The words have been rattling around in my brain for months: wherever I may roam. Yes, it’s a Metallica song. I have known the song for years, and it has a catchy riff that sticks. But normally songs, even ones that are annoying, will make their exit within a few days or weeks.
For me, this Metallica song has been constant. First by chance, but now by choice.
It was September 4, Labor Day, and my dad was lightly sleeping in my passenger seat as I drove through the middle of a New Mexico wasteland. Desert on all sides and very few radio stations available. I scanned the airwaves past multiple country and Christian talk channels. Then the first notes hit on the single rock station my X-terra could pick up.
I listened to the words with the sound turned low. I was headed for Columbus, Ohio, from southern California, in the middle of my second cross-country move in as many years(read about the first move here). The words felt right. “Wherever I roam, where I lay my head is home.”
Five days later the song rang out again. This time from the speakers in my cousin Russell’s vehicle as he drove us to an Atlanta Braves home game. Again, the words seemed like they were coming right at me. I didn’t select his playlist. I was more than 1,000 miles away from New Mexico, and hadn’t begun settling into my new home in Columbus (the Atlanta trip was to visit the new stadium, a ritual I have with each new MLB stadium).
A month later, as the song was about to slip out of my conscious mind, I heard it again on a Columbus radio station.
“Wherever I may roam” is a popular song. Hearing it multiple times over a few months isn’t special. But I chose to claim those words. “I adapt to the unknown, under wandering stars I’ve grown.”
The past two years have been chaotic for me. I haven’t always had a clear idea or plan for my future. When I try to picture my life in five years, I don’t know what to look for. And even scarier, sometimes I don’t know what I want to look for.
But I’ve learned so much about myself at the same time. Clarity comes when I narrow my focus. I can’t see years down the road. But I can plan today, tomorrow, this week.
I’ve claimed another song as well: “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. “Oh home, let me come home, home is whenever I’m with you. Oh home, let me come home, home is wherever I’m with you.”
I listen to both of these songs regularly now. When I run, I sing them in my head from memory.
No one truly knows what his or her future will contain. I never thought I would live in Columbus, Ohio. Just a few years ago, southern California was a foreign land. For my first 30 years of life, I could drive 300 miles or less between every place I had ever lived — DeRidder, La; College Station, Texas; DFW; Shreveport, La.
Now I’ve bounced from the deep south to far west coast and back to the heart of the midwest all in a little less than two years.
Who knows what will happen in 2018 or 2019 or in the next decade? Nobody. So, I will continue refocusing on where I am right now.
Mindset and heart mean more than location.
Home is whenever I’m with you (Rachel). And, it doesn’t matter where that ends up. Because wherever I may roam, where I lay my head is home.
Cheers to the new year. Let us make it our best yet.