We’ve all been through a lot lately. The shock of this past week’s events have me sitting silent, trying to figure out where and how I, Fi, can help create the change we need. It’s been hard to watch people just like you and me act so violently, be taken from this world so mercilessly, and suffer so intensely. I’ve been observing and watching as others demand respect, demand order and demand love. This can’t be the world we live in, right?
On a personal level, I had one of those weeks where it felt like every single person was looking at me as if they were asking, “You can’t be serious, Fi. You didn’t know?” I need a closing lawyer? What are ACRIS forms? I can’t renew my Texas driver’s license online? Do I have homeowners insurance? How long does it take to deliver a couch? Does exhibit A need details? Which way do you swipe? No, I don’t know. And handling so much can be paralyzing for sure. But I’m learning. I’m asking. I’m trying. I’m breathing. That’s the best I can do, right?
After work on Friday, I met up with friends for drinks. My friend, Katie, mentioned she was seeing Garth Brooks at Yankees Stadium on Saturday. My response was the kind of response you’d expect from any Texan. [Just to make this story extra stereotypical, I might have said “yee haw” at some point.] Bottom line is I’m not sure why I didn’t have tickets to see an artist who stood by me (ahem…via the radio) all those years growing up. At one point, I think I knew every word to 97% of his songs (pre weirdo Chris Gaines incident).
The next morning, I woke up way too early for a Saturday to meet with a contractor who also looked at me as if he were saying. “You can’t be serious, Fi. You didn’t know?” I then went to Crossfit where my friends, Amy and Q , both forced me to add more weight to the bar. “You can’t be serious, Fi…” After class, Amy told me about this magical unicorn called a closing lawyer who helps relieve people from the stresses of closings. “You can’t be serious, Fi. You didn’t…” Anyway.
I got home and crawled into bed feeling exhausted from the week. That’s when it happened. The the once-in-a-lifetime text came in from Katie: I have an extra ticket for tonight if you’re interested.
AM I INTERESTED??? HELL. YES. I. AM.
As I watched Garth bring the thunder to Yankees Stadium and my heart, I reflected back to a moment when I was little girl. I was heading out with the Girl Scouts to a dude ranch for the weekend. I had my cowboy hat and my shiny, new cowboy boots with me. While in the van, all the girls were chatting and laughing. I sat there, a bit shy, to myself, and listened to every word from Garth’s No Fences album on my cassette player. At this point, I could say my life was a bit more complicated than other kids my age. And as Garth sang anthem after anthem and ballad after ballad, it was at this moment where I realized that we all go through stuff, we all suffer through tough times, and we all feel immense joy, love and pain at some point. But it’s through being open and honest about these periods of life, like my friend Garth was doing with his songs, that forward movement begins to happen.
Oh and in case you’re wondering, I rode my horse quite well that weekend. And yes, Garth was incredible last night.
So what was the song that did it? Unanswered Prayers. I’m not religious and praying isn’t a thing I do, but I get it. Sometimes the things we ask for or want aren’t the things we need. Sometimes the experiences we try to avoid are the exact experiences we need. For strength. For love. For change. But we won’t know until we know.
This is the world we live in. We are the kind of humans who hurt each other and make mistakes. We are living in an era of terrorism and unacceptable violence. We are all walking into the unknown. Whatever your religion and wherever you stand on the political spectrum, right now is a time to do our best, be our best, stand together, create change, and love with all your f*cking heart. Make the world you live in fuller, more impactful, and enjoyable.
I am serious. I don’t know it all. But I do know we all have a purpose, we all have something to contribute. Tune into that. Hug more. Bring people in. Ask the questions you need to ask. And don’t forget to drink a couple of piña coladas while doing it.
Thanks for that reminder, Garth. Thanks for that ticket, Katie. And thanks for saying “yes,” Fi.
My wife and I ran into my old high school flame
And as I introduced them the past came back to me
And I couldn’t help but think of the way things used to beShe was the one that I’d wanted for all times
And each night I’d spend prayin’ that God would make her mine
And if he’d only grant me this wish I wished back then
I’d never ask for anything againSometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs
That just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care
Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayersShe wasn’t quite the angel that I remembered in my dreams
And I could tell that time had changed me
In her eyes too it seemed
We tried to talk about the old days
There wasn’t much we could recall
I guess the Lord knows what he’s doin’ after all
And as she walked away and I looked at my wife
And then and there I thanked the good Lord
For the gifts in my life
Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs
That just because he may not answer doesn’t mean he don’t care
Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered
Some of God’s greatest gifts are all too often unanswered…
Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers