Breaking down the walls

I had the TV on before set to a music channel while I fixed myself a sandwich for lunch. Bittersweet Symphony (The Verve) came on and I glanced up at the familiar music video spotting that the song dated from 1997, and a series of memories returned to me.

This is a great song, off a great album, and I remember getting the CD as a Christmas gift that year, per request. Would that have been Christmas 1997, or 1998? I didn’t know, and even as I tried to recall Christmas back then they all blurred into one general Christmas celebration, fixed and unpredictable, though ever enjoyable. That was 17, 18 years ago – fancy that.

Bittersweet Symphony is an appropriate song for this time of year. It’s common for people to look back in review, and forward in anticipation. The song encapsulates much of the journey, but perhaps has never been more apt than it is today.

Next song up was Bohemian Like You, by the Dandy Warhols. Another great song, and by one of ‘my’ bands back in the day. I was right into music from when I was a kid – that’s what happens when you’ve got a mum who sings around the house. The peak of my interest was the eighties and nineties when there was great music all round and fantastic bands. There’s a lot to choose between, but I guess you have about 6-8 bands that really turn you on. They become your bands – yours because they resonate with you, where you are, where you’re going. Years later you hear them again and everything comes rushing back to you.

So it is today. I’m reminded at hearing these songs of the life I had then. Though I was hardly conscious of it, I was in the thick of things. It was my time. I was a part of the world, but it served my interests.

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt that, which I touched upon a couple of months ago. I don’t expect to ever feel that again, but I’m hopeful I can feel more in sync with a world ready to let me back in. It’s been a while since I’ve felt a part of the world even, but I’m getting closer.

And so as I reflect on this last day of 2016 the various thoughts and notions of the last little while coalesce into a set of values I aspire to in the new year.

I want to be more humble and less judgemental. I want to be more open. I’m open to the point of being verbose here, but in real life no more than 2-3% ever gets communicated to the people around me. That’s because I’m proud and because I don’t believe in burdening others with my issues. When you’re like that though you can put a barrier between you and a world who cares and wants to know. I need to learn how to go about that, but I know being less stubbornly proud is a good start. Less stubborn in general. And maybe I need to be more ready to ask for a favour when I need it – just the little stuff. I rarely do that. I’ve written elsewhere that I want to look at things twice, and give a second chance when I need to.

I’m coming out of a deep hole, but still have a long way to go. It’s reasonable to expect that those material and practical aspects will continue to improve. There’s a bit of work there, but for the first time in a while I have the momentum, and I know I have the capability.

By itself that’s not enough though. I’ve alluded to this before. I need to get to get back to something of what I was 20 years ago. It was easier then because I was carefree, but I have wisdom now I didn’t then. Lighter, more open, more accepting, and more willing to engage – they’re my aspirations for 2017.

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