Sometimes in my current job we have a bit of quiet time and have to entertain ourselves with questions and games.
A recent question that was set was ‘What song would you use to sum up your life or personality?’ Most people struggled to think of one, but mine sprung to mind straight away. I’ll post the lyrics below:
Taking the Long Way Around
My friends from high school married their high school boyfriends.
Moved into houses in the same ZIP codes where their parents live
But I, I could never follow. No I, I could never follow.
I hit the highway in a pink RV with stars on the ceiling.
Lived like a gypsy, six strong hands on the steering wheel.
I’ve been a long time gone now maybe someday, someday I’m gonna settle down
But I’ve always found my way somehow
By takin’ the long way. Takin’ the long way around.
I met the queen of whatever, drank with the Irish and smoked with the hippies.
Moved with the shakers, wouldn’t kiss all the asses that they told me to
No I, I could never follow. No I, I could never follow.
It’s been two long years now since the top of the world came crashing down
And I’m getting’ it back on the road now
But I’m takin’ the long way, takin’ the long way around.
Well I fought with a stranger and I met myself
I opened my mouth and I heard myself
It can get pretty lonely when you show yourself
Guess I could have made it easier on myself
But I, I could never follow. No I, I could never follow
Well I never seem to do it like anybody else maybe someday, someday I’m gonna settle down
If you ever want to find me I can still be found
Takin’ the long way, takin’ the long way around
The Dixie Chicks
When I first heard this song it reminded me of a conversation I had in a pub with my best friend from school in 2004.
I was 20 and had gone home for Easter. I’d met up with Clare and other friends and we were discussing what we wanted from our lives. I had a plan (as people tend to do at 20ish) of what the next ten years would probably bring. I would be 23 by the time I finished my degree, I would work and take a part time Masters in Music and Education, train as a primary teacher, work for a few years and hopefully start having kids at about 30.
Clare baulked at this idea, saying 30 was pretty old to start having kids, she wanted one as soon as possible. My mum had me at 30, although her first child was when she was 21 and the 5th at 34, so 30ish seemed a good time to get going. We were at different stages in our lives – Clare had been working since she left school, was settled with her boyfriend and either had just, or was just about to, buy a flat. I was part way through my first year of university and had almost had a relationship with someone who liked to dress as an elf.
Eight years on from that night in the pub and Clare has a lovely little boy, has been married to that boyfriend for about 6 years and is still very settled. I finished the folk degree, started the masters, dropped out because I didn’t get a job I was relying on. So I ended up working in a homeless hostel for two years before finding the careers advice job. So I’m still no closer to having kids unless someone hands them to me, but I’ve mostly achieved what I set out to do. Still taking the long way but sometimes that can be a bit more interesting I guess.
What would your song be?