I think the Stones had it all figured out in July of 1969. I tend to chronicle my life into songs, “Can’t Always Get What You Want” having been around for more years than it hasn’t.
I found myself reaching for the tune as if it was on a medicinal shelf. When you wake up in the morning with a lump still embedded in your throat there isn’t much else one can do other than reach for a record.
This morning it seemed easy to find the imperfections in life. The missteps, misguidance, missed opportunities, miscommunication, misplaced socks… Thinking of how you’ll get through the day sets in. Heartache doesn’t need a description, its something we’ve all felt, but when one is in the midst of it all we can do is wonder if anyone else out there could ever really feel the way we do. The fragility of our own heart surely trumps the empty space in theirs.
Life is funny, the way doors can open and people just walk in as if we’d been selected in some beautiful lottery. But luck runs out. Even the most promising pair of hearts often end up in one hand. “Now you have two hearts and I have none.” It sounds almost childish, too simple to convey such a thing, yet I found it to be true on this morning where the only voice I wanted to hear was out of a Crosley speaker.
You can’t always get what you want. You can’t always wake up in the morning without a lump in your throat and an empty spot next to you in the bed. As the sunlight came in I began thinking backwards. What got me to this point, why I was listening to the song in the first place. The reel that played back wasn’t clouded with imperfections, but rather the opposite: I had been happy.
We want to believe that we know when we’re right, we know what we want, what we need. At 25 it sometimes feels terrifying to still be figuring that out. But more days than not we can take deep breaths, we can fill all of the space in our lungs and our hearts with the mere gift of being alive. On those days when we can’t, find comfort in those days when we can.
Flip the record.