The challenge: My life affected by ‘I don’t want to be’

There was this interesting challenge on Gavin’s Facebook page. There was asked how has this one song affected my life. I read it through several times and felt very much touched all the sudden.

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You might have read about my adventures and mini-tour (actually it was called my ‘let’s-follow-gavin-degraw-all-around-europe-and-make-him-freak-out’-plan), and if you haven’t you may do so by CLICKING, if you wish. The reason I brought that up was that – and now I’m hesitating to write it down, for I know how crazy it will sound, but I’ll do it anyway, because why not? – I gave a gift to Gavin in London.

The gift was a collection of poems written by me.

And the whole damn thing was about how Gavin and his music has changed my life. (And although some people can apparently disagree with the fact that could ever happen, SEE?, it is still true and my life has been changed.)

I was on a coffee brake at my office when I first saw this challenge in FB. I was sitting and suddenly felt so stunned it is impossible to describe. All thoughts I had left was this: ‘Has he read it? Has he read it? Has he read it? And if so, could it be – no it can’t. But could it – no it can’t – be the inspiration for this challenge? Could it? Has he read it? Could it?’


Has or not, in any case, I felt touched and very willing to answer the question. Again, I might say. And the question of the day is:

How has I don’t want to be changed my life?

That’s not an easy question, you know. And still, it is. For when said in it’s most simply way it has changed everything.

This blog post will be a rather long one. There’s no easy way of saying it. No words could ever be enough, if I don’t take you through it all. So, please, have patience with me. It will concern Gavin eventually, it will be about this song. But first you need to know something about me.


I was so very down when I first found Gavin, or Gavin’s music found me, either way. I had struggled my whole life to be someone I wasn’t. I tried to be nice, easygoing, taking everybody else into account  but me. I was suppressing myself just to be liked, to belong, to not being left outside.

I had always been rather lonely. Partly because we moved a lot when I was a kid. When ever I made friends, we moved again, and my friends stayed. And unfortunately I wasn’t that quick making friends anyways. I kinda adjusted myself to the situation that everybody else knew everybody else, and me, I was always the one who didn’t fit in. The new girl. The fat one. The shy and quiet one. When they talked to me they didn’t do it because they wanted to be nice, but rather the opposite. So, I learned in the hard way that the easiest way to cope is being totally invisible.

When being invisible, you can’t really be who you are, can you?

Later I found out that I wasn’t like the ones who seemed to succeed in their lives. I wasn’t all that talkative, aggressive, demanding, determined – oh, and because of that I wasn’t really any competent sales person nor a manager of any kind. And I was studying business administration. At those years I was so complely lost. I knew I should have been something way different I was to be like the others. To be able to succeed. Well, don’t get me wrong, the studies went extremely well, I got only A’s from the exams. But it is not the same thing to know something in theory and then act it out.

As I found out. Later. With Gavin.

I knew in theory though that everybody is as good as anybody. That we are different and it’s all good. And that we are supposed to be just as we are and we should have the respect to others.

But you know, you can’t really go on with that thought without accepting yourself first.

I kept reading some encouraging quotes and I agreed with them. But, you know, there’s something magical in quotes. You can hear them like hundred of times and never really hear them. Untill the day you feel them in your own life. In one moment you suddenly stop and realize that ‘wait a minute, the quote was all about this!’ When it becomes real in your own reality, only then it matters. If the thought in them is just couple of words put together, it means nothing.

So, anyways, when I first encountered Gavin’s magic I was pretty sore inside. I was married, had kids and all, but still empty and meaningless from inside. I was struggling with the same damn things I had been for all of my life.

How can I be good enough? How to be happy? Why am I always alone? What should I do that others will like me? How can I change myself and be different?

Oh, yes, I didn’t want to be me, at all. I thought that there was nobody on this planet who was more miserable and meaningless than me. That I didn’t matter at all. I had lost my friends, again. I had terrible arguments with my husband. I was planning to get a divorce. I was so lost I thought I could never be found again.

But he found me. Gavin did.

It was pure accident. (More about the accident can be found HERE.)


I don’t have to be anything other than me

So, now we’re getting there. The song i don’t want to be was like written directly for me. I wrote earlier about the very same song:

This was the song that started my journey. I kept playing it on replay. Every day. Over and over again. The lyrics astounded me. Made me think. I think I was soaking it’s energy up. I needed to hear it. I needed to see that I’m not the only person with these things in mind.

I was thinking something like ‘whoah, I think that’s the most obvious thing in the world and I haven’t been doing that!’ I mean,  the lyrics go I don’t want to be anything other than me, and the point I found from the song is that I don’t have to be anything else. And the part that really got my attention back then was who I’m supposed to be. That was the thing I was struggling at that time: always trying to know how I was supposed to be or act or what to like or what not. I was pretty damn good at supposing what I was supposed to be. Uh. Anyways, when listening this song again and again I started to realize that that’s just stupid. Or better said that if a guy like Gavin could let us understand that he had been thinking the same and got over it, it’s probably not that strange at all – and most importantly, there’s a possibility to heal from it.

That’s the thing of many of Gavin’s songs. They give hope. They give example. They give strength. They show the way. They change lives.

So, it was like a magical moment to me when I suddenly understood what this song was about. Not just listened, not just sang along, not just passed it by, but understood. The words became my reality. They gave me the strength and belief that I can be me, that I’m allowed to be me, that I don’t have to care about what the other people are supposing and thinking about me.

I’m the only one who can make me happy. I’m the only one who can even know what makes me happy.

I had wanted to control over everything. Every tiny exception made me freak out. You should’ve seen me with my first baby – my poor husband! And with this huge realization I also understood that the life is impossible to chain. And how much freedom it gave to me. Can you imagine? I bet you can’t. I felt like my thoughts suddenly were lighter, brighter, deeper and more my own.

Some days it was difficult to remember, though. It was hard to have the courage needed to look the things I wanted straight to. It was so damned hard to stop thinking about what the others want me to want. But there was this certain song I put on every time I felt confused. It worked like a magic, and you know what? The miracle did happen.

With this realization I felt myself suddenly so free. I had dreamed about being free so long it had become something unattainable for me. And suddenly I realized that wait a sec. This is my life. This is me. I can choose. It’s my possibility – better said my obligation to take care of me, because (as I had seen before) nobody else would do that for me anyways.

It had troubled me for a long time. I had felt helpless and hoped for a knight with a shining armor to pop up and save me from myself. Ha, and you know what? I think he did pop up. But he didn’t save me, he gave me the keys and let me set myself free.

The freedom of being me is all Gavin’s doing. I know it might sound funny, but it is true. It could have been that I would found the way being myself without Gavin, as well, but as it is, I found extreme help from this one song, that I actually called my favorite one in the 15 days of Gavin DeGraw -challenge for some time ago, SEE?

The new freedom lead me straight to my dreams. Travelling to London, being strong enough to cope abroad alone, do decisions all by myself. I did all that. I didn’t ask any permissions for my mini-tour, not even consulted my husband, just told him that this is what I’m going to do. And he said: ‘Okay, if you want that, then you do that.’

And yes, we’re still married.


The picture that somehow represents this all to me is this. For it reminds me that time I was brave enough to start doing things I wanted just because I wanted to do them.

SAMSUNG


So, Gavin,

I want to thank you, I don’t know if you can ever truly understand what you have done to me. It has been one of a journey, and I’m so honored for being part of your crazy screaming family of fans. I wish I could somehow pay it back to you. I wish I could explain. I’ve tried my best with the damn collection of poems (ugh!), and with this long and winding story of me. As I said, you will always be something special to me. Thank you for being amazing!

-R


 

THE NEW LIFE

 

It begins in my sunny livingroom
me sitting on the armchair
smiling to the yellow energy
then suddenly pierced with clear pain
my thoughts my thoughts the hidden ones
and tears keep rolling

It continues in the early morning bus
me tired but happy with the music in my ears
writing down some vague feelings
catching them, trying to see the truth
and the truth never ceases to amaze me
it’s enough to be me

It comes to an end result
me in London alone
without asking permission from anybody
the dark clouds hanging above
but my heart full of light and joy
even my name gets changed

***

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