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.