The one where I quote Sesame Street as though it is Proverbs
So, there's this episode of Sesame Street where an ensemble of characters are excited about something, and naturally, feel cause to sing about it.
Yes, I realise I'm leading my story with that.
Did I mention they are excited Muppets? Because it's true.
The happy Muppets are singing, singing, and singing some more, and Oscar the Grouch is nearby.
Have I mentioned I love Oscar?
Because this = also true.
(FYI -- I could dedicate an entire post to the complexity of including a pessimistic character in children's programming. Crux of my feelings = kids get it, and it helps them deal with RL porcupines.)
Let's return to the Street. Song is in the air, and the monster in the trash can is not enjoying all of this zest for life, no siree. It is precisely the sort of thing he loathes about the uncannily multi-cultural neighbourhood in which he resides. As the song builds, he cries out over the singers and accompaniment; "Noooo! Not a key change!"
I laugh out loud. Every time.
That Sesame Street! I love that the show pokes fun at itself, and the musical genre.
I consider key changes an emotional shortcut, of sorts, and I'm pretty sure they feature very high on the American Idol producer's cheat sheet. They move audiences -- either towards an increased pulse and breath rate, or laughter -- the latter if the performance is lacklustre or deliberately ironic, usually. But when the former is true, it is truly magnificent to participate in a key change. I say participate, because when a mesmerising musical performance changes key, it is as though everyone in hearing range (including via transmission) is involved in this collective breath; thrill and anticipation ride the air.
I have often compared life and my reactions to it, to music.
I'm not alone.
Things can "strike a chord" with us, and we can "march to the beat of our own drum."
And presently, I feel a key change coming on.
To my surprise, I feel instinctively resistant; like Oscar, I almost want to groan, and say, "Noooo! Are you kidding me?" This surprises me because I don't think the world would be so bad with more people bursting spontaneously into song, and I wouldn't have thought I'd so quickly side with a grouch. I'm fairly positive.
Truth is, I'm fairly positive about my current situation.
Whatever situation I find myself in, I do my best (and sometimes it takes more work than other times) to accentuate the positive (more musical allusion, you're welcome).
When I was sad to leave The Lighthouse, Haki assured me, "It doesn't matter where we move. You will be happy anywhere." And I cocked my head and begged further reassurance, "Really?!" begging him to evidence how he could possibly know this. He expanded; "Yes. You always are."
I thought about his comments for the rest of that evening.
And he is right.
I always am.
It's kind of odd.
I mean, it's nice that I choose happiness. I live pretty intentionally. I do make the best of things that come.
But why haven't I learned to be excited when change is on the horizon? Why do I need reassurance? What a baby. Have I failed to learn I'll find things happy, post-change? Where is my faith that I will be just as happy, or happier, despite change?
I think the problem is, I get so invested in the present -- savouring it, appreciating it, knowing now what I have is good -- I struggle to comprehend that fixing the not-broke thing is a good thing.
But it's not fixing.
It's a key change. It's taking the same song to a new place, and drinking in the anticipation and surge of emotion as you do so. It's squeezing someone's knee next to you because they are participating in the journey and can feel the magic on the air.
I don't know for certain exactly what key I'll be singing in, but I do know it's coming. I do know my eldest approaching five has something to do with it. I have a feeling my baby starting solids soon is certainly a factor. I suspect the possibility we will only have three children is playing a major part. I could be done with pregnancy, nursing, and babies before long.
That feels like a mortal wound.
There are other changes coming too. Harder to explain. None of which have to do with blogging, steady your hearts. Pahahaha.
But I can tell you this: this time next year, I have a feeling my days will be very different from now.
What about you?
Are you with Oscar, on this one? "Not a key change!"
Or do you echo the platitude, "Change is good?" I know people like you. I think you're pretty cool. Yes, (sister-)Erika, I'm thinking of you.
Note below: If you are currently adapting to unforeseen change due to loss, addiction, or abuse, this post likely has some sting. You're working in an entirely different framework, and my heart goes out to you. It is much easier to eventually embrace changes we could see taking shape or at least that didn't bring harm or hurt along with them.