Five years ago, I was a mess.
I’m not sure if many readers of this blog knew me then. I kind of hope you didn’t, although I know some of you did. It was an interesting time in life. I knew I didn’t want to be with my ex, but I was so heartbroken that I kept convincing myself that I was wrong. That I actually did want to be with him. That I couldn’t live without him.
Since this ex isn’t H, I’m sure you can see how it ended, and how much better my life has been since. He (the ex) was a good person on the whole, but he wasn’t good for me. And that’s all there is to it.
Somewhere deep inside me, I think I knew that. Enter M, a class-friend who could see that I was having a hard time. She created a playlist for me of songs that would make me remember that I left for a reason. Now, enter the Foo Fighters.
At that point in my life, as a senior in college, I wasn’t very broad with my musical tastes. I mostly listened to country (which is still true) and was constantly exposed to pop because of being in college, plus I had my mom, who had me listening to classic rock for most of my childhood. I also had the darker music that my ex listened to—bands that screamed, bands that wore all black and had long hair and sang songs referencing devilish things. Do the Foo Fighters fit into any of those categories? Not really, although you could argue that Dave screams sometimes. (Yes, I will be referring to Dave Grohl by his first name. Yes, I’m okay with that level of familiarity. In my head, he’s my cool uncle or something.) My ex listened to old Nirvana, but didn’t seem to have any Foo on his whatever-the-non-Apple-version-of-the-iPod-was, because he was anti-Apple. And, I guess, anti-AWESOME. Anyway, my point is, I didn’t know any Foo Fighters music until that playlist was made for me.
All of the songs resonated, but the one that seemed to resonate the most was the Foo song “Best of You.”
At this point in time (end of October 2010), we’d been broken up for 2-3 months. And he was already seeing someone else on campus, someone who he used to hang out with while I was studying abroad, someone who was essentially my polar opposite. I was sad, but I was also angry. And Dave understood and sang that for me. Dave helped me remember that the anger should trump the sadness. Dave helped.
Flash forward four and a half years. This past spring, when H and I decided that he should be a Longhorn in graduate school, one of the first things we did was look up tickets for Austin City Limits. And lo and behold, who was headlining one of the days? Dave Grohl and his Foo Fighters. We bought tickets immediately.
So there I was, standing in a gigantic crowd next to my husband on the day after returning from India after five weeks away, listening to the same song that got me through some of the darkest days in my life. It felt like my life had completed that circle, finally. That I was free of the memories of those dark times. I’m married now. I know what true love is, and what it feels like to truly give your best to someone else and get it in return. I could close the book on my darkness and place it on the shelf. I’m done with it.
This peace that I’m feeling wouldn’t have been possible without Dave, of course. He’s just as awesome as ever, and I can only hope that I’ll get to see him live again someday. But for now, I’m transitioning the use of his music from a coping mechanism to a way to pass my time while I’m running.