Today, while driving to the multitude of places I needed to go, I stopped to get gas. I usually always pay at the pump and rarely have occasion to go inside the store. On this day, I was quite thirsty and I also needed to use the washroom, so I went inside. While perusing the drink selection, a song came on the radio that I hadn’t heard in a very long time. It was a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide sung by The Smashing Pumpkins.
What a throw back – both to my teenage years, when my life was dominated by an obsession with The Smashing Pumpkins; and to my early adulthood which saw my music tastes overcome by country music, including the Dixie Chicks, who also recorded a cover of this same song. I allowed myself to linger in the store longer than I needed to in order to hear the whole song play.
When I returned to the car, I was overwhelmed with a desire to listen to some of this old music and I searched the Apple Music app on my phone for some old Dixie Chicks music (and it makes me feel old to type “old” and Dixie Chicks” in the same sentence). For the rest of the day I fell into a state of reminiscence as I listened to many of the songs which characterized and defined a life that seems so far away from the one i live right now. These memories were, quite literally, a landslide of memories taking me back to a life that I almost forgot I had. A life before kids and marriage, before medical school and residency, and even before I knew what I wanted from life or where I thought I was going.
As the day concluded and I drove home from the final event of the day still listening to these old songs that I’s almost forgotten about, I suddenly realized that I was grateful for the moment to reminisce about these old times in my life. It is always easy to remember the parts of our past that causes hassle or trouble, or even the ones that are marked by memorable and lasting events. But what about those everyday moments and the day-to-day activities that really created the foundation of the person we are today?
For all the challenges I faced to get where I am today, there are certainly many successes that get lost and forgotten along the way. Importantly though, there are even more insignificant events, which on their own mean nothing in particular; but when compiled over a year, or even a decade or two, they comprise the small fibres of the person who exists today.
It was in this somewhat random decision to stop in the store of a gas station to use the washroom and buy a drink that I discovered a small kernel of nostalgia. And from this small kernel came a mountain of gratitude of every part of my life that I had seemingly forgotten about before now. There is no doubt that music is a powerful anchor into our past, and today i am grateful to have had the opportunity to “take a walk down memory lane,” as some people like to say. After such a long and exhausting week, I pulled into my driveway with a sleepy, happy smile on my face.