If you’re feeling at all contemplative or like you want to give some thought to how we try to hide within ourselves, give The Avett Brother’s a chance. These guys write some really honest lyrics that strike me as simplistically beautiful. Big props to my cousin Steph for initially introducing and to my brother Jim for re-introducing me to The Avett Brothers.
The music hits that same simplicity, but it is more nuanced with harmonies and hums, sharp dynamics and pitch changes that draw your attention right back to the song just at the moment that your mind started wandering away on the implications of the lyrics.
“Nothing happens here that doesn’t happen there”
This lyric has always been the one that stands out most to me. Due to my introspective nature and my wanderlust soul, I have made several self-check-ups over the years: Are you running away from something? What do you think will be different in the next place? What is making you feel like leaving again? What challenges are you seeking with this next adventure?
Between 17 and 27, I lived in three dorms, my parents’ house, three sublets, one house share (unknown roommates), four apartments with seventeen different roommates, my friend’s parents house, a host-family house (Ecuador), my suitcase (extended travels), and one apartment all to myself. I was the opposite of settled down. Because I was not running from the law, or debt, or even a bad break-up, I thought that I answered all the self-questions correctly. I thought I was just curious about the world.
While the song is couching its lyrics around the concept of lies, I think the lies at issue are really those that we tell to ourselves. Hiding who we really are, or holding back from expressing ourselves really only charms others, and sometimes ourselves, into befriending, or be-lovering, a facade. While it is still true that I am curious about the world, I have been enough places and put myself in enough situations that stretch the limits of my comfort zone to see that I didn’t necessarily need to travel the world to have these growing experiences (though it is certainly a great way to do it). I just need to be brave enough to be honest with myself about my dreams, opinions, doubts, ideas, loves, hates; about why I avoid conflict to my detriment until I seek it out to my detriment; about my career status and how I chose each step on the path to this point…and, that if I am brave enough to be honest with myself, well, that would be the grandest adventure of all.