Some days, the world just gets to big. With all the opportunity, talent and skills in the world, the day would still take me down. There is something sweet about these days, despite their harshness. A cloud of depression has hung over life – almost since I can remember – and as a result, most days are marked by a fierce determination to win the battle against it. On days like this, where the world is so big…and even under the best circumstances, I couldn’t have “won,” instead of depression hitting me like a bus, relief sweeps through me. There is nothing more I could do. “You can relax, now,” says the voice in my head. Yesterday was one of those days. Coming home from work, I burst into tears with my car pool mate. I had lead the worst ranger program of my life…so bad it had thrown me into and existential battle. “What are you doing here?” my head voice said. “You are a fraud. Can you even do the thing you’ve dedicated your life to?” Compassionate but unsentimental, Laura soothed me and left no space for wallowing. “You are good at what you do. You are a good educator, Megan” she said. I only wanted to cry more. I sucked my bottom lip in to prevent myself from blubbering like a jilted teenager and barely breathed the rest of the drive. If I did breathe, controlling my lower lip so it wouldn’t flap like a wind sock took all my might. Laura came into the house to pick something up, but as soon as she was out the door, I let out a sob. I needed to sit in my underwear and drink wine and talk to my mom and cry. In the midst of popping the cork and stripping off my poly-wool uniform, my phone sang a text alert. “Reminder,” Laura said, “Look up Blind Pilot – Look at Miss Ohio.” I sniffled over to the computer and pulled up YouTube. Laura is a laugh out loud funny girl. so I fumbled with the keyboard expecting a farce-like tune that is supposed to make me laugh. Instead…
Oh me oh my oh, look at Miss Ohio She’s a running around with her rag-top down She says I wanna do right but not right now
She says I wanna do right but not right now
And with the warmth of my first sips of wine, I submerged in the lyrics and tasted relief for the first time in weeks.
You couldn’t have done anything more, my inner voice whispered. The song finished.
Text: “Try Neko Case, I Wish I Was the Moon.“
I’m so tired I wish I was the moon tonight…
Last night I dreamt I had forgotten my name ‘Cause I had sold my soul but awoke just the same
I’m so lonely I wish I was the moon tonight
Sometimes you know someone for years before you realize they know you. With gratitude, I plugged the songs into a new Pandora station, titled it Finding Calm, and sank to the floor to soak in the music.
You don’t have to try so hard You don’t have to give it all away You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up You don’t have to change a single thing
I see that you’ve come so far To be right where you are How old is your soul
Well I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’ve giving you all my love
I’m still looking up
And when you’re needing your space To do some navigating I’ll be here patiently waiting To see what you find
Say something I’m giving up on you I swallow my pride I’m giving up on you
I’ll be here patiently waiting To see what you find
sweet sweet sweet surrender is all that I have to give
With the carpet supporting me and Pandora flooding me with every moment of relief I’ve ever felt – there is nothing more that you could do – I let go of my high expectations, of my chin jutting fierceness…and allowed a moment, and entire hour of moments, of sweet surrender. Thanks to the artists who give me freedom and to the bad days that force me to admit my limits and just be.
Lyrics from: Sarah MacLachlan “Sweet Surrender” Blind Pilot “Look at Miss Ohio” A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera “Say Something” Jason Mraz “I Won’t Give Up” Neko Case “I Wish I Was the Moon” Colbie Caillot “Try”