36 For a Moment

One of my most cherished forms of therapy has always been music. There’s something special about lyrics that hit me right in my heartstrings. Lyrics heal my soul and in many ways validate my feelings. They make me think in ways I’ve never thought before. Music teaches me all sorts of things and helps me gain new perspective.

Good for the soul

I know I can’t be the only one who feels this way because I’ve been inside a stadium packed full of well over 40,000 people who were simultaneously singing together… heart bursting, tears flowing, singing accompanied by all.the.feels. There’s really nothing like it.

Music and memories

All of my favorite memories are somehow linked to a song, and all of my feelings are made better with music. Sad? There’s a song for that. Happy? Let’s dance! I can hear a song that I haven’t heard in years and BAM! I close my eyes and I’m right back where I was... back in time to whatever memory I made with that song.

In no time at all, I could be 17 again driving back roads with my girlfriends screaming Blues Traveler at the top of our lungs. “The hoooooooook brings you baaaaa-aaaack.” And if I play ‘Some Nights’ by Fun, I can go right back to seeing my oldest son being a tiny two-year-old belting out, “Ohoh  whoooaooooo," through my rearview mirror.

100 years

We’ve all heard that song “100 Years” where the band Five for Fighting’s lead singer lists how he feels at various stages of his life. He begins with, “I’m 15 for a moment,” and explains that at 15, “There’s still time to buy and time to lose...” We can take risks and fail when we’re young, and we should. Though it’s a little bit of a love song (aren’t they all), it does have an overall theme of: You only have a hundred years to live.

After 15, lead singer, Vladimir John Ondrasik proceeds with, “I’m 22 for a moment,” and then to, “I’m 33 for a moment...” He ends each refrain with, "When you’ve only got 100 years to live.”

Favorite lyrics

Bear with me...I’m getting to the point, I promise!

I have two favorite lines of lyric in this song. The first being, “I’m 45 for a moment...chasing the years of my life.” My second favorite being, “Half the time goes by, suddenly you’re wise, another blink of an eye, 67 is gone. The sun is getting hot, you’re moving on.”

I’m 36 for a moment

I’m only 36 right now. Buuuut because of my failing eyes, 36 so often feels more like the lyrics describe people who are 45 or 67. Macular degeneration has fast-forwarded my life in many ways because I know that at some point, my central vision could go. It’s already started to.

I’ll be 37 in a month and I can’t help but reflect on being 36 for a moment...with macular degeneration. I’m 36 and chasing the years of my life and it seems like the sun is getting too hot, too soon. I may have 100 years to live, but I probably don’t have 100 years to see.

Tattooed reminders

I love song lyrics so much I have two of them tattooed on my body: “Life is short but sweet for certain” by Dave Matthews and “Keep your head up, Love” by The Lumineers. My mom hates my tattoos, but to me they are symbolic reminders of the fragility and beauty life brings. I figure, maybe if I have these words permanently written on my body, they’ll protect me when I forget to remember.

I also just like tattoos, but we won’t talk about the third one I have that I got as a rebellion of being told "no" when I was just 17 and thought I already knew everything I needed to know about life. 17 for a moment.

Life feels like it's on fast-forward

I am so glad that I have music for so many reasons. If I ever lose my central vision completely, I know I’ll at least have my songs and my memories. For that, I am eternally thankful.

If your life feels fast forwarded like mine because of this eye disease, if you feel like you’re chasing the years of your life too, then I encourage you to press play. Don’t pause your dreams, don’t wait for later. Play. Now!

I’d love to hear your favorite song lyrics and memories! Comment below to share.

“There’s never a wish better than this...you’ve only got (who knows how many) years to live [see].”

Andrea Junge

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