Tripping with Tom Petty

Figuratively, of course…

Last night Rob bought me the album Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Greatest Hits. He knew I liked many Tom Petty songs but I didn’t own any. This afternoon while slicing up 35 peaches I listened to the whole thing. Man, talk about a trip. No, I’m not that old. But it took me right back to my 19th year of life. Let me set the stage for you.

My boyfriend at the time gave me a big box of his prized cds for safe keeping. He had introduced me to the mind-blowing talent that came out of the 70’s, namely Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Queen, The Steve Miller Band, and others. He knew I would love them and take good care of them while he was away. He had just left for two years to serve his mission, but as soon as he got back we were getting married. Yeah, I was one of those. Well, two weeks after sending him off at the airport, he crushed me with a Dear Jane. I understand the “why” now, of course, but at the time I was floored.

This cd was my soundtrack during those months. One of the things I always did was drive. I drove and listened to the music.The songs explained everything I was feeling as I went through the healing process.

Here Comes My Girl
The Waiting
Even the Losers
Runnin’ Down a Dream
I Need to Know
Don’t Do Me Like That
I Won’t Back Down
You Got Lucky
Don’t Come Around Here No More
Free Fallin’
Learning to Fly
Into the Great Wide Open
American Girl

Seriously. Does it get more perfect for a broken relationship? Now, don’t think me naive. I know many of the songs actually have less to do with relationships with people and more to do with relationships with stupifacients. But I choose to feign ignorance for my own gain.

As I was enjoying the ride of memory this afternoon, I started thinking about how grateful I am that he dumped me. If it weren’t for that, I would have missed out on so many experiences that helped me grow and realize who I was and who I wanted to be. Since I was free of any obligations (mostly emotionally), I did some great things. Had my plan to marry been kept intact, I wouldn’t have:

Moved in with my brother, Brian. I didn’t know it at the time, but I would someday look back on that time spent with him with tears of gratitude.
Solidified relationships with my friends and made new ones.
Worked harder at my job and was promoted three times.
Traveled solo to England and France.
Gone back to school and earned my degree.

So I’m not sure I would have been “me” had it not been for that kick in the butt. And if I hadn’t been “me” I wouldn’t have met and married the best person in the universe, Sir Robert. He is the one that understands and loves me more than anyone. And I him. We have three incredible children and a life we all love and live together.

Thanks for the album, Rob! It brought me some much needed clarity today.

And, yes, I did give my ex back his box of beloved cds, albeit regretfully 🙂

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