Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"our" memories

There once was a website of which I was a part that asked contributors to associate memories to particular songs. They could be funny or sad or poignant. They closed down their open shop a little while ago and turned into an online magazine, as best I can tell.

In any case, I had a musical memory experience yesterday. I'm not quite sure if it's funny, ironic, or (fill-in-the-blank). Reserve judgment until you hear said story.

Musical knowledge required leans towards the country side of things. Travis Tritt has a song called Drift Off to Dream. I used to think that it was a super sweet song, and for the most part it still is. The first verse, however, clues you into the stereotypical lonesome protagonist, alone with his drink at the bar, hopeful for the love yet-to-be.

That was our song. When I say our, I don't mean our in the current sense. She is a past love, one whom I talk to perhaps once a year. Last time we spoke was over the summer. She'd found out that I was engaged and gracefully congratulated me.

Yesterday, I was driving in my car when Drift Off to Dream came on the radio. I couldn't help but laugh because of my destination: the courthouse. The purpose? To get our marriage license. This our is in the present and future tense.

Though she's in my past and I harbor no residual regret or feelings toward her, our song still tugs at my heartstrings. Emotional memories get stored away in a different part of your brain. They are often illogical, and many of mine in Gainesville forced me to leave. I couldn't take seeing reminders of my past when I was trying to move into the future. Those daily reminders of past-tense our memories were more than I could bear at times. It often left me feeling alone in groups of friends, but unlike the lyrics, never with my drink at the bar.

Since I left, I decided to no longer let my past dictate my present happiness. I found happiness within myself and was able to find love to make it grow. I truly couldn't be happier.

When she and I finally met at the courthouse that afternoon, I told her about the song coming on the radio. She and I shared a laugh as we crossed the street to many more to come.