Isn’t it odd how some things stay with you for no apparent reason? The song “Wonderful” by Everclear is one of those things that has stayed with me, but this post isn’t really about this song, but rather it’s a springboard.
I clearly remember the first time I heard this song and saw the video. It was the summer of 2000 and I was visiting my parents in Ohio and we were at King’s Island. I was standing in line with my dad to ride The Beast (my favorite roller coaster in the whole world, BTW) and there were video monitors in the queue that played music videos to watch while you waited for the ride. This video came on and I listened to the words as I watched the video. It struck me as heartbreakingly sad and for some reason, the song stayed with me.
One year later, that song became slightly prophetic when my parents split up and eventually divorced after more than 30 years of marriage. Suddenly, I was able to identify with way too many lines in that song.
“Close my eyes and count to ten, hope it’s over when I open them.”
“I wish I could count to ten, make everything be wonderful again.”
“I go to school and I run and play. I tell the kids that it’s all okay. I laugh aloud so my friends won’t know when the bell rings I just don’t wanna go home.”
“I don’t believe you when you say everything will be wonderful someday.”
“I don’t wanna hear you say that I will understand someday.”
“I don’t wanna hear you say you both have grown in a different way.”
“I just want my life to be the same, just like it used to be.”
“Some days I hate everything, everyone and everything.”
And hate I did. I hated everyone. I hated my mom, my dad, and my dad’s eventual wife, Brenda. It literally ate me alive. I was sick. I was awful to people. I was eroding my relationships with my family, my friends, my husband, my daughter. I was black on the inside. And I was so, so exhausted. Hating is an ugly thing and it makes a person ugly in every way.
Literally, one morning I woke up and told myself that I simply could not control this situation and I had to stop trying and I couldn’t hate anymore.
So I stopped.
And it was the most liberating thing I ever did in my whole life.
It opened me up to love my parents again. It opened me up to love Brenda and her family as I have gotten to know so many of them. It allowed me to heal my relationships. It allowed me to see the good in the people around me and in the world. I am eternally grateful, too, for the patience my parents and Brenda and my family and friends showed me during that time of my life. I am sure I wasn’t easy to be around. I’m so glad they are all still here today.
Certainly my life isn’t perfect, but I think overall I can say that everything is wonderful now.