Wednesday, September 17, 2014

SUNNY AND 75


SOMEWHERE SUNNY AND 75...




Have you ever come across a song that you had to work up the courage to listen to? Whenever this particular tune comes over the radio, you have to change the station entirely or press skip. Oddly enough, I couldn't listen to Sunny and 75 by Joe Nichols because the melody reminded me of a very specific memory, and I wasn't prepared to let go. I guess listening to the song in its entirety meant that I'd accepted it as part of our past, and who likes to say good-bye, anyway?

On our last day in Hawaii, we must have heard that particular song play on the local country station and iTunes radio at least a dozen times. I promise that's not an exaggeration; we couldn't escape it if we tried. Flyboy sang along, but after the second time we heard it in an hour's time, I began to sob. As hokey as it sounds, I tend to internalize lyrics and interpret them quite literally. If it's playing at a certain moment in time, I think of it as a sign. In this case, I thought about FB in his Ray-Bans, the salt air, and the sun. Oh, and let's not forget about our beloved beach chairs and all the time we logged in them sitting seaside. How could we possibly bid this chapter of our life adieu? In the months that passed, hearing that song felt like someone was adding salt to the wound. Where was the idyllic Hawaiian scenery of our past? Would we ever feel like that again? How could we possibly top an experience like this?

When you find yourself reminiscing about the past and scrolling through albums filled with all the highlights—Instagram filters included—you tend to forget that with the good comes the bad. That's life! My perspectacles reminded me that our Hawaii chapter was far from perfect. If I'm being completely honest with myself, we spent a lot of time apart. We learned to live without each other. We experienced countless moments of loneliness and heartache. The memories we made are priceless, but those three years were a lot tougher than we ever imagined. You see, on the surface that assignment seemed to fit the song's lyrics to a T, but in a year's time I've realized my idea of Sunny and 75 looks a little different than I ever imagined, and I've learned I'm okay with that.

This epiphany, while 10 months too late, came over me a few short weeks ago. The dreaded song began to play as I headed into town. Instead of changing the station, I drove to my doctor's appointment and listened to all 3 minutes and 28 seconds from start to finish. I found this move particularly risky because music and pregnancy hormones just don't mix. I tend to shoot for the obscene and explicit, otherwise EVERYTHING has sentimental value and I could potentially be on the verge of an unsightly meltdown. We don't want that, now do we?? As I pulled into the parking lot, the song came to a close, and I refrained from the ugly cry. I sat there in disbelief and a tad bit proud of m' self. Then I felt confused. Maybe it's time to dig a little deeper?!

Despite my love for a postcard-perfect view, Sunny and 75 is no longer about a place or an isolated memory in time. Instead, it has everything to do with my partner in crime, and the way he makes me feel about our life together. Our adventure awaits, and boy does it look ravishing! As the years pass by and we continue to move around, the ways in which we interpret the song will evolve. For now, it feels more like 105 degrees and that beach scenery has been replaced with a desolate highway and Wal-Mart, but our story is just about to take an exciting turn. I'm learning to appreciate the view, no matter the locale, as long as he's by my side.

Here's to finding your Sunny and 75, no matter how you choose to define it.

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