I was on my way to work this morning when the Night Ranger song "When You Close Your Eyes" played on my iPod. That song has always made me super sad. Whether it was my high school boyfriend, my after-high-school, kinda-sorta-steady guy, or someone with whom I've had a relationship in the more recent past, that song has always made me wistful; in fact, when I heard it about a year ago, the blog post "I Don't Care What You Think as Long as It's About Me" was written. (You can go back and the read the post if you want to, but I'm going to give you the gist of it, so it's not really something you've got to do.)
In that previous blog post, I pretty much went on and on about how sad I felt by the thought of being forgotten. I talked about how one of my biggest fears is insignificance and the notion that once I'm no longer in somebody's life, s/he never will never think about me again. I also talked about the importance of memories and how if memories are lost, it's like whatever happened didn't happen at all. In the end, the main idea was that if people stopped thinking about me, if memories were lost, if I were to be forgotten, then what that ultimately meant was that I didn't ever matter at all.
But today when I heard that Night Ranger song, things were different. For the first time in probably my entire life, I didn't feel even a twinge of sadness while it blasted through my speakers. For the first time in my entire life, I listened to the song, and it was exactly that: a song. It wasn't a message about the sadness that is life, nor was it a harbinger of a melancholy mood. It was a song that I liked, and that is absolutely all.
Except that that's not exactly true.
(If it were, I wouldn't be sitting here writing this blog--would I?)
Because I tend to analyze every single thing in my entire world, as soon as I heard that song and wasn't sad, I got right to trying to figure out why. I thought about the way it used to make me feel, and I thought about the way that it currently made me feel (or not feel), and what I realized is that, although I can't say when it happened, each and every one of those people has ceased to mean a damn thing.
For the first time ever, I really, truly don't care if people from my past think about me.
But I'll bet they do.