know what it’s all about: Love. That, or the fact that it’s the common thread that weaves together generations and cultures and men and women and sells records. Perhaps that.
I’m a cynic; usually, I hear a man crooning about unrequited love and I think “Yeah, right. As if you really feel that way. You just want to get laid, douchebag.” Me? Jaded? Never. But lately, it’s like something has changed, a subtle shift. Sure, I still get that initial knee-jerk jadedness, but I also get a concurrent feeling of hope, of the fact that maybe that IS possible, that love and romance does exist out there and I should be more open to it. That maybe someone out there hears “All I Want is You” and thinks of me. I mean, it’s possible, right?
What I find to be so interesting, however, as I’m acknowledging that I could possibly softening in my cynical views, I find myself pushing actual romantic opportunities away. It’s like I’m opening myself up to the possibility in theory only when, at the same time, I’m closing myself off to the possibility of something more. For the first time in a while, there are people that are awesome and genuine and fun and stimulating expressing interest in me and while part of me feels like THIS is what I’ve been waiting for, acknowledges that THIS is what I deserve, I find myself having no interest in it whatsoever. Defense mechanism? It’s possible; like most of you, I don’t do vulnerable very well. But I feel like it’s something more, and this dichotomy of feelings vs. actions intrigues me. I want to understand this contradiction.
It may have something to do with living through my own – and my friends’ – pain as of late. I see them getting hurt by people’s callousness, by the insensitivity of others; find myself still recovering from wounds inflicted too long ago, surprising me in their depth and severity. I know that love takes a risk, that moving forward can require a sacrifice you didn’t ever think you’d be willing to make, and we do this on good faith that hopefully it’s worth it. Because I firmly believe that whole “’tis better to have loved” BS that “they” hope we’ll take as gospel because after the tears have dried, you’ve at least learned something. The heart is a muscle, after all, and like in exercising ANY muscle, the way you build up strength is by actually creating little tears in the muscle, and the growth occurs by the healing of these tears. In relationships and love, you grow not from the happiness but from the heartache. And yet somewhere, hidden way down under many, many layers of optimism and openness, I must inherently believe that it’s NOT worth it, acquiescing perhaps to my greatest fear that there’s no guarantee that I’ll ever find what I’m looking for or that perhaps when I do, I’ll realize that I didn’t want what I thought I did.
Is that what’s happening here? Am I too close for comfort, finding myself pushing everything away out of fear that I’m going to be disappointed – again? When you finally get what you want, do you realize that you no longer want it? Or am I just a girl who thinks too much, feels too much, loves too much and hurts too much that she’s become numb to it all and this constant contemplation is all I have to make sure I’m still feeling, the proverbial “pinch in the arm” to make sure you’re still alive? Until I figure that out, I suppose I’ll still be here, working towards the time when it all makes sense and I can, with conviction, admit what I want and say “The End, Love, Aubrey.”