Shining a Light on Things

I’m done dancing in the dark.

I always thought that song was an upbeat song.  Happy music video.  Young Courtney Cox dancing.  Catchy refrain.  I had never really listened to the words until I heard it on the radio today…and even though I knew the words and sang along, it had never really sunk in before what the song was about.

As of June 1, I’ve finally made a major change in my life that will impact my life for the better.  Permanently.  It’s done and done.  Between my “bad mood = bad stomach = bad ride” performance at the Gravel Metric and today, I’m committing to a new perspective.  It may sound stupid, but I’m going to try to smile more.  I don’t want people who meet me to think I look scary or intimidating.  (Unless we’re meeting in an adversarial capacity.  In that case, they’re on their own).  I don’t want family members to ask why I have a bad look on my face.  For that matter, I don’t want to have a bad look on my face.

On the group road ride on Wednesday, I was really happy with my riding.  And except for those times when I was engaged in a gut-wrenching effort, I tried to smile.  That sounds weird, doesn’t it?  Trying to smile on a bike ride?  I’m there.  I’ve put so much pressure on all aspects of my life that I don’t smile.  The ride on Wednesday was liberating.  It was the best I’ve felt on a bike in a long time.  It was fun.  And when I think about the past year, I’m riding so much better—stronger—faster than I was last year that it’s amazing.  Sure, I want to get better yet, but it’ll come.  I’m going to enjoy riding now.  I’m going to enjoy riding well, with great friends.  And if those friends are reading this, I’m not going to be infallible.  I may need reminders from time to time.  But I’m going to have more fun.

I had personal drama on Saturday, poor riding on Sunday, my daughter asked me why I had a sad face at one point on Sunday (and really—at that point I was just tired), a 16 hour work day on Tuesday, a great ride on Wednesday, and finality to a life changing event Friday.  And as that finality sunk in, Dancing in the Dark came on the radio.  I heard it.  It moved me.  The lyrics really cut me—deeply.  No more worrying about my little world falling apart.

It’s a great day to ride.  Tomorrow will be a great day to ride too…and the next day.

I get up in the evening

and I ain’t got nothing to say

I come home in the morning

I go to bed feeling the same way

I ain’t nothing but tired

Man I’m just tired and bored with myself

Hey there baby, I could use just a little help

You can’t start a fire

You can’t start a fire without a spark

This gun’s for hire

even if we’re just dancing in the dark

Message keeps getting clearer

radio’s on and I’m moving ’round the place

I check my look in the mirror

I wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face

Man I ain’t getting nowhere

I’m just living in a dump like this

There’s something happening somewhere

baby I just know that there is

You can’t start a fire

you can’t start a fire without a spark

This gun’s for hire

even if we’re just dancing in the dark

You sit around getting older

there’s a joke here somewhere and it’s on me

I’ll shake this world off my shoulders

come on baby this laugh’s on me

Stay on the streets of this town

and they’ll be carving you up alright

They say you gotta stay hungry

hey baby I’m just about starving tonight

I’m dying for some action

I’m sick of sitting ’round here trying to write this book

I need a love reaction

come on now baby gimme just one look

You can’t start a fire sitting ’round crying over a broken heart

This gun’s for hire

Even if we’re just dancing in the dark

You can’t start a fire worrying about your little world falling apart

This gun’s for hire

Even if we’re just dancing in the dark

Even if we’re just dancing in the dark

Even if we’re just dancing in the dark

Even if we’re just dancing in the dark

Hey baby

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