While driving to Applebee’s tonight, Aerosmith’s song, I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing, came on the radio. There are many songs that are deeply connected to memories of people and events in my life, and this is one such song. In fact, it’s probably one of the most strongly connected songs I can think of.
Tonight, this song took me back to my relationship with my first boyfriend. At the time Chris (not his real name) and I were dating, this song was relatively new and seeing a lot of airtime across the nation. And every time I heard it, I became more deeply convinced that it was the perfect song to describe how I felt about our relationship. In fact, I think I pointed this out to Chris at the time.
Thinking about the relationship now, I can still understand why I felt this way. Chris and I seldom saw each other (we probably spent barely over a week total together throughout the six months we were “involved”), and it was perfectly reasonable for me to want to make as much of that precious rare time as I could. On more than one occasion, I ended up taking a sick or personal day off work just so I could have those eight more hours with him.
Of course, there were other reasons for feeling like this, too. The relationship wasn’t healthy, and I knew it. And that made me want to cling to it even tighter, holding it together out of my own desparation. Aerosmith’s song spoke to me powerfully and romantically about that desparation I was feeling. In many ways, I used that song to validate my sense of desperation.
As I listened to that song this evening and allowed these memories and thoughts to play through my mind, I began to ask myself many questions. The first question was whether there was any pain associated with this song or the memories that it evoked. There wasn’t, and I have to admit that I’m a little surprised by that. Certainly, there’s a certain morose feel to the whole thing as I think of mistakes made and lessons learned. And there’s the memory of the pain that used to be there. There’s the knowledge that years ago, hearing this song would’ve driven me to tears almost instantly. But not this evening. This evening, there was merely a sense of familiarity and a knowledge of what has passed. And while I find it somewhat strange, I also find it rather comforting.
Of course, I also asked myself how I felt about the message of the song today. If I were with someone, would this song still reflect how I would feel about a new relationship? And I think that for the most part, I can say that it doesn’t. Because now, my love relationships aren’t about desperation, they’re about something else.
The underlying premise of the song is about a relationship that would consume my whole life, an that’s not what I’m lookin fo at all. Certainly, I want a lover I can share my life with, and I’d prefer to spend the rest of my life with him. And there are certainly those moments I will want to get lost in, but only for a time. Because there are other things in my life that are equally important. And I do not wish to give up those things completely just so I can make sure I “don’t miss a thing” with my lover. That just isn’t healthy.
It’s strange to think of the thought processes a song can initiate. Of course, I also find it interesting that this all started on the same day that I had a dream about Chris (sadly, I don’t remember any details) while napping.