These five words are the perfect metaphor of my life, as they describe the different facets of my life.
I love to drive, and some days I live to drive. I don’t need a specific destination…all I need is a sunny day, great music to listen to, and a full tank of gas. Where most people would say Paris or London is their dream vacation, my dream vacation is to drive across the country. I want to watch the sunset as I drive through the Midwest, then head through the Rockies and work my way to the West Coast, then drive the Pacific Coast Highway from end to end down to Santa Monica. I’d also love to drive Route 66 from LA to Chicago, drive up to Wisconsin to Green Bay, then head home down through the Ohio Valley. To take in the sights and sounds of Americana this way would be a dream come true!
In 2004, I went on vacation to Arizona, and put nearly 1700 miles on the rental car in 4 days, driving as far south as the Mexican border, and up north to the Grand Canyon. Interstate 17 from Phoenix to Flagstaff is an incredibly beautiful drive. This experience is what made me fall in love with the Southwest – it’s spacious and wide open, and with every day and every highway, there could be a new adventure.
These five words describe the last 11 years of my life. There have been some amazing highs and some incredible lows. When I stop and think about losing my mom, while simultaneously trying to sell her house and deal with my own bitter divorce, there’s no question that this was one of the toughest times in my life. Never in a million years would I have thought that the next chapter of my life would include getting married again to the love of my life, let alone getting married in front of America on a Thursday morning!
These five words describe my friendships. When my best friend Pat Cerello passed away in February of 2011, not only did I lose a best friend, I lost the one person who truly understood me both personally and musically. It was like losing a brother, as we were so alike in so many ways. My friendships have definitely evolved since Pat’s passing – I’ve recently ended some longtime friendships that had more than run their course, and I’ve made some new friendships that I truly value, as these people have accepted me unconditionally, and there’s a genuine and mutual level of respect. The saying is that you can count your true friends on one hand….I couldn’t agree more, as I have five friends who not only know everything about my life story, but they are also friends that I would take a bullet for. Of these five people, four of them are friends that I’ve met within the last eight years.
I started to get the idea for this blog post during my recent trip to the hospital…my initial thoughts of “How did I end up in the ER?” morphed into “How did I get through the last 30 years of my life?”, as it made me think about my career (definitely a long and winding road!) and the people and experiences I’ve had along the way. And you know what? I’m still here, and I’m moving forward.
Because the road is long, with many a winding turn.