Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nostalgia .. My trip down Memory Lane

Several things have happened lately that all seem determined to make me face, resolve, and heal from things that happened decades ago ... and I just have to blog about it this morning.   And it's gonna be a long blog post, so grab your beverage of choice and settle in if you're game enough to read this one!

Lately, I've heard a lot of Fleetwood Mac on the radio. And those songs take me back to my 9th and 10th grade years in a hurry. My best friend Candi {photo, left, 2005} and I wore out our FM albums (yes, albums. how old school is that?).  

So what song do you hear, what scent do you encounter, what old photograph ~ takes you back to decades ago, and you're R.I.G.H.T. there, where you were?   PLEASE LEAVE COMMENTS.  

And which part of your life do you most often "return" to via those flashback memories?

For me, it's high school and a few years after.  

THE MUSIC:  when I hear the term "oldies" as it pertains to music, I think ... 50s and 60s (even though when I was in high school, we listened to music from the 60s - mostly the Beach Boys - and it didn't seem all so old).   Nowadays, music from my entire young-and-younger listening years is already ... an oldie.  I'm an 80's music freak, and when I do the math, I can't believe those songs are already 30 years old.  THIRTY YEARS OLD.    But when I hear a song that I loved in high school, and realize it's 35 years old - yikes.  How old does that make me, then?  Never mind.

The music that takes me back most often has to be from the 1980's, because it makes me happy.        They were fun years, great years, and even as a single mom, they were incredible years ~ due in large part to meeting my soul-sister / best friend Lori Vallas Falk. {photo, left: Mother's Day 1987, La Valencia Hotel}

But those aren't the old days that keep hitting me in waves lately.  It's the music from my high school years.  And those were awkward years.   I meet people who say "oh, to be in high school again" and I cringe.  Those were shy, challenging, confusing, unsettled, angst-filled years for me.  I did develop some beautiful friendships then, but they too came with a price.

Anyway.  Music I listened to a lot of in high school (that would be the early/mid-70's) ... Fleetwood Mac.  Dave Mason.  ZZ Top.  David Bowie.  Carole King.  Steely Dan. Derek and the Dominos.  Cat Stevens.  Elton John.  Chicago and Bread (yes, even them).  America.  BTO.  ELO.  Allman Brothers.    Foghat.   Edgar Winter Group, and Rick Deringer.  Neil Young (SO much Neil Young).  The Rolling Stones.  Stealer's Wheel.  Steve Miller.  Jethro Tull.  Humble Pie.  Grand Funk Railroad.   Carly Simon. Golden Earring. The Eagles.  Rod Stewart. Paul McCartney & Wings.  Loggins & Messina (the first concert I ever went to - they opened for The Allman Brothers, who were followed by B.B. King - and I had no clue who BB was!).

I could go on longer, but as you can see, I had a wide range of musical favorites.  Back then, I couldn't go an hour without music. 

There were the party songs, the ones we danced to.  Then there were the "party-ing" songs, the ones we, well, partied to (it WAS high school, after all).   And there were the "i am a filled with love angst" songs, the ones we listened to over and over, ad nauseum, because they made us feel ... sentimental and emotional and mellow.  And sad.  I went for sad a lot - hence all that Neil Young.   I only dated 3 guys in high school; one was killed in a car accident.  He's the one that set the bar high for how to treat a girl, and I didn't appreciate him enough.

So to take me back to High School most often, it has to be ... Fleetwood Mac, and Foghat, and Steve Miller.  And driving through El Cajon, passing my high school (El Cajon Valley) and the high school that many of my friends, including my boyfriend, attended (Granite Hills).  Passing old friends' houses.  Missing Baker's (the best burgers and shakes ever). 

After I graduated from high school, I was a mother.  I still loved music.  There were still 4 years left of the 70's.  The music changed, and I had changed.   Although still awkward, and probably more confused and unsure of myself than ever before - I started to experience a confidence that came with being a mother and having to earn a living to support my daughter.

And the music that I favored from 1976 to 1979 was more along the lines of  Earth, Wind and Fire; The Knack; Pat Traverse; more ZZ Top; more David Bowie; Pablo Cruise; Boz Scaggs; Linda Ronstadt; more Rod Stewart; and yes, The Commodores.

My sister-of-my-heart, Sherri Garman DeMink {photo, me and Sherri, 12-31-76}, introduced me to so much music, and we listened to it for hours together. 

 Whenever I hear "My Sharona", or "After the Love is Gone", or "Lady Love" by Lou Rawls ... I am smack dab in the middle of 1979.   Those songs, and the smell of a hot day, the car windows rolled down, and the air conditioning full-blast.  And the perfume I wore then, Halston.   One incredible relationship stands out, I'm right there, and then the pain of its demise hits.  Still. 

So what is the point of today's blog post?   It's this:  when we have something tugging at us, quietly or loudly, that feels like we want to 'make it right', or resolve it, or face up to it ~ but we are afraid, or we don't know how ~ it's time to courage-up and just do it.   If the person is gone or un-reachable, write a note and get it off your heart and mind.  Let it go.   And if the person is available to talk to, or meet up with, do it. 

Say whatever you feel needs to be said.  Forgive them for whatever they may have done to hurt or confuse you.  Ask for forgiveness for whatever you may have done to leave them wondering "why did that happen? was it me?".  In other words, clean it up so you can breathe easier when those flashbacks hit (and they will), and then you can sit back and really enjoy the memories of those times.  

From my experience:  In the past 2 years, I have had 2 people tell me they were sorry for things that happened in high school.  Call me crazy, but such an emotional sense of peace came over me, both times.  And I could sit back, remember, and smile.  Finally.  What a gift they gave me.

 And I deeply regret that at my 30th high school reunion, when I had the opportunity to apologize to someone that I had been cold to, and hurt, in the 9th grade, I missed it.  I attended that reunion for two reason.  One, to make an amend.  The moment was interrupted by the call for a photo of the group {that photo, at left}, and when I turned around, he was gone.  It still haunts me.   Because just before the call for photos, he looked at me and said "isn't it funny how something that happened 30 years ago can still affect us today?".     And the other reason I attended was because my closest friend from those years .. asked me to go with her {me, 2nd from left; and Candi, far right in blue}. 

Think on this:  "Nostalgia: A device that removes the ruts and potholes from memory lane." ~ Doug Larson

And this:  "What was hard to bear is sweet to remember."  ~  Portugese proverb

And one final quote on the topic:  "The heart's memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good; and thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burdens of the past." ~  Gabriel Garcia Marquez {author of 'Love in the Time of Cholera'}

I want to pave over those potholes, and I want to sweetly remember those years.  Don't you?

~  Davielle

P.S.   By the way, FaceBook is a remarkable tool for re-connecting with people.