Saturday, November 14, 2009

Soundtrack of my life

As we are driving home from the farmer's market today, "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel was on the radio. Like lots of songs from the late 80's and early 90's, the minute I hear the first few notes tons of memories and emotions come up. Somehow, this is the way my brain is wired. Music elicits all kinds of stuff. I can happily listen to old songs and think about when I first heard them, who loved the song with me, who sang at the top of their lungs with me into a hairbrush. I'm quietly reminiscing when Honey says, "Hey, you know it's the 20th anniversary of 'Say Anything'." I am instantly horrified. The memories I was having of seeing that movie in college - who I was with, how I was so elated and rosy cheeked in the cold Boston November night afterward, and anything was possible - now just made me feel so very old.

How did 20 years go by so fast?! It was just a short time ago that I was a freshman, who was petrified with the idea of being somewhere that I knew no one - well I had met a few people at freshman orientation, two of whom would end up to be some of my closest friends in college and one who is one of my closest to this day.

I had always been shy - hard to imagine that now. I remember clearly having my heart beat so hard and loud that it felt like it would jump out of my chest as a teacher would get closer to my name during attendance. God forbid I should have to say "Here" in front of the whole class. I remember shaking like a leaf during one of the first presentations I had to make in college. It was absolutely uncontrollable.

I had decided before starting freshman year that folks at school didn't yet know me, and I could create a new way of being with people, at least socially - I didn't deal with the performance anxiety until Junior year or so. Now don't get me wrong - I was never a wallflower. I just always waited for other people to talk to me. The first week at school, I methodically knocked on every door in our dorm and introduced myself. It was the greatest and most freeing thing. I met all the girls on our floor, the hockey players on the floor below, and the science geeks on the floor above. I met folks that loaned me blenders when we had parties. I met so many people that I knew that if I was bored or lonely or whatever, I'd always be able to find someone around to talk with.

It seems insane, that I can remember this all so clearly 20 years later. I could probably go through tons of stories leading up to that night in November, that movie, and that song. I always find it amazing and wonderful that all of these thoughts can come flooding back with a few random notes. It is such a great way to remember my life - as if it is a soundtrack. I hope that never fades away.

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