Bands: Aaron Ivey Band, The Civil Wars, Lumineers, The Avett Brothers
Food: duck tostada, organic tamales, hibiscus mint popsicle, Hopdoddy (on South Congress for dinner)
This weekend is ACL– Austin City Limits Music Festival. Three cram-packed days of music, crowds, great food, and the best people watching you’ve ever seen. I’ve had my three-day wristband since October of last year. Seriously. I don’t miss this.
At this point in years past, I’ve had my lineup planned for each day. Bands were selected, routes to stages plotted… even potential bathroom breaks were noted. I’d have my day pack sitting out, mostly packed, and sun dresses and good walking shoes would be prepped. For sun, I’d have the sunscreen, umbrella, wet wipes, and water bottles. For rain, I’d have ponchos. I would plan and prepare– ACL is serious fun.
But here I sit two nights before the festival– up late, sleep deprived, and blogging. I’m in the middle of report card week at school, planning for parent teacher conferences, lesson plans, and mountains of grading. I’m behind on my own homework and bible study for the Women’s Development Program. We had a three hour class tonight.
There’s not a planned line-up this year. No day pack prepped, no dresses picked out. No plans. There hasn’t been any time. But I’m SO looking forward to this weekend– in fact, it’s the thing driving me forward right now. If I just power through and keep going, I’ll get there– to a weekend with my husband.
ACL is like a date-weekend. It’s just the two of us, holding hands and wandering through Zilker Park. We do what we want, when we want. It’s amazing.
I’m ready. It’s time to coffee-up, focus, and power through. ACL– here we come!
Today Lindsey and I had another study date (we’re really enjoying them, by the way). I made good progress but then got derailed by a song that popped up on my iPhone. When these lyrics came through my headphones, I just kinda stopped in my tracks:
I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life, I know you’ll be a star in somebody else’s sky, But why, why, why can’t it be, can’t it be mine?
Black, Pearl Jam You see, Pearl Jam was an important band for me back in the day. They inspired my first purchase of Doc Martens, were my initial foray into 90’s grunge, and they brought the wrath of my mother after she read the lyrics inside the Vs. album cover. Since grunge died I have gone back to the well time and time again. I really dig the band, even if I wish Eddie Vedder would just stop talking about politics.
The reason these lyrics were so affecting today was because of the history I have with them. I heard these lyrics and stopped studying to really think about them. I remembered back to points in time when I had listened to these same words, and thoughts those same thoughts about the girl of the moment. I remembered back to times of struggle and wishful thinking. At the time, the object(s) of those desires seemed like the answer to me. In a few cases they seemed like the ONLY answer to me.
Having married the perfect woman for me, I know now how wrong I was. So, I stopped the music and interrupted Lindsey’s studying. I recited the lyrics to her. I told her about the times when I’d felt them so deeply. I told her about how deep and true I thought they were. Then I told her I how stupid I was back then.
I told her how much I regret thinking that those previous situations were the right ones, how much I wish I had known what was coming. I told her that in hindsight all of that angst looks, well, silly.
She smiled lovingly and told me she understood. She reminded me that we all have those stories. She told me that she remembers the same things, and that all of those experiences brought us to where we are, to each other.
Today an old song, one that meant so much to me, took on a new meaning. Now whenever I hear it I won’t be thinking of the long lost crushes or the ones that got away. Instead I will think about the one that I have, the one that I love. I’ll think about my star, and how bright she shines.
As Garth Brooks once sang1, “sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers.”