Who Wants to Live Forever

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m going through some really serious stuff right now, and my mind is a jumbled, dark, twisted mess. My heart is in even worse shape. I’m currently watching Shrinking on Apple TV right now, and one of the things a few of the grieving characters do is put on a sad song on loop for 15 minutes a day and just cry it out to help them process their grief. While watching, I asked myself what song I’d pick if I were to pick the saddest song I know, put it on loop, and drown in all my sorrows for 15 minutes.

The first time I ever listened to Queen’s “Who Wants to Live Forever” I felt compelled to stop in the middle of what I was doing, put my stuff aside, and just listen until the song ended because it was so captivating, and just so gut-wrenchingly depressing.

I loved it.

“Sad is like ‘happy’ for deep people” has long been one of my favorite lines from Dr. Who (spoken by Sally Sparrow, Blink). It’s a clever line but now that I’ve lived through some proper mindfuckery and intense sadness, I can attest to the following: true sadness is not satisfying on any level—its just fucking sad. And I don’t do sad very well. There is a reason why I surround myself with muppets and musicals 24/7. I have some pretty sizeable demons, and once I start to go down this road, it gets dark very quickly.  

At one point in time, many years ago, when I was in my early thirties, it seemed like everything was finally coming together. I had recently gotten married, my professional career was taking off, and all the pieces seemed to be falling into place. There was no shortage of good times to be had; travel, volunteering, friends, happy hours. I used to proudly joke with coworkers that I “didn’t believe in the no-win scenario.” And then it all went to Hell. The remainder of my thirties were some of the worst times of my life. Amidst the spiritual gut-punch that was the Trump administration and all the political and social upheaval happening: one by one, social circles and friendships, career, marriage, and family all took turns falling apart, and I grew increasingly tired and unhappy. After years of a seemingly endless string of unfortunate events, my new mantra turned into “everything ends, and everyone leaves.” Not only do I believe in the no-win scenario now–I’ve lived it. And this latest personal drama tops it all. So I’m not really sure what to make of the future at this point. My forties loom before me like an open chasm. There is a new beginning here starting, but I’ve grown so accustomed to endings that I’m not sure I have it in me to boldly go any more.

If you had asked 30-year old me if she believed there was some cosmic plan and that everything happened for a reason, she probably would have said Yes. 39-year old me desperately wants to believe that, but has been soldiering on for a long time now and is struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I am endeavoring to be optimistic—really, I am. One of my beacons of shining light (right up there with Hello Dolly! and ABBA) is Ted Lasso. Ted Lasso is one of the best new series I’ve seen in a long, long, time, and is chicken soup for the soul. There is a speech Ted gives after a series of disheartening losses on the field that stops me in my tracks and gives me hope:

Fairy tales do not start, nor do they end, at the dark forest. That’s only something that shows up smack dab in the middle of the story, but it will all work out. It may not work out how you think it will or how you hope it does. But believe me, it will all work out, exactly as it’s supposed to. Our job is to have zero expectations and just let go.

I’m going to frame it and hang it on my wall.

And in the meantime, I don’t think I will put myself through the 15 minute sad-song-therapy-session. I’ll be sticking to disco’s greatest hits for the time being.  

One thought on “Who Wants to Live Forever

  1. Hi there, Amanda! I came across your blog and it’s interesting because I was just thinking of you recently on March 2. My Mary is now in 6th grade and it brings back many memories of happy times with you when we were in 6th grade at GWS. I am so grateful for those memories. Anyway, I just wanted to say hello and agree that disco always helps me too—KC and the Sunshine Band in particular. 😊

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