Something Real (For jack sh*t) Installment 2

I was looking for a Killers song for my playlist...read my mind (great song by the way, you can listen below) When I stumbled onto a song I hadn't heard in a long time. If you could read my mind by Gordon Lightfoot. I grew up in the late eighties and early nineties. It wasn't like I was born in the seventies, but for some reason I loved folk music. While other kids my age were listening to hair metal, I was listening to America, Gordon lightfoot, and my strange little crush...John Denver. I almost played Colorado Rocky Mountain High for this post, because it's kind of the click that created the paradigm shift I want to talk about in this post. But, I didn't because it's THIS song that I listened to all that summer. I was sixteen years old, It was 1990. I had a part time job as a "tour guide" in a caboose at the Lake station railroad museum. Basically it was an old caboose that sat on the railroad tracks. Lets see if I can find a picture...

I can't believe it...you can find anything....This is it.. where I spent my sixteenth summer. I sat on those steps. I forgot they tore the tracks up to make a 'walking/snowmobile trail". It never panned out, michigan ran out of money... but, anyway...inside is a few pictures, some memorabilia and a picture I drew that is truly heinous. I am better now and am tempted at times to draw another one, sneak in there and replace the picture. I am getting off track.
All that summer I felt restless. It is a very small town, a village really. There aren't alot of young people. Its mostly a retirement area. There aren't many jobs, my mom didn't have a lot of money and I worked alot of odd jobs to buy school clothes and go to the occasional Friday night movie.
Here is the point of this post. I never fit there. From the time I was small, I never liked carharts, I never wanted to camp, get drunk or go muddin' . There isn't anything wrong with any of those things, but they just weren't me. I didn't even fit in with my own family. I thought for a while that I must have been adopted. I loved to read books. I would find books about different places and read about them. i wanted to travel and see the world. I dreamed about the eiffel tower from the time I was ten years old. I used to hold the antennae on our old t.v. (It was the only way you could get the channels in....to actually hold the antennae up with your hand...) and watch Dallas (or the Grammies, and infamously in our family-once Gone with the Wind...talk about TV elbow). When I was twelve, I talked my mom into letting me watch Out of Africa, when I was sixteen...I sat, practically alone, in the local movie theatre and watched Havana with Robert Redford. (The only other person in that theatre was my art teacher Mrs. Thurston, whom I had great respect for) I would sit by the highway and watch cars go by and wonder where they were going. I never felt right there. Then one day, I was walking down the hallway and I heard the song Colorado Rocky mountain High. I had never heard that song before, or even of John Denver. It was the line " I was born in the summer of my 27th year, coming home to a place I'd never been before'. It hit me like a hammer...standing in the hallway of my mom's trailer, it all suddenly made sense. Why I didn't fit there. I wasn't home. This wasn't the place I chose, this had been the result of someone Else's choice. Of course I didn't feel right here, this wasn't my home...I just had to find my home. The rest of that summer, while working in that stupid caboose, I sat on those steps and could almost feel my life coming for me. I was so ready. It took me two more years for things to happen. So here is what I know. Sometimes, through no fault of your own...you are not where you are supposed to be and you are not WHO you are supposed to be. If you have this persistent feeling that you just don't fit, or your life doesn't fit you...it may be because it doesn't. There is nothing wrong with you, you are just in the wrong place. Since that day in the hallway I have been to the Eiffel tower in Paris, and several other countries. I live in....wait for it...Colorado. I am where I am supposed to be. I can go to concerts, art museums and the like. I am still working on the person I should have been, had I had a better childhood. I am getting closer. Your life is the choices you make. Now that you are an adult and in charge you choose. I still love this song.
Hope you guys are choosing the life you want,


Hanlie said...

What a beautiful post! It really touched me.

I'm a lifelong John Denver fan... and that is one of my favorite songs! In fact, I love all folk music - Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie, Dan Fogelberg, Neil Young, etc.

Jack Sh*t, Gettin Fit said...

That was a powerful post, chris. I'm glad you came to that realization and found your place in this world. I'm sorry for those that never do...

I think people get trapped by life and feel they can't break free, even when the cage door is wide open. Kudos to you for waking up and living your life.

And for writing this post.

jo said...

Oh my gosh...powerful indeed.

Colorado will always be home to me...I miss it, I long for it.

One of my biggest struggles in life is that I live in a small town in Minnesota and I do not fit. This is not my home. I am not where I am supposed to be. I've known it since I moved here. I have virtually no friends because I have nothing in common with anyone I've met here. It's in my blood, my core that this is not home.

At this point in life, there's nothing I can do about it. My husband has an excellent job that he loves. It's very safe here. Cost of living is very good here. We have no plans of moving.

Maybe the answer is that home needs to be where I am, comfort in my own skin, making the best of things. I keep telling myself that. Since dad died, there's no reason for me to travel to Denver anymore. A few times a week, I plan a trip there in my mind--to go home.


I love the same music you do. I have CDs by every artist you mention. I can't bare to listen to John Denver now because I get to longing for the mountains...

Very powerful post. This one will stick with me as I try to figure out my struggle with being displaced.

Amber said...

John Denver has always been one of my favorites.
Rocky Mountain High and Sunshine on my Shoulders have been songs I have always loved.
Great post.

Reva said...


This was a great post. I think you ought to visit http://jonjdsbitsandpieces.blogspot.com/ who had a bad childhood and has a second post at http://childhoodstolen.blogspot.com/ with poems she has written. Hopefully she will check out your blog also. Tell her I sent you if you want.