Saturday, September 20, 2008

Trip Up Memory Lane

I took a trip down memory lane this week.

I tagged along with Marc on his business trip to Nashville. It was my first time there and I didn't know what to expect.

We stayed at the gorgeous Gaylord Opryland Resort & Conference Center.

Marc was at the conference fulltime, so I was on my own for the most part.

Flying out we realized it was our first trip together, without Seth, since before becoming parents. Seth stayed home with our nanny. We didn't want to take him out of Kindergarten, as he is new at the school and all is going well so far. We'd like to keep it that way and not disrupt his routime.

So, while we were away together, we were basically ships that pass in the night due to his meeting schedule.

That said, I passed the time doing stuff that would interest me more than him anyway. This included shopping, getting a massage, and listening to music.

I discovered a surprising, newfound appreciation for musical expression. I had always heard about Nashville and it's music roots, but to experience it first hand is something I could not anticipate.

I went one evening to the famed Bluebird Cafe, where Garth Brooks got his break. I found myself totally captivated by the four songwriters who performed their own material. They had a great rapport, and such talent and hunger for success. You could feel them itching to be discovered (like many who come to Nashville), and you wondered if they would be. Some had already had their work performed/recorded by accomplished artists. Others were hoping for that, and one, in particular, the female of the foursome, wanted a recording career of her own.

What really struck me was the notion of people chasing their dreams with such a passon. And, the incredible talent of songwriters.

As an author, I've always loved the written word and its power to move people, but I never thought much about those sitting down to write a song. I do love Broadway, and being a long time theatre fan, I am in total awe of people like a Stephen Schwartz who wrote Wicked, Godspell, etc. But, to see someone sitting on a bar stool and strumming the heart out of a guitar or pounding the keyboards, was really raw and moving.

Mostly they were playing country tunes or ballads, but the final song of the evening caught me by surprise. I immediately recognized the pulsating beat. It was from Flashdance. How I had loved that movie! The song was Maniac, and it took me back to that time. Back to the days of cut off leggings. Back to a time when I would go dancing with friends at clubs. Back to my pre-motherhood and pre-marriage days.

Wow...if felt like a full lifetime ago. And, it made me remember how at that time, the world felt like my oyster. And, I too, had dreams to chase.

While I still have dreams, they're certainly not as easily pursued once you become a parent. Life is more complicated, and time feels tight. That's not to say it can't be done. And, we should stay true to ourselves and endeavor to keep those dreams alive.

So, I found myself thinking of this quick jaunt as a trip "up memory lane." I can still look up and reach for the sky, even though I've retired my leggings and disco shoes (at least for now). And, while I may do more chasing of my son than my dreams, I remain true to my aspirations. Seth would want it that way, and I feel lucky to share the ride with him to see where his life takes him as he evolves.

He'll have his own dreams, and one day I'll play the soundtrack from Flashdance for him.

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