Have you ever heard a song come on the radio that you once loved but that you listened to so much years before that even the first few notes of the melody are enough to grate your nerves?
I think we all have.
What about hearing an artist that you used to love, once long ago, but that now the idea of listening to them makes you groan?
Yeah, we’ve all done that too.
“If the song gets old, find a new song not a new artist.”
I don’t know where I came across this quote but I know that it was referencing relationships ~ in saying that, I’m certain that most of us as well as the original author of that quote, think first on romantic relationships but I would argue it can and should be applied to all relationships. I know and understand the sentiment with which it was written but I still found it to be unpleasantly sharp and that left me feeling flat.
*sharp… flat… ♯ … ♭… music… songs… oh, never mind*
“If the song gets old, find a new song not a new artist.”
If I read this as I feel it is intended, the meaning I get from it is that if I find myself dissatisfied in a relationship to where it’s the same old song over and over, I shouldn’t find a new artist (relationship) but should instead find a new song within the relationship I already have. It’s a fair statement to make, I think, that in our society today we start to feel a tad bit bored or frustrated with some degree of brokenness and we decide to trash the entire relationship. I’ve written about that idea extensively: that just because something is broken doesn’t mean it isn’t beautiful or valuable and should be trashed. It’s everything wabi-sabi represents and everything Kintsukuroi embodies… to a degree.
The realities of any relationship is that it requires work and that as the people involved in the relationship travel through life, they are impacted by their lives and their experiences, changing and growing along the way or being stunted from growth by something.In the last 15 years I’ve been through roughly 7 or 8 iterations of Gwen that I can recognize and define. Those people who know me and love me have seen the same ~ness lurking in each iteration but along the way I’ve changed and grown as a human being, as a woman, as a friend. Things I was dead certain of 15 years ago I know scoff at. I roll my eyes at beliefs I once held and I consider moments I wish I’d made a different choice. A choice I made 13 years ago changed the course of my life significantly because I chose to bring food to a potluck instead of just sending it with someone else. That was truly a road diverging on a wooded path that I’ll never go back to the one I left; I’d never want to go back because in one day my view of the world changed and a passion was sparked. At some point 11 years ago, I found the sanguine within myself for what seemed to me like the first time only to find I could be much more choleric just 2 years later. On and on through the years I’ve gone through metamorphosis yet those who have known me through this time and who have remained within my circle or who have even returned to it having wandered away for a time have seen my essence remain.
I have been continuously purified in the fires of life as the dross has slowly been burned out of my heart and soul.
Yet, there are those who are no longer on this journey with me in life. Why?
“If the song gets old…”
When we go through seasons within our lives, we often find ourselves drawn to particular people, places, influences, music, etc. These are the things that speak to our souls in that moment and I thank God that so many of those things stayed in THAT moment only. I realize that at times we reminisce and go back to things that remind us of those times before life got harder, but most of us move past them and only seek to visit on occasion:
The songs that make me think of that one that got away…
The books that make me feel young and naively hopeful for blissful perfect love or magic again…
The pictures of the trip I took alone that was not supposed to be alone…
Movies I loved as a child that are so well known I don’t even watch them when I “watch” them…
The coffee shop that reminds me of that one time…
Each of those times, places, memories, and moments are old and are no longer living within me. I can enjoy the memories without going back to live in them.
I visit but I do not stay because those things were for that time, that season, and they no longer serve me. They give my soul a refreshing sip of *once was* but that is all…
Because there is a vast difference between *once was* and *what is* in the present moment.
In the time and place of now, there are those people, places, and things that still sing beautiful melodies of life into my soul. I have gone through many metamorphoses over the course of time and so have they, yet our connections to one another have remained strong and vital! We do not necessarily need to be in constant communication or contact for our connection to remain intact. While at times we may find ourselves tiring of a particular song with one another, we always seem to find a new song to enjoy.
The artists who never fade from our lives are those whose journey and own metamorphosis is able to add a melody to our own.
When one song gets old in one album, there are later albums with songs that speak to me. Likewise, when the artist stagnates or grows in a different direction, when the songs they’re singing no longer speak to you, they no longer bring life to our souls:
Their harmonies begin to clash with the melody within us and we are no longer fulfilled by their presence in our lives.
And that is okay.
One of the worst lies I think we tell ourselves is that we are failing when we find ourselves connected with and unwilling to part ways from others who are no longer on the same sheet of music as us…
The same path in a yellow wood…
The same journey…
Singing the same song, in the same key, with the same time signature.
“…Find a new song…”
We strive and fight to put the two back to rights. We hope and pray that they will begin to turn in the same direction once more. We tell ourselves to hold on, to have faith, to keep trying.
Don’t mistake me:
I’m not saying that relationships aren’t work and that they don’t deserve and require effort and intention to maintain, enjoy, improve, and flourish.
What I am saying is that sometimes despite those things, there is still a point where you must honestly look at the relationship and recognize that it, for any number of reasons, is no longer serving you!
When they is the case, it is altogether right and proper, altogether healthy and enlightened, to let the other person go.
Let them go on their journey through life and you continue on the path laid before you.
It is natural in our lives to see ourselves change and grow. Sometimes in relationships we grow together. Sometimes we grow apart. Sometimes our paths are parallel enough that we can continue to move forward in the same direction and sometimes they diverge so greatly there is no way to reconcile.
Those who fill my soul with the magic of connections that never seem to fade despite time, life events, distance, metamorphosis, or anything else are those who are meant to be in here over the course of my lifetime. They bring life and fulfillment in season after season.
Likewise, those with whom there only seems to be one hit song are destined to belong only to my life for a season. It is not unhealthy for me to find a new artist when I discover one is no longer producing music that jives with my journey.
On the contrary: it is wise. Letting go of an artist that belonged in one season is opening yourself up to a new season. More importantly, it opens up the possibility of a new artist or the epic return of an old artist whose path has returned from far afield back to join yours. Letting go of that which no longer brings harmony to your life will clarify and cleanse the discord.
Find what sings to your soul and fills you, whether it is a new song or a new artist.
Just find it!
And find what it is to be fulfilled.