Road to Nowhere
I forgot if it was my mom or my dad who showed me the song first. They’re both music buffs — dad’s more an appreciator than mom, but both have impeccable taste that they graciously passed onto me. Anyway, the song in question was “Road to Nowhere” by Talking Heads. Almost immediately, I had a complete breakdown. Something about the weird stop motion music video and the choir combined to form a dismal image of my own future. Don’t get me wrong, I love Talking Heads. It was just a weird time, I guess.
When I was in high school, I went through a pretty shitty couple of years. I had great friends and a supportive family, but I was pulling some weak grades. I’ve never been a good studier, and things like math and chemistry didn’t stick. They still don’t, really.
For the next year, I avoided the song at all costs. Even when listening to the album, I would purposefully skip it. Things began to turn around for me, I was getting better grades and landed some amazing opportunities as my high school career continued. But I still couldn’t bring myself to listen to that song.
I don’t know if it was still in high school or when I went to college that I finally listened to it again, but when I did, I saw the song for what it is: a song that says it’s okay to not know what’s going on right now. You’ll figure things out eventually. If you’re on a path, you’ve got a start, no matter if the destination is known or not.
I sit here listening to a cover of “Road to Nowhere” by Greensky Bluegrass in a Starbucks in Salt Lake City, Utah. Their cover is more upbeat, more carefree. I’m 23 years old. I graduated college less than a month ago, and in that time I’ve driven 1500 miles from New York for a job in Wyoming. Along the way I spent time with lifelong friends and met complete strangers. I saw things, both natural and from the minds of men, that truly moved me in ways nothing has done before.
I look back on myself during high school and wish more than anything that I could grab him by the shoulders and tell him that things would be alright. I wish I could show high school me the things that present-day me has seen, I wish I could make him feel the things I’ve felt since then. Every year since then has been the best year of my life, the most eye-opening, the happiest, the saddest, and the most life-changing. I have no plans of changing that. So far this year has taken the cake, and I look forward to see what next year has to offer.
Feeling okay this morning, and I know we’re on the road to paradise.
Here we go.