We can all agree how difficult the last few years have been with the pandemic. Things we took for granted were spontaneously removed form our lives without warning, and life will never be the same. And in some ways, that’s okay—the forced isolation personally brought me some benefits, such as profound inner growth, closer bonds with true family and friends, and a beautiful witnessing of my children’s transformation toward adulthood.
But what was not easy was the removal of social opportunities.
Basic coffee and lunch dates. My daughter’s theater performances and son’s basketball games. Professional theater and basketball games. Travel, vacations, and day trips to an amusement park. Concerts, movies—pretty much everything that brought joy into our lives.
And yes, these are all first world problems, and I am truly grateful that I continue to have a roof over our head, food on our table, and all of our essential needs met. I recognize that not everyone was so lucky, and my heart goes out to those who still suffer from the pandemic’s awful implications. All I mean by this post is that I now have a deeper appreciation now more than ever for life experiences that I never thought twice about that were a big part of my life.
Live music was one of them. I’d see the flyers every summer for the free bands at our community park, and sometimes I would go, but if I couldn’t make it—there was “always next year.” Until that was no longer our reality.
And now that things are opening back up, I don’t ever want to take life experiences like live music or theater or family outings for granted ever again.
My passion for music must have been dormant for a while, because when I first think about having fun, it’s usually at Disney or just hanging out with friends or the beach or a road trip or something. It was rarely about music, but now, I feel a change in me.
I had an opportunity to see a Bowie and ABBA cover band play at a local venue with a friend, and I thought, why not? Sounds fun! Well, it was more than fun. It filled up a well of happiness inside me I didn’t know I was missing. The music moved me as I sat among strangers and sang, danced, and made new friends.
I was uplifted. My body wanted to move. I felt alive again. Part of this world. And I wanted more.
And so I made plans for more—first, to see Kiefer Sutherland croon his country. Oh my, was it delightful! He’s a celebrity crush I’ve had since the show 24, and not only was his voice sexy to hear, but his personality was playful, genuine, and engaging with the audience. I felt the same happy spirit to be surrounded by music like that. And then that same weekend, there was 80’s music on the beach—hell yeah, I went and enjoyed that in solace!
And then, this past weekend, I went with another friend to see the Wailers—a throwback to my very first on-campus college concert over twenty years ago. It was chill, relaxed, sensational. My youth and happy memories came flooding back as I made more. I cannot even begin to describe how wonderful these musical evenings have been.
To be in a setting where strangers are friends with a common interest. Where people aren’t afraid to be friendly again. Where the ambiance is magically freeing. Where our lives can feel that little touch of “normal” again.
That’s where my heart has recently taken me, and where my soul wants to keep singing.