When we were beautiful

It’s Sunday morning and I’m feeling nostalgic. Last night my husband and I took a road rip to Montreal (two hours from our home) to see a Bon Jovi concert. I was full of excitement, I’ve loved Bon Jovi forever. His Slippery When Wet album was the first cassette tape I owned. I was 10 when I go it. I fell in love and have been a fan ever since. He’s never disappointed. I’ve loved every album, the music just gets better and better.

For some crazy reason, I’ve never indulged in a concert until now. This is unlike me since I’m an avid concert goer, and I can’t say for sure why I haven’t. When I heard he was touring again, I knew this time I couldn’t miss it. I didn’t hesitate, bought the best tickets I could and waited four months in patient anticipation.

I wasn’t disappointed. The concert was everything I hoped and more. The music was spectacular, his on stage charisma unrivaled, the mood in the arena electric. It was simply sensational, one of the best I’ve ever seen. So this morning, I feel nostalgic. Nostalgic for how the concert made me feel and sad, as I always do after I see a favourite artist live, that I may not see him again.

But more than that I feel inspired. It’s interesting how things come full circle, how moments can be captured by feelings and memories that relate to one another. On the drive to Montreal, alone with my husband in the car I obviously felt enthusiastic. The excitement made me feel young, free, and happy. It’s a sensation that I remember from my early adult years, when I was just finished university, working at my first job, living with my soon to be husband. It was a blissful time. We were so unencumbered. So free to live the lives we chose and to the fullest. Everything was fresh, we were just starting out and filled with the optimism of youth.

It occurred to me in that moment that this feeling is wasted in our youth. When we are young, we don’t recognize it and so we aren’t able to revel in it. Perhaps you laugh because, of course I’m still young. I’m fortunate that most of my life is still ahead of me. However, more than 10 years have passed since that time and I’m encumbered with responsibility. Sometimes that responsibility feels heavy. It can snuff out the vitality and make us feel old. For those brief moments in the car, when I was dressed for going out, starting an afternoon and evening alone with my husband, looking forward to great live music, dancing and cheering, I felt free like that again. Such a beautiful, simple moment.
If you’ve listened at all to the new Bon Jovi album, you’ll have heard his new track When we were beautiful. It’s a luxurious, soulful song, that’s full of meaning. When he sang it last night, my thoughts came full circle. It was like a light bulb went off and I could feel his exact meaning when he crooned:

Some dreams live
Some will die
But the you and me
Is still alive

Now am I blessed?
Or am I cursed?
Cause the way we are
Ain’t the way we were

Back…When we were beautiful
Before the world got small
Before we knew it all
Back…When we were innocent
I wonder where it went
Let’s go back and find it

In that moment of complete perfection, he described exactly how I was feeling during our ride to Montreal. I’ve come so far, we (my husband and I) have come so far, changed so much. We’re happy, we have a wonderful family and have so many blessings to be grateful for. But I sometimes long for the simplicity that was “when we were innocent,” and just starting out.

I listened to this song many times before the concert. I never really connected meaning to it before now. Hearing him describe for us why he wrote it and listening to him sing it live inspired me. In that moment I realized it’s true, there is beauty in slowing life down and appreciating it’s finer points. Somewhere along the line, we got so caught up in life, our various responsibilities and lost perspective. When we revel in the beauty of spring as it unfolds, in the joy and laughter of our children, in the companionship and love we have with our partners, in quiet moments of reflection. These are the things that matter. These things are beautiful.

I’d like to discover opportunities to fill my life with joy for the simple things again. To appreciate the moments when I’m living them, rather than giving lip service after the fact and here in my blog. Over the years I’ve gotten caught up in my own ambitions, my need for material things, my inability to focus on the moment. Last week I wrote about how I’m working to improve my focus so I can better manage my life. But this is about taking it a step further. It’s about appreciating these moments as I live them. I think I did that more in my youth. I lived life more fully and with more heart. I was enthusiastic and enjoyed life’s moments with abandon. I just didn’t realize it at the time.

Life is complicated, the responsibilities aren’t going away. As the lyrics say, I’m blessed and cursed all at the same time. I think though, it’s about not letting the “curses” consume us, but rather living my life as it really is: Beautiful and full of blessings.

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One thought on “When we were beautiful

  1. […] he is singing it. You can’t tell, but my heart is literally doing somersaults. I’ve seen him before, but this time was extra […]

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