Thursday, June 17, 2010

Conversation with a Friend

About a month ago, I attended the Jimmy Buffett concert in Frisco, TX. I went with my sister and her husband and we made a day of it. We tail-gated all day and then headed over for the concert that evening. I couldn't believe how easy it was to move around without the girls. I missed them, but I was surprisingly clear headed for the first time in a long, long time.

Sitting at the concert, I reacquainted myself with the Jimmy's music. I've always identified with it, though probably not for the reasons one would suspect. I'm no beach bum. While I like the idea of a low key, sitting around kind of lifestyle, I can't do it. My brain just doesn't know how to process down time. It usually turns on me and conjures up all sorts of things to worry about or lament. But, besides Jimmy's obvious "I like the beach and mixed drinks" type of songs, there are so many that make a point that resonates with me. When the Coast is Clear is such a song. This lyric in particular:

That's when it always happens
The same time every year
I come down to talk to me
When the coast is clear

Hello mister other me
It's been a long long time
We hardly get to have these chats
That in itself's a crime

So tell me all your troubles
I'll surely tell you mine
We'll laugh and smoke and cuss and joke and
Have a glass of wine

This is a song that, when I heard it, I instantly recognized and appreciated. I am a person who spends a significant amount of time in my own head, thinking, pondering, working through problems. So, I completely understood the sentiment expressed in this song. But, and this may be the brilliance of Jimmy, I hadn't thought of it in the same metaphorical terms. It's such a pleasant idea, sitting down with oneself and taking stock of life, problems, triumphs. Surely, aside from possibly my mother, there is no other person to whom I can truly reveal myself without fear of judgement. I can actually tell myself the truth, the complete unedited, not-for-kids version of it. Conversations with myself are free, easy and without social boundaries.

Of course, no good thing is without a few drawbacks. In my case, if I have too much free time to let my mind wander, I tend to get moody and withdrawn. This could either be a side effect from "unedited" truth or it could be that any discussion with myself inevitably becomes a brainstorming session on how to solve issues in my life. In any case, it can get a bit heavy after a while and I don't think Jimmy would want that.

So self, same time next year?

Me, my sister and my bro-in-law at the Buffett concert