When we clean out closets and drawers and places, the things we find often spark memories. Not all these memories are good ones. For me, many of these are reminders that he wanted me to be someone I wasn’t.
Cleaning out stuff is like upsetting the bottom of the lake and muddying the waters. That’s how it feels to me. I know that after I clean out the clutter, the water will clear.
When I got my first iPhone, I took over his iTunes account. There were two huge problems with that:
- All his old contacts got dumped into mine. People he’d worked with. People I’d never met. (I’m still cleaning up that shit.)
- All his music.
He loved old country music and a lot of other things that I didn’t. He used to make me listen to different ones with the intent that eventually I would like it. He even tried shaming me into liking his music and ridiculed me for liking mine.
I stopped singing with the radio—something I loved doing. He would say, “Who sings that song?” I’d tell him the artist. “Keep it that way,” he’d say. The message was clear. “Don’t sing.”
He picked on me for not liking Mariah Carey. Sorry, something about her voice never interested me. I tried. Most everyone I knew loved her music. I liked her less in defiance of him.
He dropped a lot of money on his own music—a habit that was okay for him, but not for me in his typical double-standard way of doing things—but he can’t listen to it anymore. And I don’t want to.
I don’t have to.
So, goodbye to the albums of Mariah Carey, Bonnie Riatt, Alabama, Travis Tritt… and so many more. Oh, I see you hiding there, Johnny Paycheck. Here’s your pink slip.
I also found a stack of his old vinyl records. Many of them had scratches. The used book store bought them, and it was enough to pay for dinner out that night.
I’m building my music library now with the ‘80s, alternative rock, heavy metal, and anything else I want. None of it will be country.
It’s okay to be who you are. No one has the right to make you feel as if you aren’t good enough to be you. Listen to the music you want. Sing the words out loud.