"Tell Me Something Good”
The Rocket Summer
This morning I woke up with a knot in my stomach, likely because I knew that it was the beginning of my last week in Ireland. To say that I've relaxed and rejuvenated is a massive understatement, and the idea of leaving this environment almost makes me sick. That's not to say that I don't want to go home; though I'd love to be able to stay for months and months, I do have a lot to look forward to once I go back to New York.
I'm not sure why this song popped into my head today. It's a little melancholic which matched my mood, but also expressed a feeling of angst, which is a word that has become more prevalent in our vocabulary over these last two weeks. I make it known when I'm feeling angsty so that I can either be given space to breathe or given attention to help me work through it. This song made me feel that my angst was relatable, and helped me release some of it just by listening.
I think the toughest part of leaving Ireland is knowing that I'll once again be away from Ben, living with a five hour time difference, potentially conflicting schedules, and a lot of things to juggle, both individually and together. We've done it before and I know we'll be fine doing it again, but I sometimes wish we didn't have to manage all of those extra elements that come with a very long distance relationship.
Being long distance has made our communication even better, which I have to try and be grateful for. Any time I get upset or worried, I am always reminded of how much stronger this will make us and how much more special our time together becomes because of it. These things have helped me learn a lot about myself and about relationships in general. Even so, it's sad to have to leave and be apart for so long.
Day two of uneasiness this week, and today Ben was feeling it too. He has an important day tomorrow that has been wearing a bit on his mind. This has brought up some deep conversations between the two of us as well.
The topic: the future.
The future can be such a scary thing to talk about, even though I continue to remind myself, Ben, and whoever else needs the reminder that it's supposed to be exciting. On and off all day we discussed ideas, hopes, and plans for what we each want to be working towards. In the next breath, we discussed nerves, worries and feelings of insecurity about the facing so many unknowns. It’s safe to say we were both feeling a bit heavy, but it helped to be able to talk about it, put some of those fears out there, and to know that we were on the same page about a lot of it.
This song came to mind as I was trying to drift off to sleep. On one hand, it's very soothing with its melody and the vocals behind it. On the other hand, I find it to be a very sincere expression of affection. Like other songs I've been drawn to in past weeks, I love this one because it represents a strong bond between two people, a sort of unconditional appreciation and commitment to one another even through difficult times. It's perfectly representational of the conversations of these last two days.
The more we are open to talking about some more serious things, the closer I feel to him because I know that we able to understand each other and that we're on the same team. To me, this song says "we're in this together" from one person to another, which is so incredibly comforting. It makes me so emotional to hear; it's one of those songs that has always tugged on my heartstrings and has become even more special to me now for what it represents. I'll leave it at that, before I start to tear up. Lord help me when I get to the airport this weekend...
"Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think)”
If there were ever a more perfect song for a day like today after a Monday and Tuesday like I had, I don't know what it would be. I spent the afternoon with Ben's mom while he had a full day of tests and meetings. She and I ran some errands and had quite a bit of time to talk.
There are a few challenging things that she and the family have been dealing with lately as well, so she and I have spent some time talking about how to work through adversity, insecurities, and fears of the unknown. She told me that on one of her more difficult days last week, she had heard this song once in the morning, and once again later that day. She was struck by it, and took it as a sign that she needs to stop, pay attention to the positives in her life, and know when to take a break and enjoy herself.
Putting this song on, I realized I had heard it once before. Listening through it again had me chuckling. Living in the moment. Living a fulfilling life. Doing things you want to do. All of these ideas that have been circulating through my head for months and months are neatly packaged into one cheeky Doris Day song.
I've mentioned before that I love music from the 1950's, one reason being that it is so simple and straight forward. Sad songs are sad, happy songs are happy, the lyrics aren't tricky or clever, and it is easy to enjoy. I often feel like my brain is full of complicated thoughts and emotions, so I love listening to a song like this as an obvious smack in the face to enjoy myself.
Speaking of which, I decided late last night to change my return flight home so that I could go to Ben's graduation ceremony. My wallet was crying (and I almost was too), but I know that I'll look back when I'm 80 and have no regrets over spending the money because it allowed me to be around for a really special occasion. I'll earn the money back, I'll never get another chance to see Ben graduate.
Enjoy yourself, friends.
"Is This Love?"
In all honesty, this song has been coming in and out of my head for several weeks now. I downloaded it as per a recommendation on The Whatismyhealth Community Facebook page (join us!); I was already hooked on James Arthur and "Say You Won't Let Go" and pumped to check out some more of his stuff. I think he's got a great voice, and combined with this sort of anthemic love song was a good mix for me today.
It hit me early in the morning that I originally would've been getting on a plane had I not changed my flight, so it had me in really good spirits to know I have a few more days here. On top of that, today was Ben's graduation from his personal training course! I was so happy I got to be there with him, as we've already missed a lot of big occasions for one another due to logistics. I guess you could say my heart was especially full, which I feel resonates with the whole feeling of this song.
Yes, James, it is love.
Today is my last full day with Ben. Aside from the sadness and the knot in my stomach, we've done a lot of talking about the heaps of things that he and I both have to look forward to, as I mentioned earlier in the week. I'm starting a new job, will be dog-sitting for my favorite puppy nephew, and will be back in the game for searching for an art therapy job as well- on top of enjoying some summer weather, celebrating birthdays, hosting barbecues and planning Ben's visit to NY in a few months. There really is a lot going on, and I'm looking forward to starting fresh in a lot of ways.
This song sort of exemplifies those happy feelings while also giving a little wink to women everywhere who are doing what they want and enjoying themselves in the process. Making the choice to extend my trip, having set myself up with a job to return to, revamping my goals and plans for the next phase of my life- all of these things have me feeling pretty empowered and easing the blow of my trip coming to an end. "Most girls are smart and strong and beautiful. Most girls work hard, go far, we are unstoppable." I will be leaving Ireland with a new energy that makes me feel truly unstoppable. That energy plus the incredible memories I've made and time I've spent here have me feeling full and extremely grateful.
I'm left with an overwhelming feeling of love, encouragement and excitement from this week. Having support from someone you love is a feeling that can't be matched.
Stand-Out Song: "I'm Yours"
This is something I'll listen to when I'm missing Ben, Ireland and my vacation.
What song makes you remember someone special?
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