30-Day Song Challenge: Day 24

Day 24: A Song That You Want to Play at Your Funeral – Avett Brothers’ Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise

The first time I heard this song, I cried.  I was driving across the Dames Point bridge after a crappy day on the job and feeling like a big ol’ loser (because it wasn’t the day that made the job crappy, it was the job that made the job crappy) and I heard the lyrics “Decide what to be and go be it.”

I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.  Assessment tests in 5th grade pegged me to be a mortician or a makeup artist while college-level assessments decided I would be most useful in the field of law enforcement, probably because I’m annoyingly analytical and always like, “But what if ____ happens?  We’ve gotta be prepared!  Put me on the Homeland Security Terrorism Task Force and I can ‘what-if’ the hell out of any situation!  The United States will be nothing but a country full of panic-stricken Christian Islamaphobes running crazy in the streets and looting all the Publix stores in the southeast, but by golly – I’ll get them thinking about their future! CANNED GOODS FOR EVERYONE!

But that’s not my style.  Besides, in the 5th grade I already knew what I wanted to be:  Debbie Gibson.

What does this have to do with my funeral?  Absolutely nothing, except I don’t want to be lying on my deathbed wishing I’d done this or that, even if I’m not quite sure what this or that really is.  And I’ve held lots of jobs that taught me at least a few skills that were useful enough on the next job.  So, what kind of career is in store for me, the waitress/military flight liaison/accountant/hotel desk manager/cashier/college student/single mom?

Uh…I don’t know.  But it’s nice to know that, in this economy, I’m not the only one struggling to decide what to be.  This question, this self-discovery, it doesn’t always happen when you’re in high school or college or when you’re married with children or even when you’re not married with children.  It doesn’t even mean I should decide on a career and go do it, these lyrics, “decide what to be and go be it”.  My jobs haven’t defined me, though they’ve certainly enhanced a side of me I am only now realizing needs to be enhanced.

So what have I decided to be?  I’ve decided to be open-minded.  And it’s the best I can do for today. 


I’m SORRY!  I couldn’t help it.  Besides, don’t even try to pretend like you didn’t have a bottle of Electric Youth perfume!!  Oh, you didn’t.  ‘Cause  I did. Hmm..here comes that big ol’ loser feeling again…


About Dena

I'm a suburban Clevelander by way of Oklahoma City, by way of North Florida, by way of Southern Maryland, by way of Upper Michigan, by way of Northern Italy, by way of Lower Michigan, by way of Texas. Because of living in so many places, I have something in common with almost everyone I meet. I love reading, writing, and American history (especially reading or writing about American history). I'm interested in culture of place, historical trauma, and writing about the kinds of histories most people don't know about.
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