“Hello, it’s me
I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet
To go over … everything …”
Yes, I know these lyrics are from Adele’s single Hello. I am not trying to claim them as mine, but I want to confess that I have been listening to this song on repeat for a few weeks now.
I decided to go away this weekend to get a break from the usualness of life and the everyday routine. So I took a day off on Friday and travelled over 900 miles to Vienna (more about Vienna in another blog). I spent three days there – walking around the city, watching the opera (twice in three days!), visiting churches and museums, etc. There was no routine to bind me, I did whatever I felt like and changed plans last-minute depending on how I felt.
However, one thing that didn’t change was – this song. Each night when I came back tired to the apartment, I put on this song and listened to it again and again till I went to bed.
It was on my second day there that I realised this and started to think about this. Why had I managed to break most of the routine apart from this song? What does the song signify? What does it mean to me?
I generally connect with music and art – I am moved by the emotions of actors on the screen, I cry when I go to watch movies, or when something in a song or dialogue touches me emotionally. Listening to songs on repeat is not new for me. When I am going through difficult times or have things to deal with emotionally or those that are stressful, I listen to music and it helps me relax. I normally find a song that I relate to in these times and play it over and over again. It becomes ‘my song’ for the time that I need to go through whatever is going on.
I am sure that I am not alone in this. People refer to their song for good or bad times. When we heard the news of Prince passing away recently, many posted messages on social media saying that he was their friend for giving them songs that they listened to comfort themselves when they were going through things.
So I know that I am not alone in this ‘falling back’ on a song in good/bad times’ habit. However, I was intrigued to know why I was listening to this particular song now and what it meant for me.
This is when I started to listen to the song carefully. I think I had connected with it subconsciously but not really realised why. I had made a connection with the emotions of the song but not with the words. It’s hard to explain but that is how things are sometimes. To put it simply, the sensible part of my brain had connected with the song much before the busy part of the brain that manages my day to day life realised it. It was only when I was away on this break that the busy part of my brain had some time to acknowledge the song, its lyrics, its emotions and appreciate it.
So now that I started to consciously think about the song, what did it mean to me?
For me, the song is about looking back and connecting with people that we have left behind. People that are still around but we have lost touch with them. There can be various reasons for this – sometimes we are too busy with our lives to have time to keep in touch.
But now that I start thinking about this, there are many people I would like to call and speak to, there are people I would like to say thank you to, to ask how they are, to tell them that I am ok, to tell them where I am in life, etc. And then there are some I would like to say sorry to or give them a chance to clarify things. There are also few from whom I would like some answers and am sure some would like answers from me.
So how did we drift apart? What took us our separate ways?
I moved to the UK nine years ago and gradually lost touch with a lot of my school, university, etc friends. Some of my closest friends today are still from this group but there are many others who I am not in touch with anymore. There is no reason for this. I just didn’t keep in touch – life took over and maybe I didn’t make an effort.
There are also some who found a different path because of issues that seem petty now but were significant back then when they happened. I don’t even remember many of them but can’t turn back time.
Then there are some relationships where we take the route of silence when things become difficult to handle. It’s easier to be silent than to confront another person, to express how we are feeling, to ask questions that we may not like the answer to. And then gradually we drift apart, the other person gets the hint and stops trying to make an effort.
So there are many reasons why I don’t have those people in my life today. There are some I would like to just call and chat to, but now that we haven’t been in touch for so long, I don’t know how they will react. Will they be upset? Will they want to know if I want anything from them? Will they be suspicious? I don’t know what the norm for these things is.
Putting ourselves in the other person’s shoes, how would you feel if someone from the past called? How would you feel if the phone rang and the call is the one that never arrived years ago? It didn’t arrive all those months you sat next to your phone expecting it to ring, you checked your phone every few hours but there was no call or text. How would it feel if the phone rings now and it’s that call? What would you say? Will the conversation start from where it had been left all those years ago?
I don’t know the answers to any of the above questions. If time could stand still and the world was emotion and reaction free for one day, who all would you go back and speak to? What all would you say? If there were no penalties and people’s feelings about you didn’t change, what all will you tell them?
Well, let’s forget the past, if we had the freedom to say anything to people we have in our lives today without the fear of their reaction or the fear of how this would impact our relationship with them, who all will we speak to and what will we say?
Maybe now is the time to make a call … maybe there is someone sitting next to their phone now, waiting for their phone to ring. I don’t know if this is the call they may have been waiting for but even if not, let’s be their friend – let’s be someone who was there to listen to them and comfort them while they waited for ‘that’ call to arrive.