Once upon a time, I still had a soul and a life force moving within me that were both young and full of promise. Now, I’ve hit that part in my life where I can’t get away with things that I used to do for fun, both because the world has changed and because It’s just not ok for a 30 something to do certain things.
In this once upon a time, I wanted to move to California for awhile and live like Kerouac..seeing the world from the back of my car, writing poetry and prose. Living on a few dollars a day, sleeping where I fell. I dreamed of changing the world from the street corner. Naïve? Very…but, why not. I was very politically aware at the time. Learning and devouring everything I could before I became seriously jaded toward politics. I seriously bought the line that if you were active, and believed in your cause enough, that you could make a real difference in the world.
The only two tangible times in my life when that happened were during this phase. One was the work I did with many organizations to help free the West Memphis Three and educate people about the case. This is consequently also where I started to become The Jaded. There was also the writing – some of the first professional journalism I ever did on the Plea for Peace tour with the Bouncing Souls, Anti-Flag and Common Rider (Which had Jesse from Op Ivy so it was like meeting punk rock royalty). That’s the tour I learned about why you don’t ever kiss musicians because to them, you’re just a face. To you…it’s like coming home. You lived, ate and breathed the music but to them…they were moving on THAT NIGHT and leaving you.
That is also, thinking about it, where I started to become The Jaded.
I was a wide eyed true believer who said and wrote things about changing the world through belief and action without a hint of irony – things that I read today and they make me cringe. Not only because I was so doe eyed and idealistic and naïve that I was almost destined to be crushed but because I’m a little sad that it happened that way.
I don’t know what it is about this world that takes that kind of raw passion and refines it to its smallest driving force through a blender and a pummeling machine but…in the words of a paranoid stoner vet I knew once “I’ve seen some things…man”.
I’ve been through hell and back just to begin to find my voice…which admittedly didn’t happen until I was in my thirties. I always had things to say, even educated and witty things but they weren’t ME. I was speaking up for others. Not to say that’s BAD..but..you don’t get a trophy for being a martyr and helping people. Mostly all you get (Sad to say in my experience) is thrown under the bus.
That’s okay though. every mis-step, every pit of hell I’ve fought my way out of has taught me something. In the end, I think that’s what life is about. Finding a way to keep going when the world keeps telling you to stop.
xo xo xo