Aschlie’s Life Songs

I read a Jodie Picoult book called Sing You Home a couple years ago. One of the main characters, Zoe, is a music therapist. Throughout the book, Zoe talks about having soundtracks for all kinds of things. For instance, she had a soundtrack for when she gave birth. I identified with this because I listen to music a lot. I also listen to all kinds of music. It made me think about creating my own soundtrack. So I got out a piece of paper and wrote Aschlie’s Life Songs at the top of it. It took me a few days to create this list because sure, I have favorite songs. But those favorite songs don’t necessarily belong on my Life Songs list. So I had to carefully narrow down my list to songs that really had meaning to me at one point or another in my life. They were songs that had to bring up memories so vivid, I could put myself back in time and feel the songs just like the emotions were yesterday. I tried to make a 10-spot list. Unfortunately, I don’t do well with fixed instructions (even when the instructions come from myself), so I ended up having thirteen songs. I have kept this list in my car since the day I finished it. Why, you ask? Well every once in awhile, when I’m driving far distances, I get the list out and program my iPod to play the songs. It’s a nice way to remind myself where I have been and where I am now. It’s therapeutic for me.
So, without further delay, I give you Aschlie’s Life Songs (in no particular order). I’m also including a brief reason why I chose the song to add to my list and a link to the song so you can listen to it if you want.

Aschlie’s Life Songs

1. Put a Little Love in Your Heart by Dolly Parton
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5_76nAD7ygc

I have spoken about this song in a previous blog. I was listening to this song and flipping through pictures of Dolly Parton when I first knew for sure that I was “different.” I was eleven years old; I had no idea what lesbian meant, but I knew something was different about me. By the way, at the 1:25 part in the song is where I knew.

2. The Perfect Space by The Avett Brothers
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5dngRYUxXFg

This is one of those songs that has lyrics that resonate with me. There’s a part of the songs that says, “I wanna have friends that I can trust, that love me for the man I’ve become, not the man that I was.” Thankfully, I do have friends like that so when I listen to this song, it reminds me of how thankful I am to have the friends I have in my life. There’s also a line that says, “I wanna have pride, like my mother has. And not like the kind in the Bible that turns you bad.” For most of my adult life, I struggled with finding something to believe. I questioned everything. Finding this one lyric made sense to me, so I loved it.

3. Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise by The Avett Brothers
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iEr9gMYdkHI&feature=kp

This is another song that has lyrics that hit me. The line that says, “Decide what to be and go be it” is something that hit me hard at one time. It’s also something I am still learning to do.

4. At This Point in my Life by Tracy Chapman
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WwtP7hD3PkQ&feature=kp

If I had to pick one of these songs that described me the best, this would be the song. It states all of my fears perfectly, but it’s also a song of still trying. That’s me.

5. She’s Got Her Ticket by Tracy Chapman
http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=kp&v=nCwpeyM_FGs

Again, it’s the lyrics. At one point in my life I felt like everyone around me thought I was a failure, but that little voice in my head knew better. I also wanted to go as far away from WV as I could get. I never did, but I relate to knowing I could have left, started as a totally different person, and made it.

6. When He was on the Cross by John Starnes
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bBgTPNWIGZ0

This song has the lyrics, “He knew me, yet He loved me…Unworthy of such mercy.” Spiritually, this song is significant to me and makes me cry just thinking of it. Plus John Starnes sang with Jimmy Swaggart, who also brings tears to my eyes when I hear him sing. John Starnes’s Love Grew was the first gospel song I remember singing as a child. He’s just a really great gospel singer. But this song is the best gospel song I know and it hits a deep part of my soul every time I listen to it.

7. Silent Legacy by Melissa Etheridge
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PIBS8Qls3D8

I came out when I was 20. I didn’t have other lesbians to show me the ropes, so to speak. So I went out searching for things to help me adjust to all that I was feeling. I had a lot I was dealing with (from family to church). When I found this song, it was like a miracle. Everything I felt was in this song. Knowing that someone else felt exactly the same as me made me stronger. For the first time since I had come out, I finally felt like I wasn’t alone. There were others just like me.

8. Strawberry Wine by Deana Carter
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Up06CryWQpE&feature=kp

This song reminds me of my first love. Whenever this song comes on, I’m back in time and I have nothing but good memories. The whole song really describes my emotions at that time.

9. Here Comes the Darkness by Everclear
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=R5MGoKebPKU&feature=kp

This song reminds me of a very dark time in my life when it just seemed like I’d never see light again. My favorite lines are, “Here comes the darkness again. Think I’m gonna spend some time in Hell,” “Everybody says I’m wasting my time. I sit and listen to rejection on the telephone line,” and, “Everybody says I’m living in fear of the future.” I have been/done all of those things.

10. Amazing by Aerosmith
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zSmOvYzSeaQ&feature=kp

The whole first part described me at one point in my life: “I kept the right ones out, and let the wrong ones in. Had an angel of mercy to see me through all my sins. There were times in my life when I was goin’ insane, tryin’ to walk through the pain. When I lost my grip and I hit the floor, yeah I thought I could leave, but couldn’t get out the door. I was so sick and tired of livin’ a lie. I was wishin’ that I would die.” This was not related to drugs, of course (I have always been too square to do drugs). But I can relate to letting the wrong people in my life and feeling stuck in a relationship that I couldn’t get away from and was wishing I’d just die to get it over with. But then the rest of the song is redemptive in nature and I understood that too.

11. I’m Movin’ On by Rascal Flatts
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=k1bxlDAjGCo&feature=kp

I have gone to this song many, many times in my life. That crappy breakup: this song. That time I wanted to just leave and not come back: this song. That time I finally felt like I was getting my life to a good place: this song. This song describes so many moments in my life that there’s no way I could not list it.

12. Winner at a Losing Game by Rascal Flatts
http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=kp&v=9sRzvDOiIwI

If I had to count how many times I sat a cried to this song, you’d know just how messed up a chunk of my life was. The lyrics, “Have you ever had to love someone that just don’t feel the same,” and, “Sometimes two hearts just can’t dance to the same beat” are my favorites. Ugh…I can just write about this song and remember how much I hurt inside for so long. That’s why I had to add this song (as depressing as it is to admit).

13. You Don’t Know Me by Mickey Gilley
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bUmZ_IrtAtg

And then there’s this song. Lots of people have sang it, but no one sings it as well as Mickey Gilley. This is the sad, depressing song of loving someone who didn’t know I loved her and only saw me as a friend. All of the lyrics describe a moment in my life perfectly. If there’s a song I wish I didn’t have to add to a list of my life’s songs, this would be it. But there’s no denying it. It belongs.

And there you have it. My life’s songs are somewhat on the depressing side, I know. If you think my song choices are depressing, you should read my poetry! I do my best writing and my best thinking when I am really depressed. When I am happy, I just kind of go with the flow.

Most of my adult life has been spent searching for me. I’ve searched long and hard on who I am and who I want to be. I’ve searched my soul to figure out what I believe, instead of being told what to be believe. I’m in a very good place now. It’s good to be Aschlie now. I found a friend inside me that I didn’t realize I had for a long time. These songs helped me along the way and helped me find myself. For that, they get put on Aschlie’s Life Songs.

So what about you? If you had to make a list of you life songs, could you? Remember that these aren’t favorite songs (that list would look MUCH differently for me). These are songs that I can pinpoint and attach to my life. What’s a song on your life song’s list?

Published in: on March 18, 2014 at 3:38 pm  Comments (2)