A Low-Level PulseJune 18, 2012 - Author: newscoma - Comments are closed
I went through a period of time when I was a bit depressed where I would sit at home and stare at This Old House on PBS. I would watch Bob Vila and Norm work on projects with power tools and caulk guns making things that looked unfixable into workable and beautiful pieces of art. I remember this mainly because it was also a period of time that I also watched a lot of Star Trek: The Next Generation in reruns.
Those two shows remind me of that period of my life for whatever reason. Twenty years ago is a long time yet it isn’t really when you look at the big picture.
I was in my mid-twenties reeling with the first round of mistakes (they weren’t the last) that I had made being a young human that honestly thought she was invincible. Thus the low-level pulse of being sad because some of the things I did were not fixable. I was also in a point of my life (believe me, this has changed) where I held on to what other people thought of me thinking that was my identity. I don’t know if everyone goes through this, but I did.
I can’t be ashamed of it now because it was who I was at the time.
I was working as the news director of a radio station back in ye olde days, which if I am honest I miss because I was pretty damned good at it. I loved radio from the days of spinning vinyl which I did, cueing the records up so they would seamlessly start as I talked over the musical intro to gathering news, a job that was never easy but was extremely satisfying.
It was a very good professional time in my life. On a personal level, however, I was reeling not really knowing my place in this world.
Although I lost myself in those two shows when I was at home and long before internet, if you met me on the street, you would have thought I was rather cheerful. And I was. There was the Trace in the house, healing I guess for lack of a better word, from being thrust into adulthood and the outside Trace, who smiled, was cheerful and appeared to be somewhat fearless.
Masks are funny things. You can’t let people see the world eat you alive, although those times are temporary. There isn’t a human alive that hasn’t felt broken a time or two in their lives.
I’ve been thinking of those times where light and dark was balanced precariously. I also remember that at that time I had people who mentored me in a way that I can’t explain. The snark of the Internet was still in the distance by at least a decade. There was an intimacy that I can’t describe between those people in my life that I know still exists. I think that sometimes that is why I’m a bit nostalgic because I remember those days where a cup of coffee or a beer after a county commission meeting was normal. There was a civility established between the media, the elected officials, the town leaders and the like.
Christian Grantham asked me one time at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Smyrna (I remember this for some reason) why I got really great interviews with a lot of famous people and politicians while living in a small town. I had to think about it, but the best answer I could give him was I was one of the only games in town. And as I got older, I tried very hard to mentor those younger people who came behind me so they could have the same opportunities. Living in Nashville, you are one of many. In small towns like Dresden, Martin and any other Hoots in the world, you have chances and you aren’t competing with everyone else. And you learn everything if you open yourself up to it.
I don’t know if people really appreciate mentors much anymore, but damn, I needed them like water and air.
Yet no one ever knew that I would go home and stare at the images on television wondering about my place in this world. In some ways, those are the images that writers from Faulkner to Harper Lee have written about small-town life which are true and resonate. I wish there were more advocates for rural life, because there is an exquisite joy and a story everywhere.
I have no idea why I’m writing this today, yet I needed to write something. It’s not as easy for me to fill a blank page as it was even three years ago. And I never imagined the changes that would hit me in the past two years.
And I anticipate more changes in the future. Life is about change.
So, if you read this, the one thing that I will say is barrel through what you have to, that you are more than one thing and learn. For God’s sake, learn everything as if your life depended on it.
Just learn and move through what you have to and grab onto the good stuff. And if it means finding healing through Norm and Bob Vila building things or Jean Luc Picard going boldly through space, that’s okay too.