The other day on my drive home from work (I have about a 35 minute drive each way now), I was listening to Spotify, as I do most of the time on my commute. Well, actually, initially I was listening to the radio in my car. I had made a stop on my way home and when I got back in the car, a song was playing that I hadn’t heard in a while – Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten”. I really like this song, and I used to listen to it a lot back when it was popular. It was kind of the theme song for a time in my life and some stuff I was involved in at that time. I used to be pretty actively involved in this training/workshop/activities called “Beyond Your Best”. It was actually a pretty big part of my life back around 2006 or so. As a part of all of their meetings and workshops, they used a lot of music. Even before that, I listened to music a lot and identified with certain songs during certain parts of my life. I think most people do. Listening to a song that seems to relate to what you are going through different times in your life seems to heighten the emotions around what you are dealing with during those times. Different songs come to remind you of different people or different time periods in your life. It’s kind of like a soundtrack for the movie that is your life, I guess. Anyway, I started thinking about it a bit more and remembering songs that have meant something to me throughout my life and thinking about what would be on my soundtrack. I thought it’d make a good blog post, so… here we go! Feel free to check out the playlist for the “soundtrack of my life” on Spotify.
Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield
Like I mentioned, this song was pretty meaningful during my Beyond Your Best (which I’ll now refer to as BYB for the remainder of this post) days. It’s a great song, and very inspiring. I love the lyrics…
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
This song became a great reminder to me that life is an unwritten book. You are the only one that can live your life, and you have a choice every day how to do that. This was one of the biggest themes of BYB, and something I strive to practice even now.
Since I’m still stuck on my BYB days, here are three more songs that were pretty important to me back then and still. If you happen to have done BYB or as they are now called, the Zarvos trainings, you know what I mean when I say these were my flight and feedback songs. They were songs that were chosen for me, and I think they are relevant and very personal to me.
True Colors – Phil Collins
She’s Got a Way – Billy Joel
Reach – Gloria Estefan
Born to Fly – Sara Evans
This one was actually someone else’s feedback song, but I liked it and thought I could related to it well, even more so now. It’s almost like this song predicted my future…
My daddy, he’s grounded like the oak tree
My momma, she is steady as the sun
Oh you know I love my folks
But I keep starin’ down the road
Just lookin’ for my one chance to run
Yep, those are my parents. And I finally got my one chance to run – all the way to Arizona. It gets better…
So I confessed my sins to the preacher
About the love I’ve been prayin’ to find
Is there a brown eyed boy in my future, yeah
He says. girl you’ve got nothin’ but time
Guess I finally found that brown-eyed boy in my future, too, huh? Actually, speaking of him, I also have relationship songs – songs that have become pretty personal to me because they seem to be talking about my own relationship.
Walkin’ Away – Diamond Rio
I’m not going to paste all the relevant lyrics from this song here, because it would be pretty much all of them. Basically, the gist of the song is that even though relationships aren’t easy and people get mad, choosing to stay means something. As the song says, “love don’t get nowhere walkin’ away”. Ricky and I, as pretty much any couple have had our ups and downs and our share of fights, but “we’ve still got it good no matter how bad it gets”. Just go listen to the song, you’ll get it.
I Won’t Give Up – Jason Mraz
This song is similar to the last one. And it’s not that I only have negative feelings about my relationship with Ricky (I definitely don’t), but songs like this remind me that when things are or do get negative, I know we both love each other and are committed to each other. And I’m grateful to know that about us, as I know that not every couple can say that.
I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up
I could really go on and on for quite a while with a list of songs that have meant something to me. Instead, I’ll just leave you the Spotify list and let you listen for yourself. But I’d be leaving out something very important if I didn’t mention the band that dominates my life soundtrack. I’ve listened to Jimmy Eat World since their album Bleed American came out (and since it was first called Bleed American). I have all of their albums and they’ve taken over my iPod since I’ve owned one. (I even got one of their lyrics engraved on my first iPod – “All I need is just to hear a song I know”.) I’ve seen them live so many times I’ve lost count and was super excited when we moved to their home city/area, especially when it meant I got to see them from a couple feet away in the very front row at a super small venue. The highlight of my night (or maybe month or year) was being given a pick from the bass player, Rick. I’ve kept it in my wallet since then.
Why is this band so important to me? I’ve long called them my favorite band. Their songs have been tracks on my soundtrack for the last 12 years and have gotten me through some life-defining moments, that’s why. Here’s a couple examples.
Hear You Me
This song… wow. To this day, I can’t listen to it or even talk about it without feeling tears filling my eyes. I hadn’t thought much of this song until my dad passed away, then it became a reminder of him every time I heard it.
What would you think of me now,
so lucky, so strong, so proud?
I never said thank you for that,
now I’ll never have a chance.
Couldn’t possibly be more appropriate, I don’t think. I’ve been told as a young adult that I look like my dad, and while I hated that at the time, I can see it. I can see ways that I’m like him personality-wise as well.
And if you were with me tonight,
I’d sing to you just one more time.
A song for a heart so big,
god wouldn’t let it live.
Ok, I gotta move on or I’m gonna end up with the water works flowing over here.
As much as I get sick of hearing this song (it’s by far their most popular or well-known, at least), it still remains a theme song of mine.
Hey, don’t write yourself off yet
It’s only in your head you feel left out or looked down on.
Just try your best, try everything you can.
And don’t you worry what they tell themselves when you’re away.
It just takes some time, little girl you’re in the middle of the ride.
Everything will be just fine, everything will be alright.
Hey, you know they’re all the same.
You know you’re doing better on your own, so don’t buy in.
Live right now.
Yeah, just be yourself.
It doesn’t matter if it’s good enough for someone else.
I’ve struggled for a long time (and still do) with not feeling good enough. I always feel like I’m just not living life good enough, like I should be thinner or happier or have more money or work harder. But you know what? Deep down, I know I’m doing pretty darn good. And it really doesn’t matter if it’s good enough for someone else.
Hope you enjoyed! Here’s the playlist: