Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Somewhere Down the Road

"Somewhere down the road there'll be answers to the questions, though we cannot see it now."

Such a lovely excerpt from one of my favorite songs written and performed by someone I've been listening to since I can remember. I haven't bought one of her cd's in years, but the recent discovery of a beautiful song made me say "I gotta have this one." The new stuff on this album is beautiful and poignant, but I was surprised and delighted to find "Somewhere Down the Road" among the new treasures. I suppose it's another one of those forgotten messages I have stored away on an old piece of media in a box somewhere that I need to be reminded of.

To me the message contained in the lyrics of that song is that suffering doesn't usually make sense when we're experiencing it, but somewhere along the path of our journey we find out why we needed that lesson. I suppose in a way it's cause and effect's way of giving us a kick in the pants. Absolutely predetermined and predestined? No, of course not. Even so-called psychic visions and premonitions of the future are just that-a vision of what could be if no change occurs.

And of course there is the saying (and the book, too) "everything happens for a reason." Certainly, I've made my laundry list of the major traumatic and not so great moments of my thirty-three years that I can recall and have checked it twice. We won't divulge all the ugly details here though. There's a time and a Jerry Springer show for that. The point is that while suffering is going to make us bitchy, want to scream, cry, run, give up in exasperation and crawl into a fetal position and hide, we should remember that it's temporary and there's a lesson to be learned if we'll listen.

I know, I know, easier said than done. Especially when you're lucky to have $100 left over in your checking account, you're floating checks in order to pay for the repairs on the car that you need to get to the job that pays you a measly $10 an hour, the sugar daddy boyfriend is no help because his second car is being used by one of his kids and you're wondering if you'll have enough to buy quarters to do your laundry in an actual machine this week. Yep, I've been there and worse. And believe me, trying to air dry your clothes in Florida's humidity is almost as bad as trying to get a flying cockroach to die.

But then you decide that the stress is enough. You've had enough and you start reading books on how to budget, how to work with what you've got, how to focus on paying off debt and how to appreciate what you do have. Then one day when you have that job that pays you more money than you know what to do with, you realize that you didn't have it back then because you would've squandered it in a heartbeat. You learn to appreciate not what money can buy, but what it can't.

You learn to appreciate even the necessities and realize that giving back is more important. You never forget where you were, how far you came and that you could just as easily go back. You learn that money, like most things we chase after in life, doesn't really matter in the end. It is nothing more than a made up notion of value that can give you temporary access to transitory images.

Finally, you learn that it's the everyday contributions that we make, the hearts we touch, the simple happiness we create for ourselves and the experience of living that is more valuable. Without that, your eyes no longer shine and your soul becomes a ghost of what could be. You realize the lesson that you sometimes wish you could tell your former self so that she would stop her crying and panic attacks.

But, if you had a way to do that, there would be no joy in finding the answers to the questions that would never have gotten asked in the first place.


  1. Wonderful. I've been there too-having next to nothing, trying to pay off the $40.00 balance on my gasoline credit card, living day to day and hand to mouth, having dreams and hopes but being unable to see any path leading in that direction. One day, due to someone else's bad fortune, I found myself walking to my bank with a check for roughly $300,000.00. As I walked back to the office, I noticed that I was no happier than the day before-I just had the means to pay off some bills and buy a few items that I had longed for. From this I learned not the value of money, but its lack of "value." What makes me happy is not a hefty bank account-it is having in your life people to love and experiencing things with those people. These experiences can never be bought nor taken away and when times get tough the will always be safe harbor during life's storms.

  2. I'm grateful for lessons from the hard as they sometimes are. I know that money is not what we need to value, but it sure can help in dire being a money culture and all.

    In the end, I know, that money will not buy the things I truly cherish and so I'm thankful everyday that I have those things in my life now.

  3. Thanks J! Yes, having money does make some things in life easier and less stressful, but it doesn't erase what may be lacking underneath its facade. =)