“Oh, it’s delightful to have ambitions. I’m so glad I have such a lot. And there never seems to be any end to them– that’s the best of it. Just as soon as you attain to one ambition you see another one glittering higher up still. It does make life so interesting.” -Anne of Green Gables
Approximately 23 mins ago, I was folding laundry, dancing in my pjs, and scream-shouting along to Hannah Montana, her first CD that came out in 2006. I was 8 when the very first episode was released on Disney Channel, and was super excited. I had seen the previews for it on TV, and thought the idea of a girl living a secret double life as a rock star was the most creative and amusing thing in the world. And highly realistic–you never know who the girl sitting next to you in your table group is when she goes home from school, maybe she is a rock star, and you would be none the wiser. No one knew I was adopted unless they came over after school and met my mom. Anything was possible! That was also when I was 100% convinced my teachers lived in their classroom cupboards, hypnotism was a real life superpower, and mermaids were real.
What I love about music, is that it takes me back to another me. When I listen to Hannah Montana for example, I’m not listening for musical genius, lyrical genius, or even merely for sentimental purposes. Rather than sentiment, it’s almost like there is a part of me captured within the songs, and that girl rematerializes when the song plays, like she never grew up, but was just waiting for you to release her. Like a time capsule, but so much richer. Because when I hear “Best of Both Worlds” the linear thoughts and feelings of 8 year old me flood my senses, and it almost feels as if I truly am 8 again, with all my 8 year old memories and impulses, and can think and feel so simplistically, so gullibly and without thinking about the actual logistics behind ‘could this even be possible’.
I remember how Anna and I used to have sleepovers and make up dances to her songs, how we used to dream about when we would be successful like her, or whether that boy from my science class noticed me or not. We would read the gossipy teen magazines like J-14 or TigerBeat and take their quizzes hoping they would answer all of our questions. I can remember how I truly believed every lyric, that I could change the world, yeah, yeah, yeah. I threw my cares up in the air, and I knew they weren’t coming down. Those were the days when I felt belief and certainty with such conviction, that telling me I was wrong would crush me from the inside out.
Now I’m at time in my life where the complete opposite is true. I’m not sure about anything. I’m not sure my dreams will come true, I’m not sure that no matter what happens ‘I’ll be ok’. I’m not sure that the things I’ve worked for won’t crumble before me and turn to dust. And sadly, I’m not always sure of my faith in Jesus. I know struggling with doubt is a big part of being a Christian, but to believe that there is something out there that loves me beyond human comprehension, is by definition humanly incomprehensible. ‘Growing up’ has taught me that anything and everything is susceptible to change, black, white, or gray, and that nothing is permanent. So how can I be sure of anything?
But every now and then when I can’t handle the pressure of ‘adulting’ (even though I know I don’t even know the half of it), I turn on some crappy old music that I unashamedly know all the lyrics to, and revert back to a time of smaller issues, stardust, and mega confidence. Maybe I can use the music to recapture some of that exuberance and bring back the girl that didn’t understand the meaning and power of doubt. She did what she wanted with so much fervor that despite knowing that mermaids aren’t real, she could make you second guess yourself. I mean, 95% of the world’s oceans are unexplored…