Thursday, 25 February 2010

20/20 hindsight

So yeah, with hindsight it was not, perhaps, my wisest ever move to choose to listen to an album that reminds me so strongly of ten years ago when I'm tired and trying to sleep. An album that was practically a soundtrack for me during a short period that, looking back, I can point to and describe as my first and last few moments of untainted youth and freedom.

I was away from home for a week at a youth festival. I didn't eat enough or sleep enough and spent hours talking to random people I'd never see again. I remember one night where I sat on the beach (and this is Yorkshire in April, before you get too romantic a notion) with a young man two years older than me and we talked until 2 or 3 in the morning. I think I was in the throes of a pretty sturdy crush which must have been the main reason I agreed to buy the album he and his best friend had made. It cost me a fiver and I listened to it all week and for many weeks after. It's naive and foolish in places, but I can;t listen to it unbiased now - it holds too many emotions and memories entwined in its music. I've googled the man in question, but no luck so far. Hah - just decided to do it again and lookie lookie - they're on Wikipedia. Well I never... wonder if that demo album is worth something?

Anyway, to get back to my story - it wasn't long after that week away that I started getting sick... It took a year to really get hold and then it took another eight years to go away. I've been recovering for just about a year now and most of the time I'm fine, but occasionally it hits me with a surprising strength that I lost eight years of my life, my youth. Years just frittered away with waiting and making do. It hurts so much to think of the experiences I could have been having, the things I could have achieved. I doubt I'd be the same person I am now, but would I be better or worse or just different?

I'm certainly different to the hopeful, wide eyed teenager sitting on a cold English beach in the middle of the night making moon eyes at some future rock star. I haven't got all those possibilities in front of me any more, just ten more years of regrets and wistful memories. It makes me want to do something that I haven't done since I was so ill - cry and scream and hit out at something and yell about how unfair it all is. Because it was, it really was. Where did those years go? I had plans and dreams and now I'm just some sad housewife with a busy husband, two cats and a sideline hobby in writing that's blatantly not going to go anywhere. How did this happen? I was destined for something more, as we all are in our heads. I thought I was over this, but I've just sat around and wasted yet another year of my life and it's too precious. I can't believe the pain of wasted time and opportunities, it's like a hard knot in my stomach that won't go away and can't be expressed.

So Chris Russell, of The Lightyears, I doubt if you remember me, or if you'll ever read this blog, but I have your album, 'Bittersweetcalm', and I still listen to it and it still means something to me. I wish you every success. You were a hopeful nineteen year old with Leo di Caprio hair and dreams of making it in the music business - it makes me unbelievably happy to see you've achieved something. It would have saddened me so much to think of you differently to how I remembered you.

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