I’ve mentioned it before, but sometimes I get life affirmation in the weirdest ways, usually through music.
I get a lot of this is probably because I’m focused on certain things anyway, and some is probably coincidence. Still, some experiences are just weird, like the universe has had enough and is pointedly clearing it’s throat at me.
Years ago, my immediate family was going through some changes. People were out of work, people were finishing school and moving on, I was the unofficial go between for everyone. I was questioning where I was creatively and in the workplace. Everything was making me anxious and stressing me out. At one point I happened to hear Let it Be on the radio and that gave me a bit of a smile. I have mixed feelings about the Beatles and I’m not a huge McCartney fan, but I love that song.
Which is a good thing, because over the course of the next year-and-a-half or so I heard it ever time I started to stress and overthink something. Every. Single. Time. It would come on the radio, in elevators, in stores. I even walked into a Wal Mart and bumped right into a shirt display with the song title on it. It was as if the universe was sighing at me and telling me to chill out whenever I got particularly ping pong ball-ish.
Admittedly, this amused me and ticked me off a little bit, to the point that I may have growled under my breath and cursed Sir Paul out a little when I heard it for the five thousandth time. Yes, at the time the local classic rock station played a lot of Beatles, but it also showed up in weird, weird places. People didn’t believe me until one day at work it came on the radio and I grumbled about it, and it was pointed out that I couldn’t look at it as a cosmic smart-ass reply because hi, classic rock station. I opened the door to go to another building and the muzak came through the door: Let it Be.
As if this wasn’t enough, a cell phone that had been left in that particular room started going off around the same time. The ringtone? You got it: Let it Be.
I raised an eyebrow at my now-creeped out coworker and went to go do my thing.
It did give me a laugh at times, though, and admittedly it made me rethink my life strategy. It’s not that there wasn’t a lot to worry about per say, but worrying really wasn’t actually accomplishing anything, either. Sometimes, with the bigger stuff, like it or not, all I could really do was Let it Be. Eventually, things did turn around and work themselves out, either because of how life works or because I started working to move the things I could forward.
It also occurs to me now that it wasn’t just about chilling out and letting things sit. If you wanna get downright Dao about it, it’s also about letting things BE. I had to learn to let life live itself through me at times, trusting in something bigger than myself. I don’t like thinking of myself as a cog in the machine, honestly. Maybe it’s ego, maybe it’s fear, but it’s hard for me to realize that in the be-all and end-all, not much I say or do really matters in the history of humanity. I want to feel like I’m in control, but this also has the opposite effect: I take it very hard when things don’t work out and I feel like I should have been able to do more. I’ve gotten better, but sometimes I have to be reminded that it’s okay to take a breath and step back, that things do have a way of working themselves out. Sometimes you have to do what you can do, accept that, then just…let it all be. It is what it is, and it’s all in hands bigger than your own.
I bring all this up because after a long week of relatives, promotion, work, errands, a signing, and so much else, I was driving home last night and clicked on the radio. Three guesses what song was playing and the first two don’t count.
I suppose I still need a reminder to take a step back, sometimes, but at least if I’m going to be told to calm down, it’s done to a beautiful melody.