Monday, July 12, 2010

Songs That Make You Feel Something

I just love music. I'm not a musician or a song writer, but I feel I have the heart and soul of one because I there are times I can just FEEL a song so deeply. Since I was young I have always found that a song that could somehow express what I couldn't to describe where I was in my life. And sometimes no lyrics are needed to soothe my soul. Man...there's nothing like a sweet, soulful guitar riff...Or the sounds of a simple acoustic solo piano piece.

There are just those songs that were there for me when I needed them. Songs that describe a situation where someone was able to get inside your head and express what you can't, making you feel so not alone, and proving that we are all probably more alike than different.

You've been there, right? Your first heart break. That one coming-of-age summer. A family vacation. A party song.

I've been loading my ipod with songs from my collection from all eras. From Jackson Brown and Van Morrison to 80's rock to Eric Church and Miranda Lambert songs. Yesterday I had my ipod playing on shuffle when a song came on that I could totally relate to right now. At this exact point of my life. It's a song from several years ago, mid 1990's, by Trisha Yearwood. It's one of those cool album cuts that may not have been a huge chart hit, but it sure hit me yesterday.

At this point in my life, I'm getting use to the fact that I don't have the same responsibilities I use to when it comes to my role as a parent. For the last 8 years I spent my time and energy on my girls, and my work. As a single parent, supporting my family financially and emotionally had been my focus. "I need to get them through high school. I'll start thinking about what I'm gonna do in 4 years", I'd think. So I'd save for school clothes. Car insurance. College. No risk taking. Moderation has always been my philosophy.

So now, with both girls out of the house I've started to think more about what I want to do next. There's sort of a freedom that I am realizing I have and it is both scary and exhilarating at the same time. So, when this song came on yesterday I didn't expect it to hit me the way it did, but it did. And I hit replay like 3 times and decided this will be my new theme least for now.

I thought I'd share :-). But you gotta go look it up on itunes and listen. It's so much better set to music.

I Want To Go Too Far performed by Trisha Yearwood

Everything in moderation, that's the way it's always been
Never gettin' out of control - never hanging it out
Always reelin' it in

I saved my money for a rainy day
But now I've had enough of playin' it safe

I wanna go too far, I wanna go too fast
Somebody draw the line so I can blow right past
I wanna spend too much, I wanna stay too late
I'm gonna roar too loud, I'm gonna be that way
I wanna play too hard, I wanna go too far

I'm the one they all depend on
Sensible, predictable, and strong
But every now and then,
I feel like I've played that role too long
I need to rock the boat, I need to speak my mind
Just this once let it all unwind

I wanna go too far, I wanna go too fast
Somebody draw the line so I can blow right past
I wanna spend too much, I wanna stay too late
I'm gonna roar too loud, I'm gonna be that way
I wanna play too hard, I wanna go too far

I've gotta set this spirit free
That's hiding here inside
I feel like a bird in a cage
It's time for me to fly

I wanna spend too much, I wanna stay too late
I'm gonna roar too loud, I'm gonna be that way
I wanna play too hard, I wanna go too far

Album: Thinkin' About You
Songwriter(s): Kent Robbins, Layng Jr Martine
Release Date: January 1, 1995
Label: MCA Records

Is there a song that fits a place you've been?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

LeBron: a hometown girl's perspective

I think of myself as an optimist. I really do view life with a glass half-full perspective, and sometimes that view, in hindsight might make it seem as though I view the world through rose-colored glasses. Which may be why I thought, no, I was SURE LeBron was staying. I didn't think he'd stay over the money, hell, he'd make tons no matter where he went. I figured he'd stay because it was about legacy. I thought there's no way he can leave the area where he grew up, where the fans adored him, where he had an opportunity to take all the years of disappointment Cleveland fans have endured and turn it around and be the ultimate hero. Where he could be to Cleveland as Jordan is to Chicago. In leaving, he'd never achieve that legacy.

But maybe, at 25, you don't think about legacy. Or, how to get one may look a lot different at to him than to many of us who have lived twice as long. Clevelanders may have pinned their dreams on LeBron, but maybe that's not fair, because maybe that dream wasn't his dream. Being on a championship team playing with 2 or 3 other champions as good or better than he is must be his dream. Having the opportunity to build a team that creates a dynasty by winning multi-year championships clearly brings him closer to his goals that playing here does. And although my view is that winning in Miami with other superstars won't be as sweet as winning in Cleveland, that may not be the view from his world.

To so many, LeBron's "Decision" took him from one of the most loved to one of the most most hated in just a few hours. I've heard it expressed that he is second only to Art Modell right now as the least popular in Cleveland. He has been called a narcissist, an ego maniac, selfish, disloyal and worse. And maybe it's my Pollyanna attitude popping up again, but that saddens me.

I'm a mom with kids not far from LeBron's age. I've thought about my kids, who love their hometown, but want to grow and experience different things. If, after doing their thing for 7 years they want to go somewhere else...I would want that for them. LeBron James is still a very young man you know. A really talented really rich young man, but he still doesn't have that much life experience; and the experience he does have has been sheltered and so extreme from his humble beginnings. It may be hard to remember that he was raised under less than ideal conditions with no father figure or male role model until he got to St V and came under the mentorship of a caring coach. Most of us know more than enough about his mother.

And so, what do we expect? Aren't we at somewhat at fault for pinning all of one city's hopes, dream and expectations on this one person? This "kid" who spent his first 15 years in one living situation and then from 16 on was hurled into another. Hailed as the next Jordan since his rise at St V, LeBron has been courted and coddled. Then, at 18 he signs on in the NBA, and is given almost complete control at calling the shots. Who, at the age of 18, 20 or 25 would do much better epecially when making millions upon millions? We called him "the King", painted his face 20 stories high on the side of a building, elevated him to the height that there is nowhere to go but down. And we're surprised? I'm surprised he has been as together as he has been this last 7 years. No one is giving him any credit for anything good right now.

He really is just a young man who happens to have some amazing talent as a basketball player. That doesn't make him a smart business man. It doesn't make him mature. It doesn't make him a savior. For God's sake he's not curing cancer. He hasn't negotiated peace in the Middle East. What a surprise that once again, making any one person a role model, especially a sports figure is a recipe for disappointment.

And yes, I'm disappointed. I get that his leaving not only puts our Cavs in a major rebuild mode after being one of the best teams with the best record in the NBA this past season. I get that the local restaurants and bars will suffer if the games don't sell. But we've been experiencing this in Cleveland with the Browns and Indians for so many seasons, we somehow do survive. And we will this time.

I've also heard the total opposite expressed: "with all the problems we have in this world, who gives a crap about LeBron!" It is absolutely true that we have plenty of real stuff to worry about: the war, the oil spill, crime in our streets, no money inn our schools. Poverty everywhere while we watch some 25 year old kid--one of many overpaid sports figures fret about where they are going to make their next zillion. But still, sports in their many forms can offer an escape from the problems of the world for a short time in the same way other hobbies and distractions can. Sports can teach so many life lessons in how to be, in in many more cases these days, how not to be.

I can still find a lot of good things to say about LeBron. He gave us 7 great years. He sold tons of tickets and bolstered the Cavs, the Cleveland economy and Dan Gilbert's pocket book for these past years. He got paid a lot, but he helped make a lot too. And for the past week has given the media something to talk about making my morning show prep easier. But he has also has done a ton of charity work including his annual bike-a thon and work for the boys and girls clubs. I'm from Akron, and I graduated from the same high school he did, I live 2 doors down from one of his best friends from high school, and watched him play basketball with that St V gang from the backyard. He was always gracious and polite to me, and nice to my daughter and her friends. I'm still proud to say he is from my hometown. I'm still a LeBron fan.

I wish he had stayed, but I wish him well. I still want him to call Akron his home town. I hope he keeps his house in here. I hope he still spends some of his millions here. I hope he raises his family here instead of South Beach, and I hope he stays out of trouble, as he seemingly has been able to do for these past 7 years. And finally, I hope the Cavs and the fans will focus on the team instead of one player. Which can end up being a very good thing.

But hey, I'm an optimist.