From There to Here

Jen Kehl at My Skewed View and Kristi at Finding Ninee host Twisted MixTape Tuesday, a blog hop that’s all about music.  The premise is to create a five song mix based on the week’s theme.  (You can click on the button above if you’d like to play along).

Here’s Jen’s instructions for today’s topic:  Troy from As Long As I’m Singing contributed this week’s theme:– the (5) seminal songs who made you the person you are today. The shutter-openers, the wakers, the “I can see clearly now the rain is goners.” The tunes that forced you to look in the mirror and say, “Hey good-looking, you seem familiar, yet new.”

Not only is this a difficult topic to ponder under normal circumstances (Thanks Troy!), but for me this week, I didn’t have the mental clarity or emotional stability to give it the deep thought it deserved.  I almost didn’t post this week, but I felt like that was a cop-out when confronted with a hard subject.  Then something just came together this morning.

My songs are reflective of formative periods in my life.  Times of hardship, some of my own doing, some of just consequences of life, and the growth that resulted from those times.   A few of the songs are pretty straightforward in the relationship to those years, but a couple are some beautiful metaphors woven by talented songwriters.

1.  Protected – These were my years growing up in a typical nuclear family: middle-class, suburban household with both parents, public high school and private college.  While I was learning textbook knowledge, I was very insulated from the hardships of what “real” life would have in store for me.  Learning to Fly – Pink Floyd best describes this period.

2.  Low – Due to my upbringing, I wasn’t prepared at all for dealing with complicated emotional relationships.  I found myself isolated from friends and families in an abusive relationship with a drug addict that lasted many years.  I was so manipulated in the beginning, that I ended up dependent, both mentally and financially.  I knew it wasn’t healthy for me, but it took several months for me to untangle myself.  Independence Day — Martina McBride.

3.  Lost – Now free, I had no close friendships.  I was awash with emotions I’d never had to deal with before.  Seething anger and guilt, both external and internal and no one I felt I could trust enough to open myself up to.  I hid a deep depression and medicated myself with massive quantities of alcohol most nights of the week.  I spent many years in this phase.  Bottom of a Bottle–Smile Empty Soul.

4.  Peace – I didn’t wake up one day and decide to take control over my life.  The healing came in small amounts, day to day.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was a peace I found within.  It was enough that I finally felt I could truly share myself with someone else.  Shelter From the Storm–Bob Dylan.

5.  Mother – The only thing I had concrete during the previous periods was my career.  I didn’t think I’d ever want or be good enough to raise a child.  Once I opened myself up though, I knew I was ready.  It wasn’t always easy, but I’m happy where I am today.  Beautiful Boy–John Lennon.

Dream Sig 3


  1. Lance

    I love that we share Dylan. That song is brilliant. So is the Lennon and Floyd. Thanks for opening the vein.

    • Dream

      Thanks Lance. Since music wasn’t really a cause for me being who I am, I kinda had to go backwards with the topic and choose songs that embodied the general phases of life that created who I am today.

      I probably could have fit a Dylan song into any of those periods, but that one was perfect where it stands.

    • Dream

      Thanks! I’m growing in appreciation for Dylan more and more. I’m taking an online History of Rock course and we just finished studying Dylan as a songwriter for other artists prior to his own performance career (which we’re talking about this week). I found it interesting that it was his advice to the Beatles that instigated their change from “boy band” to artists.

  2. Kristi Campbell

    What a cool way to do today’s topic. I love how you took us from protected to free to being in a horrible relationship (so glad you got out), to getting out and finding peace and becoming a mother. Love it. Also? That song “Beautiful Boy” is one of my very favorites.

    • Dream

      Thanks Kristi. Seems strange how convoluted some paths have to be to get where you currently are. I used to sing/hum Beautiful Boy to my son when he was a baby. Now I can hear barely the first few notes and I tear up.

  3. Lizzi; Considerer (@LRConsiderer)

    I absolutely ADORE the Pink Floyd 🙂 Shine On You Crazy Diamond was very nearly included in my post for this week, because it was kind of ‘our song’ while Husby and I were dating, and then whilst engaged. We used to sit listening to it, playing cards, drinking tea and chatting about everything under the sun.

    This post is so raw and honest and wonderful – sharing this kind of thing can be really difficult, and you rose to the occasion beautifully – the songs you chose really reflect the stages of your life that you went through. Really well written indeed. I’m so glad that you ended with hope, with life, with your son 🙂

    • Dream

      I struggled a lot with opening up and just how much to share. I settled with trying to hit a balance of revealing some, but not the worst of it…yet. Thanks for the kind words.

    • Dream

      Thanks. I had to mature a bit more musically to learn to love Dylan (and Tom Waits) with their rough-sounding vocals.

  4. Jen

    Wow, wow and wow. Man, do I resonate with this and applaud you for even going there. I know how I felt too when I saw this topic, I was like “What the heck was I thinking when I said OK to Troy? I don’t want to do this!” But then it just happened. You know I don’t write about a very similar time in my life, its been to hard, I really think it’s awesome that you did. Thank you.

    • Dream

      I only wrote about things I’d come to terms with. The heavy stuff is still buried, (like you mentioned on Clark’s post about keeping 50% well-guarded).

  5. Louise

    I’m not sure that I’m suppose to like it – but I wasn’t familiar with Bottom of a Bottle – and, glad I listened through – ’cause I did. I also love Dylan 🙂

    As for the whole post? You are both a strong storyteller and comfortable with where you are. This is the type of post I don’t think I can manage yet as I’m still trying to figure out the boundaries of blogging. But, you had me and it resonated. Thanks.

    • Dream

      I found Smile Empty Soul during my early years of motherhood. During my “mommy time-outs” I’d go to a music store that had a listening section set up with about 10 five-disc players loaded with new releases. I heard their debut album with that song and another that’s still one of my favorites, “For You”.

      Thanks for the kind words. I made the decision when I started this blog to remain anonymous so that I could feel safe enough to bare the things I usually keep hidden. Its taken me five months to begin dropping my guard enough for this post, but once I started telling my truth, it just flowed. All things seem to come in their own time.

  6. Linda Roy

    I love that you’ve got Dylan here and especially that song. That’s in the top 5 of Dylan’s songs for me. The Lennon song too. Now I’m kicking myself for not including a Lennon song! He’s always meant a lot to me. 😉 Really great list!

    • Dream

      Its probably my second favorite Dylan song behind All Along the Watchtower. Though Hendrix’s version is my favorite of that song, the original is my favorite Dylan song. If that makes sense.

      I was well into my 30’s before I really started appreciating Lennon as a songwriter/solo artist.