Turn and face the strange.

Changes.  Or as we all better know it….ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.

What a sad way to wake up this morning….hearing the news that David Bowie had died, after a private 18 month struggle with cancer.  (Another one of the 475 reasons why I think cancer fucking sucks.). If you’ve read my prior blog from December about Bruce Springsteen, you know music is important to me.  In addition to Bruce, there were several other bands that, if my life were turned into a coming of age made for TV movie on Lifetime, would make up the soundtrack.  The Rolling Stones, The Who, Bob Seger, Journey, Billy Joel, and David Bowie.  (If my life were made into a story about my early to mid 20’s, I’m happy to say that 48 year old me would not listen to that soundtrack now.  Paula Abdul. Rick Astley. Gloria Estafan.  Wham!  Seriously??! )

Hearing the news this morning made me so melancholy.  Just blah.  Unmotivated.  I’d been formulating my next blog post in my mind for the last few days and then it hit me:  Changes!  It’s one of my favorite Bowie songs and this journey could not be MORE about changes.   (If you think long and hard, you can pretty much make a connection between any two topics.). I’m 23 weeks out now and am officially on the meal plan.  It’s certainly a change: 6 small meals each day (an extra one thrown in on days I lift weights) with no deviation.  The menu is so glamorous- protien powder, oatmeal, chicken, veggies.  You get the idea.  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!  Or so I thought.  I had to change my perception.  Instead of looking at the fact that, at least for the first several weeks, I have to eat the same meals EVERY SINGLE DAY, I looked at it as an opportunity to be creative.  I love to cook, but how exciting can I make oatmeal, brown rice, and ground turkey?  Change the way I talk about it.  It’s the old “get to” vs. “have to”.  I get to figure out how to make the mundane interesting.  And the structure of the meals is a huge change!  I’m getting that I’m learning to use food as fuel, which was one of my goals on the start of this journey.  And, it’s possible to have a social life that doesn’t revolve around eating and drinking for sport. I’m changing my mind-set to the once a week “cheat meal” not the “cheat day”, which turns into “the cheat week”, which frankly turned into my 40’s.  It’s all a change, and change is good.

Thinking about David Bowie this afternoon I had to smile.  His music represents another trait for me that I will need to be successful on this journey and that is tenacity and belief in myself.  It’s July 31, 1987. David Bowie is in Philadelphia to play two nights at the massive 50,000 seat outdoor  venue Vet Stadium.   When the tickets went on sale months earlier,  I’d volunteered to get the them for me and three friends to go to the concert.  Those may have still been the days that we had to sleep outside of Ticketmaster, which in my neighborhood was in the Sears, for days in advance of the sale date…..can’t remember for sure.  Nosebleed seats, but who cares!  Crappy beer, loud music, cute guys….everything 20 year old girls need to make for  a successful summer night out.  Bowie had played the first show the night before and the radio stations were saying it was incredible!  We were so excited.  We decided to leave right after work, so at lunchtime I went home to get the tickets.  I opened the envelope to make sure they were all still there (my husband still makes fun of me because I have this slight OCD with checking and re-checking the expiration dates on our passports as soon as we have a trip scheduled overseas).  They were were there.  Phew!  The seats were right….4 nosebleed together.  Vet Stadium, Philadelphia- check.  The date.  They were for July 30th.  The night before.  That couldn’t be right.  I’d had these tickets for months.  I instantly  felt like I was going to vomit.  The show was sold out, I was a poor college student and certainly couldn’t afford to scalp 4 tickets at the show.  And my friends were counting on this! I’m sure one of them even bought new jelly shoes for the big event.   I went back to work, told my boss I had to leave (probably told her I was sick) and drove straight through downtown to Vet Stadium.  In my memory I left the car running in the parking lot, although I’m sure I parked it and turned it off, and proceeded to run from door to door and window to window.  All of them were closed.  Of course they were!  Everyone was preparing for a huge show that was scheduled to start in 6 hours.  I swear I ran around that massive stadium twice until I finally got to a ticket window that was opening.  I burst into tears and told the woman my story.  She brought out her supervisor, and I started crying again when I told her.  I must have been a sight.  I’m sure my shoulder pads were SOAKED by this time, and my curled bangs were probably stuck to my forehead from the sweltering Philadelphia humidity.  (Thankfully I had that perm so my hair had to look half decent.) God only knows the state of my panty hose at that time.  They told me to wait a minute and walked away to chat.  The supervisor left, and the ticket woman told me to be patient (not one of my strong suits now and certainly not then).  The supervisor came back and asked me for my 4 tickets.  I slid them in the window to her and she slid an envelope back to me.  It contained 4 tickets.  For that night.  In the 7th row.  From the stage!!  She put both of her hands on top of mine and just said “You girls have fun.”  In the immortal words of David Bowie: Wham, Bam, Thank you M’aam!

So the lesson for me this week about this journey and about life in general is that sometimes, change is good.  But change is not always necessary, for you may innately possess exactly what you need to get you through.  When you turn and face the strange you may see it was there all along….all you needed to change was your view.

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