“Time After Time” – P!nk

It was 1983. Cyndi was the wildest thing that this punk rock wanna’ be could dream of. Madonna was the gold standard, but she was…Madonna. There was no low-key covering the crazy. I just wanted a little. No one seemed to turn off 104.1 when “Girls Just Wanna’ Have Fun” played. I cannot say the same for “Like a Virgin.” She was all this precious neon jelly shoe wearing 3rd grader could dream of. And her hair…legend. I say all of that to give the appropriate honor to the original. But today…

You knew it was coming. And I assure you this is not the last. We will discuss the finer points of my love affair with P!nk in a few, but for now, we focus on one of my favorite artists of all time singing a song that soothes and irritates.

P!nk is notorious for amazing covers. And if she could sing all her songs and all of her covers at every show, I sure would appreciate it. This one will always be one of my favorites because it just sings to the depths of the human hurt…my hurt. When I hear it, I can simultaneously hear Cyndi and P!nk. I hear the wonder of an 8 year-old curious girl and the rasp of my jaded adulthood. It’s a picture of the whole. And that’s a really important part of this week. We have to bring all of ourselves if we are going to honor the quiet. ALL. OF. IT.

I am not quiet. My laugh is loud. My animated voice has been shushed more times than I can count. “You have a big personality” is one of the most common descriptions. I know. And when I’m honest, I’ve always known it on a defining level. I’ve always fought it. For all of the many reasons, there has always been a part of my internal work that intentionally quieted myself to better fit into the world. Actually, all the worlds. Because of this, I have resisted quiet in ways that have been damaging. I hate being shushed. There is an internal fury that dances up my spine when I feel like someone is publicly calling for a smaller version of me. This resistance has prevented me from enjoying some of the wonders of life.

As I have allowed the memories of 3rd grade Lacy and her love for 80’s punk to be revisited, I’ve realized I really like that girl. AND! I have the opportunity to hang out with her anytime I want. All it takes is intentional invitation. For me, this year, that invitation has happened in the reconnection of music. This song brings the best of the old and the best of the new right out in the melodic open. That invitation has been a life raft.

A week of quiet? Yep. There has been a lot of it this year. Some by choice and some that I was forced to sit with. While some of the songs this week may not seem “quiet,” you should know that every single one of these songs has transformed my insides in the still moments of 2022. In my tendency to blast through stories and sporting events and life, I have realized I have missed out. Forgive the woo woo again, but this is really important. When I don’t have enough intentionally slow quiet moments, my nervous system cannot keep up. When I don’t process the “big” moments in the quiet, the fight and loud has no way to exit. It hangs on my skin like a thin layer of weight. And the end result is anxiety. Which only makes being quiet harder.

Some of these songs are hard. Some are gut wrenching. These are the lay on the floor, cry until you throw up, want to run away from the pain kind of songs. Some will be obvious. Some will be confusing. That’s quite true about the quiet for me. Things come to the surface that I really don’t like. But so do some really fun things. And strength. The quiet has been my training ground this year. If there was a 5K in quiet, I would totally be in. Some of my quiet has come with intentional purpose. But much of my most important work has come in the times when I had to stand alone. When the safety nets that have always been there were not. When the person I needed was not available. When I just didn’t have words. And for a words person, being unable to articulate the thoughts in your head is not enjoyable. It’s not healthy.

Quiet. Really it’s just about going inside. A place that I have avoided in some seasons and shushed in others. Well. The beauty of the quiet today is that I like the girl I’ve found. All of her. The 3rd grader, the P!nk fan, the tender mess and the too much. This week is just a peek into some of the sweetest lessons yet. Quiet is the new glitter.

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