Friday, May 20, 2011

Leaving Town

People watching is an underrated pastime. Taking an inventory of your surroundings can bring you upon the most interesting types. While watching my daughter cheer for her high school football's scrimmage I kept seeing this girl who reminded me of someone. Her makeup was slight but sophisticated. She was completely distracted. She played with her iphone incessantly. I never saw her acknowledge her friends. Then, it struck me hard, this girl was kind of, sort of, like me, at age 17.

Her insouciance was intriguing. I never caught her name but she looked like an Allison. Allison was convinced she was meant for bigger and better things. I was like that. At 17, all I thought about was journalism. I wanted to be in New York covering sports or news. While her friends were gossiping and being silly, Allison smiled occasionally and kept her face buried in the iphone. Every once in a while, she would daydream.

I like my life right now. I never think about what might have been or what never happened, unless it makes a good blog post. Allison's dream gaze and her indifferent body language were so familiar that I wanted to sit down next to her, and say "dude, take in these simpler times. Life is a bout to get really friggin hard."

I see some of this with my daughter. Tay wants to be an investigative journalist. She wants to college in Boston then take over the world, one byline at a time. Tay has 3 more years before she is in Allison's position. Allison looked so eager to fly the coop, she was clucking with anticipation.

I doubt I'll ever see Allison again, unless she decides to grace her soon to be old high school with her bound for better glory self. I hope she takes in her good times, keeps a positive attitude, has humility, and plans for not making it, in case crap happens. When she was leaving I heard one of her friends mention New York. I assumed, for the sake of this blog post, that's where she was headed by the end of the summer.

The entire time I people watched Allison, and thought about my Tay, I sang Dexter Freebish's Leaving Town to myself. The lyrics are ideal to how I was taking in Allison and my daughter, Tay.

Today's song is from one of the best one hit wonder's ever. Dexter Freebish is from Austin, texas. They are named after a roller coaster. Their lead singer is just named Kyle. This song won the John Lennon songwriting award in 1999. It also fits every girl and/or guy we've known or we have been ourselves that has huge dreams, beyond their small town. I hope Allison hears this song and finds humility. It will help her find the success she dreams about. Here's Leaving Town.

P.S. for us Christians, this song serves as a theme for tomorrow's unlikely occurrence that I am unable to mention for fear of offending the "enough about The Rapture" crowd.


  1. Couldn't be more timely. My middle child just graduated last weekend. It has been a year of "mean girls" and she is so ready to put it behind her. Thanks for this post. I will share it with her.

  2. From one passionate "people watcher" to another -
    great post!!

    My Soon-bo-be sophmore in high school has her sights set high - she wants to play VB for the Colorado CSU Rams - ummm, she's 5'5" and while she has a mean dig, I'm not sure about college ball!! She can, however, accomplish anything she sets her mind to!

  3. Wow, that was a lot to deduct from a few moments of watching someone. Probably completely spot on knowing you... you are insightful like that. Best of luck to her and her dreams. Run and never look back. That's what I would be telling her.

  4. What would life be like if we didn't have youth to be ballsy enough to pull off some of their wildest dreams?

    Welcome to the continuing world. :D

  5. My daughter is a big people watcher too, but as a Sociology major, it's like extra credit for school.

    Cool tune. Don't know if I've ever heard of Dexter Freebish. You're keeping my iTunes wish list filled.

  6. I can certainly appreciate the lyrics of that song. Growing up in a small town I hand only one goal, get out! Still glad I am not there but have a greater appreciation for I learned in that small town.