My next euphoria

We just returned from another life-changing rock and roll road trip. It was inspired by a pop song, encouraged by our love of the band, The Maine, and served as a much needed break from the general monotony of adult life. I loved every minute of it. (Well, maybe not L.A. traffic…and those were many minutes.) It is one of those truly life affirming things to travel whilst doing what you love.  The combination of both joys – the experience of seeing different places combined with the euphoria of hearing, seeing and feeling music you love for a series of nights has always been one of my favorite feelings ever since I was old enough to travel for music. I love travel on its own but being “on your way to a show” adds a layer of anticipation that cannot be matched by anything that I have experienced in my life.

The music, the travel and the company you bring enhances every emotion you feel. Sometimes that feeling is annoyance…travel is stressful, but one moment of stress turns to euphoric excitement.  We called it “recalculating” on this trip – a re-correction to get you on the right path like a GPS.  Things start to slip, a moment goes bad (you get lost, you’re starving, tired, the car smells) and you do something to make it better.  I know that I need to remember to recalculate next time I feel lost or out of control, especially at work since that is where we spend so much of our time feeling anxious or frustrated.  If you recalculate, find an upswing…things get better.

I always leave my experiences with live music (and specifically The Maine) with this feeling that making the world and myself better is a useful exercise. The world wears you down with all of its trifles – all of the little things that need to be done – trips like this remind me that a balance needs to be struck between all of those things that are tugging at your heart and mind. I always end up feeling, after these shows, that hope may not be lost. I can be better, stronger, kinder, more grateful, more tenacious (all qualities I see in the amazing artists I have had the pleasure of seeing 6 times in 7 nights). These are not things that are completely lost on me, but I lose sight of them in preference to getting through the day, getting fussy about things that aren’t worth the time, or getting lost in trying to please others at the expense of myself, my family,and my overall soul.

This is especially relevant when seeing the Maine. First of all, they have quickly become my favorite band (in a weird tie with The Mats and Dead Hot Workshop. Hopkins must stand alone in this scenario). Their kindness, humbleness, DIY tenacity just makes me think…if we ALL carried the passion they have into what we did…what kind of world could this be?!

So here are thoughts and feelings I am carrying with me into this week from our week-long Maine-cation.

Balance – gotta make it; gotta rock. You’re not hardcore unless you live hardcore. Part of that is music, art, poetry; part of that is being the best damn Asst. Director of Curriculum Development the world has ever seen (lol); part of that is making sure that personal business is attended to and our house is made a home; part of that is taking a damn break and letting it happen without guilt. It’s the balance of work rock, rock rock, creative rock, house rock and taking a little nap rock. All valid.

Be kind; be gracious. We’re only here for a short time.

This isn’t the end. Being 34 is not the end. Being 38 is not the end. We’re here until we’re not. It’s a great time to be alive. I want to make the most of it. I want the balance struck to reflect that. I am a firm believer in Bukowski’s, “Find what you love and let it kill you” mantra. Growing up is not an option. We’re just going to be so good at playing grown up – no one will ever know.  Let this passion kill me. Let me find more ways to let it in and more ways to let it out.

This is what live music does to me. I turn into a blithering idiot full of mantras and buzzwords and big dreams of what I could do with the wild, painful, tight feeling in my chest that says, live more, work harder. Enjoy the wind and the sun, and jump up and down at rock and roll concerts until they take me out on a gurney.

For once in my life, enough talk.

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