For this week's Music Video Selection, I had to go with Huey Lewis and the News for a few reasons. On Saturday night, I went to a "Summer Movies in the Park" with a family from church. The movie was Avatar, which I've only seen once in 3-D, so it was interesting to watch it two-dimensionally. I'll write more on that this week. Before the movie, a local covers band entertained people with 80s songs by Billy Joel and Eagles. I actually mentioned to the couple I was with that I wish they would sing a Huey Lewis and the News song. Within a few minutes, they did! Three of them as a matter of fact: "It's Alright", "Power of Love", and "Walking On a Thin Line". Amazing! I love instant wish fulfillment...but can it happen with the more important things (hint, hint: a dream job in Portland!)?
Its actually been awhile since I've listened to any Huey Lewis and the News albums. They were my favourite band of the 1980s. In the summer of 1988, I was crazy euphoric for the pending release of their Small World album (one of only several albums that I've been excited about acquiring months before the release date). In the summer of 1985, that amazing summer of Live Aid and several big name bands and artists releasing theme songs to hit movies, Huey Lewis and the News had two songs for the popular Back to the Future. One of them was a huge hit, the other was actually a better fit for a theme song. I love "Power of Love", but that song could have been just a regular release for the band from San Francisco Bay. Lyrically, it had nothing to do with the movie. Its awesome, nonetheless.
"Back in Time", however, references the movie. Thus, it should have been the official theme song to the time-traveling movie. Since Saturday marked the tenth anniversary of the WORST DECISION I've ever made in life, this song is perfect to mark that day. What decision was that, which I consider to be the worst decision I had ever made? It was the decision I made on 24 July 2000 to listen to my parents and return to Atlanta instead of listening to Jenet, who practically pleaded with me to stay in D.C., having faith that I would find something eventually, if I didn't mind working any job I could find in the meantime. After all, she was working in a watch shop at the Tysons Corner Mall while her dream was to work for the State Department in Eastern Europe. For the past several years, she has been doing exactly that (in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Hercegovina). Who knows what career path I might have been on had I listened to her wise counsel?
What I most remember about that day ten years ago when I left D.C. is a fully packed car. Another car had done a hit and run on my car a week earlier and left me shaken. The heavy rain made everything worse. Jenet kept wanting to meet me for coffee before I hit the road for good. I wanted to, but that involved too many turns and I just wanted to get out of D.C. even though my heart was torn between staying or leaving. It was the saddest drive. The rain continued all the way through Virginia, and I felt as though the universe was crying with me, the end of a dream. A dreamer returning home in defeat. What I found odd about the journey is that the rain had stopped right along the Virginia-North Carolina border. Perhaps Virginia was sad to see me leave. It is my second favourite state after all (after California, naturally). Virginia is actually the state I keep dreaming about returning to. If I leave Oregon for Virginia at year's end or early part of next year, this move will likely be my last state-to-state moves. After a vagabond life of moving from place to place, I really am ready to settle down, find a career, and start a family. For real!
If I had a DeLorean with a Flux Capacitor to send me back in time, I actually would not return to that specific date, but a much earlier date (July 1999). The reason is because I feel as though I had made some decisions during that summer and fall that have had a huge karmic price attached. One of them was not studying as hard as I should have so I could pass Biology and gotten my degree on the original planned graduation date of April or August 2000 instead of December 2006. It might have made all the difference in the world.
Also, if I could go back to that day ten years ago, I would have listened to Jenet and stuck it out in D.C. It would have saved me a disasterous decade of low wage jobs in crappy organizations that do not match my interests with co-workers who don't share my interest in the deeper issues. As an intern in D.C., I had to pinch myself many times because the entire four months was practically flawless. It was better than my dreams. There were many times riding the Metro to work where I mentally thought: "I'm in the city of my soulmates!" I really felt like I belonged. It was my city. I never felt that way about Atlanta or anywhere else. I feel it about Portland, when I'm not at work. However, the length of this ridiculous, never-ending job search has drained my fondness for this city. Seeing other people my age or younger unemployed and looking for work, unable to put their university degrees to work is equally frustrating. What is it about this city that has a reputation nationwide of being one of the worst places to find a job? Its essentially a city full of small businesses, non-profits, and city government. With the best paid jobs being for the city government! What's wrong with that picture?
So, yeah, a time machine so I can go back and make different choices would be an awesome thing. It would mean giving up on all the friendships I've made since 24 July 2000 and the spiritual experiences I've had...but when you hate a job as much as I hate mine, I would willingly sacrifice all of that to be in a meaningful and living wage career the past decade. After all, I didn't invest in a $22,000 college education to end up working for low wages in an organization I hated since adolescence, with co-workers who are woefully ignorant about the world and happily so, just as long as they can continue to maintain their mundane consumerist lifestyles and celebrity gossip magazines.
I may not have a time machine, but I have choices. Thus why I'm likely vacating my apartment in August to go into a month-to-month leasing agreement with roommates. I also have an appointment next Monday to see a specialist who claims to have the ability to access people's Akashic Records, just so I can have some questions answered, which I hope will provide the catalyst I need to get back on the path I feel my soul wanted for this lifetime. I'm so far off the path that I've gotten lost in hell. I just want it to end. I never want to work in an office environment that has so many miserable obese women ever again. To me, that's exactly what hell looks like.
Here's to a more successful August (8 of the last 10 jobs I had were found or begun in the month of August). I'll be the happiest guy in the world the day I walk out of my office for the last time. That's worth celebrating.