Reviewing my life with ramblings from along the way…
It was one of the real fun perks of the job being able to meet different people from within the music industry and actually spend some time with them.
One of my most memorable moments from that season of life was when I found myself having lunch at a Tony Roma’s in Portland, Oregon with Grammy nominated and Irish folk music legend Máire Brennan. Although, most may simply know her as the sister of Enya who brought us the hit song Orinoco Flow, I knew exactly who she was from her band Clannad and because of this, I must say.. I was nervous.
It was the most random of meeting spots. I mean really.. a rib joint? But who cares, once we got past the introductions, we slipped right into storytelling. And, I will tell you what.. anytime you have someone with an Irish accent telling stories… you’ll have a captive audience in me for as long as you want.
The one that sticks with me still today was Máire telling us about her parents pub in Ireland and that one time she sat at the pub with Bono from U2 over a few pints discussing life.
Wait, what? Could you imagine? It was all so matter of fact.
First off, to be able to enjoy a pint in an Irish pub actually in Ireland would be an amazing feat but could you imagine being a fly on the wall for that conversation?
It’s funny, I haven’t thought about this experience in some time. Maybe it’s because my daughter has this thing right now about going to Ireland or frankly over anything Irish. Maybe it’s because I am pulling out some old U2 records and it gets me thinking.
As I review my life, I have been a pretty fortunate person for someone who really struggled in school as a classic underachiever. Yet, as I was able to begin achieving in life, something happened. As I sought definition in myself, I easily allowed my experiences, the access to others, or my positions to be that what defined me. All the while a crying out for something more dwelled deep within.
I needed to prove myself. I needed the approval of others. I so desperately needed to amount to something… anything. I never believed I would.
Yet, for all the meetings I had with those whom many would love to meet or spend time with, only a few of these experiences still sit with me today. I suppose those were the ones that for one reason or another had something to say to me beyond the act.
Maybe that is just it with this story. Two celebrities having a pint in a pub just being themselves. Two people comfortable in their own skin. No act just what you saw is what you got. And then there’s me as I sat with a world known artist talking about life and telling stories in the middle of a rib restaurant in Portland, Oregon.
Are you serious? How did I get to this place? I was not supposed to have this kind of access to anybody who was anybody. At the time, some people called me lucky and that I was just at the right place at the right time and it had nothing to do with me to be able land work with such fun perks that also paid well.
Yet the irony, all this access or experiences meant nothing. Sure, it meant experience and we are a product of our experiences. But, really?
In a social media world that is all about connectivity, people want access. They want access to their heroes. They want to get mentioned or retweeted or followed by somebody that is somebody. Just the other day, I too sought that as well as as I found myself chatting with the TV show The Voice’s runner up and Scottish rocker Terry McDermott.
All we want is to evoke a response from anybody that acknowledges how cool we are that we were mentioned by …[fill in the blank.] And with that, we define ourselves with that.
Although I shared this on my own Facebook wall, I felt something different this time. I felt something that made me smile deep within. I had found myself and in this, the access I just experienced didn’t define me. The “look at you” responses on Facebook about my post were no longer about making myself feel like I too was somebody by saying hey, look at me and feeling like I needed to prove anything. It was all so matter of fact.
I was just having fun because this time, I realized that after all these years, I too was already somebody.
Somebody with my own heartbeat. Somebody with my own unique purpose.
Somebody who met Somebody along the way who brought true definition into my life.
In reviewing my life, it’s funny that sometimes a ramble has a way of leading oneself to a place of true introspection. As I think about my life and finding definition I can hear others sitting at tables around me as the older gentleman at the bar pours another couple of pints for the two sitting at the table next to me.
As I pause my own thoughts for a moment, I smile. The two sitting next to me look a lot like Máire Brennan and Bono from U2.
Returning to my thoughts I again smile. This time, with a peace knowing that I too, am somebody.
Thanks Máire Brennan for the lunch. Over a decade later, I got it. Just be you. No body ever can be you. We all have a role to play and if you were not you… we’d all be missing something. A something that is a somebody.
Famous or not famous matters not. Rich or poor matters not. But know this… the heart of the matter will always be… the matter of the heart and in you being you… you matter.
To listen to an audio version of this blog post, click here.