Monday, June 4, 2012

Pompin' My Circumstance

by Kimberly MacCarron

     I’ll start this blog topic of Motivating Music:  the Soundtrack of our Lives with my last song from my high school play list, and I’ll give you a hint.  It’s heard repeatedly during this time of the year.  Yes!   Pomp and Circumstance.

     To this day I can’t listen to the graduation march without tearing up and remembering those last days of high school.  The laughs and the tears.  The hopes and the fears.  The anxiety and elation.  What a rollercoaster of emotions!  But more than anything, I remember the friendships and relationships that sustained me throughout those formative years. 

     My senior year of high school was spent with friends of all types, and our musical interests were as varied as could be.  For our senior class trip to Florida, we earned money by having car washes every weekend for what seemed like forever.  Those were the best times.  Hot and sweaty days spent laughing and soaping up cars while listening to music in the parking lot of the local gas station.  With all of us liking different kinds of music, those were the days we learned about the art of compromise.  Some liked Metallica.  On the opposite side of the musical spectrum, others liked Christian singers like Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith.  Somewhere in the middle, we compromised with U2 and Journey.  God bless you, Joshua Tree!  Senior year would not have been the same—with or without you.

     During these periods of compromise, I learned that it was possible to enjoy lots of different songs, different music.  At the time I thought I just suffered from a heightened form of identity crisis.  I had no clue who I was or what I wanted to be.  I had to no clue what I liked.  I switched boyfriends as often as my nail polish and then switched back.  I was one confused teenager.  And music only compounded those feelings.  One moment I cried while listening to Whitney sing about almost having it all, and then the next minute I was screaming along with Bon Jovi, who was livin’ on a prayer.  From Prince’s Kiss to Michael W. Smith’s Friends, I felt like a schizophrenic. Who was I really?  Will the real Kim MacCarron please stand up!

     Then I realized that the mash-up going on inside my Glee-like head was the real me.  I liked different styles, different friends, different cultures.  I like to tell myself even today that I’m not confused with my identity.  I’m merely eclectic.  J
Let me share with you some of my favorite songs from my high school years.

Kim’s Eclectic Play List :
1.  Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now—Starship
2.  Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone—Glass Tiger 
3.  That’s What Friends are for—Dionne and Friends
4.  I Melt with You—Modern English
5.  Kiss—Prince
6.  Livin’ on a Prayer—Bon Jovi
7.  Friends (are friends forever)—Michael W. Smith
8.  Never—Heart
9.  High Flying Adored—from Evita
10. If You Leave—OMD
11. Take My Breath Away—Berlin
12. Somewhere Down the Road—Barry Manilow 
13. Pomp and Circumstance
     I couldn’t include U2, Journey or Queen because to pick just one their songs is like a mom picking her favorite kid.  It can’t be done.  When I hear any of these songs, it takes me straight back to high school.  I learned to like some of these songs from different friends.  I think of Billy every time I hear I Melt with You.   I think about watching Top Gun with my friends at school, and drooling over Tom Cruise when I hear the Berlin song.  I remember listening to Michael W. Smith’s song over and over while I cried about what could happen to our friendships when we all moved away and scattered to different colleges.  When our lives would take us in different directions.
     Did I stay in touch with these friends?  No.  Sadly, I didn’t.  But, with a bittersweet smile, I think of them often.  Every time I listen to the radio and certain songs come on, it takes me back to them.

     I like to think that I am who I am today because of these high school friends and the music we listened to during our car washes.  I’m just as varied in my musical choices and my relationships as I was then.  My friends range from just about every cultural, political and religious background, and they all add something to my life.  I enjoy hearing other people’s points of view.  It might not be mine, but I like to hear why people believe the way they do.  How they were influenced in their formative years and how closely they stuck to what they were then.  I feel like I’ll never be done learning about who I am.  I still struggle with my beliefs.  I don’t consider myself wishy-washy, but I can switch sides on a topic after listening to another point of view. 

     Compromise is a beautiful thing as long as we don’t compromise on the big things.  And, sometimes, we can change our minds even about the big things when we’re willing to hear a different point of view.  Isn’t that a part of life?
     I like to think so.   


Melissa Landers said...

Great post, Kim!

I used to LOOOOOOOVE "Melt with You" until a college experience ruined it for me. I was on a first date with a guy I really liked...until he drove me to his dorm and announced he wouldn't take me home unless I slept with him first. (Um, did he think that strategy would actually work?) I told him to do something physically impossible and caught a ride home with his roommate. Anyway, "Melt with You" was playing when the jerk made his indecent proposal, and I still can't listen to that song without thinking about it.

Kimberly said...

Oh, Melissa. He ruined such an awesome song! Poor you! What is up with strategies like that??? I can't believe he actually said that. What would be great would be to write a story where that happens, and then the girl ends up with the roommate. LOL.

Melissa Landers said...

Oh...great idea! :-)

Diana Belchase said...

Loved reading this Kim. Of course, I was an orchestra geek, so my play list would have probably included the Brandenburg Concerto! LOL. Nice thing about getting older, your geekiness fades away.


Kimberly said...

My uncle ended up marrying the roommate of a girl he was dating. While waiting for the other girl to get ready all the time, he struck up conversations with his Ms. Right. And the rest was history. LOL.

At least we HOPE the geekiness fades away. :-)
It goes to show that everyone's play lists are varied. That's what makes us all different.
Thanks for visiting!

Unknown said...

Oh how I miss those "simpler" times! I graduated 25 years ago today as a matter of fact--wow! Those songs were the ones I remember mixed in with a little George Strait out in Texas--but as eclectic as my tastes were, whatever got my heart pumping, my moods tweeked, or depending on who I was with at what time...any of those could have been the 'all time favorite' right then and there. And yes, when one of those pop up it takes me back. (Rick Astley "Never Gonna Give You Up" takes me back to the Enlisted Men's Club" on Navy base I was stationed at). P.S. You've just been Rick-Rolled. :)

Kimberly said...

I just realized I graduated 25 years ago. I was never much of a math wizard. LOL. And I never expected that the years would have flown by so fast. Thanks for making me feel old.
And by the way, I didn't even know what Rick-rolling meant until today. I had to google it. :-)
Thanks for keeping me on my toes.

Kerri Carpenter said...

Oh I love high school car washes! We did so many of those! (And hoagie sales.) And I really love the songs I used to listen to in high school. My playlist included (just going with artists here):

1. No Doubt's Tragic Kingdom CD
2. Bush
3. Goo-Goo Dolls
4. Smashing Pumpkins
5. Live
6. Chili Peppers
7. Alanis Morissette
8. Counting Crows
9. Dave Matthews
10. Pearl Jam
11. Sheryl Crow

And many movie soundtracks like Romeo & Juliet, Romy & Michele, Cruel Intentions.

Wow - now I'm all nostalgic!

Kimberly said...

You're just a little baby, agewise. Darn you! LOL.
Loved your play list. Especially Alanis. Nobody can do bitter quite like her. I listened to Jagged Little Pill until I wore it out and had to buy another one. :-)
You were a little edgy, weren't you? I'm still waiting for the picture of you with the shaved head, dyed green...
Still waiting...

Pintip said...

Kim, I love how you realized that all the mish-mash going on your head is the real you. There's a lot of talk about identity and finding out who you really are, but sometimes I think that unless you have an extreme personality (very sarcastic, very loud, very reserved, for example), it can be hard to sum up the "real you" in just a few words (or a few songs). Even the extreme personalities I just alluded to are usually very complex people underneath, with lots of different and varied interests. The "label" is often just the easiest, most obvious description.
Thanks for sharing your high school playlist! It made me smile.

Kerri Carpenter said...

Am currently listening to a playlist I made of my fav high school songs. Will be getting nothing done today! ;-)

Kimberly said...

I agree! You said it just right.
During our teen years, there is so much pressure to find out who you are, when it's all the little things together that help you figure it out. And many times, it is a mash-up. Being just like someone else is not being yourself. It's being a second-rate version of the person you think you should be.
Thanks for visiting!

Kimberly said...

I know what you mean. While I was trying to write this blog last night, I kept googling all the songs and videos. It really does take you back. You wouldn't remember the parachute pants craze because you were just toddling around at the time, but those videos brought much laughter to my night.
I cried and laughed. I wished with everything that I was computer literate enough to provide the links to my very favorites, but, alas, I wasn't.
Time doesn't change some things. LOL

Lorie Langdon said...

Wonderful post, Kim!
I can relate to your eclectic musical tastes and friendships. Learning about other view points and compromise is a huge part of solidifying who we become.
And I *loved* If you Leave by OMD and Melt with You!! Just hearing those songs in my head can take me back. :D

Kimberly said...

When I read your post, I could completely relate to your choices because I saw so many musicals. And then the soundtracks of the movies. I listened to the Top Gun one so many times. My uncle had surround-sound (which was the newest thing then) and the jet sounds made it seem like they were right in the room if you closed your eyes. :-)
It's funny how songs take you back immediately. I'll be driving down the road and one of those songs will come on the radio, and I'll grin like an idiot--even with my kids fighting in the backseat. LOL.

Cecelia said...

Yes, I loved NEVER by Heart. I also enjoyed That's What Friends Are For - however, I believe this one was out when I was in college.

High School? I especially recall one of my favorite Michael Jackson songs: Billie Jean
I recall walking around the neighborhood with a friend of mine who had a boom box (remember those?) We used to listen to the entire Thriller cassette tape over and over again! :-) Those were the days!!
~Cecelia Dowdy~

Kimberly said...

I, too, remember those boom boxes. As a matter of fact, mine is in my kitchen. I've had it since 1987. :-) And, man, how my friend Michelle and I went nuts about Thriller. I remember when that video was so cutting-edge awesome.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

CareyCorp said...

Great post Kim! Melt with you is one of my all time favorite songs. Sad to hear it's ruined for Mel. :(

Anonymous said...

Love this, Kim! And what I love most of all is how eclectic the list is -- the perfect reflection of you, even now!

Vanessa Barneveld said...

I Melt with You? But that's *my* song! Love your mixed-up mix tape, Kim. I note the lack of Duran Duran, though. I was obsessed with them in my late primary school/early high school years.

Kimberly said...

Carey, Erica and Vanessa,
Welcome three of my MargaRITA sisters! Thanks for stopping by.
Carey, it is a real shame that I Melt With You was ruined for Mel. Some boys are just pigs like that. ;-)
Erica, thanks for saying that about it being a perfect reflection of me. It's better than saying I still have an identity crisis, huh?
Vanessa, Let's just call it our song then. I'll compromise. LOL. I liked some of Duran Duran's songs, but a girl in my class ruined them for me. Her big Duran Squared thing. It's a long story. Haha.