This weekend, I experienced the worst nightmare of any Dave Matthews Band fan. I sat, with tickets in hand, to a show in Dallas, while I was in North Carolina. As sometimes happens to all of us, unpredictable and uncontrollable circumstances arose that made my well-plotted plans a bust. And despite knowing better, I felt like a monkey who was pushed from her dreaming tree.
Following a set-list can be fun, and even a game of sorts on a regular night. But on a night when you were "supposed to be there," it is nothing short of masochistic. Especially when, out of nowhere, comes a "Loving Wings" opener, followed by an incredible assortment of tracks like, "If I Had It All," which has only been played twice since 2006, and a full band "Save Me," which has never been played. Oh, and did I mention the "Two Step," that many are calling the best live performance of that song? Ever?
I am writing about this for two reasons. One, because I need to process it further myself, and two, because I know that many of us have, or, will be, in this boat at some point. And, as usual, it turns out, that Dave was right when he said, "If I had a boat, I'd ride it on the ocean," because ride it out is exactly what we need to do.
It's natural that I would be disappointed because my plans didn't work out. And because I love this band so much, it's even natural for my heart to hurt with longing for the music. But what isn't natural, and what is totally ego-driven, is the idea that I was "supposed to be there," or that I "missed out" on something that was mine.
The idea that we are supposed to be anywhere other than where we are is the root of much unhappiness in this life-time. It is this line of thinking that leads people to believe that they can only be satisfied once X, Y, and Z factors occur. When I get that promotion, lose 20lbs, find a soulmate, hit the lottery, hear "Granny," get published, etc. Whatever the goal is, suspending contentment until it is met, will keep us all in a constant state of dysthymia (a low-level depression). I'm not saying that having goals is wrong, but what I am saying, is that believing that we are any less than, right now, is nothing but faulty thinking.
It has to be this way. Otherwise, there would be no meaning in a moment that is truly ours. I am lucky enough to still have a show to see on Wednesday, in Charlotte. And although I am human, which means that I do have a list of tunes in my head that I would prefer, I am going to do my best, (if God-willing, I make it to this one!), to be fully present and open, so that the sounds can fill up my soul. And I trust, that whatever I hear this week will be enough, both to make up for Saturday, and to fill up heaven and overflow.
Hayley Bauman, Psy.D.