Taking the Long Way

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It’s been two long years now
Since the top of the world came crashing down

In May of 2006, the Dixie Chicks released their album “Taking the Long Way” which included songs that were a direct response to the scathing treatment and death threats they received for criticizing President Bush and the Iraq war in 2003. Country radio stopped playing their records, and some even hosted CD crushing parties in their station parking lots. The album earned five Grammy nominations and went on to win all five categories: Best Performance by a Country Group, Best Country Album, Song of the year, Record of the Year, and Album of the Year.

And I’m getting it back on the road now

At the end of that same May 2006, I finalized my divorce nearly two and a half years since the filing took place. I listened to that album once a day everyday for months. I blasted it on road trips, added my favorite songs to playlists, daydreamed about being the Chicks best friend. There was rarely a time when the title track didn’t cheer me up, even if I did need to let out a few tears first, a release of worries that gave way to the truth and comfort of the chorus…

But I’m taking the long way
Taking the long way around
I’m taking the long way
Taking the long way around

Two years seems like the unit of time that most upheavals require, in order to move through all of our cells, both physical and emotional. It’s the amount of time it takes so that when we are inevitably confronted with a ghost from that upheaval, it doesn’t knock the wind or spirit out of us, and hopefully, if we have been going to therapy, and accepting the love and laughter of friends, we confidently stand our ground with the ghost and tell it to get the fuck out.

Well, I fought with a stranger and I met myself
I opened my mouth and I heard myself
It can get pretty lonely when you show yourself
Guess I could have made it easier on myself

Life is relentless, so it also happens that just as you are coming out of a two year cycle of hell, you’re not winning Grammys, but instead filing bankruptcy. And for that one, you have to add on another four years of lean years, but, the aggregate of therapy, love and laughter of friends, Life Experience, and learning to once and for all be nice to yourself, you get to the other side of that too.

Today, I realized I am finishing another two year return: in 2013 I was too injured to run or hike without significant pain or discomfort, and it was discovered that I needed surgery on my right hip. Fitting that it was on a hike when I put this all together, and I was listening to this song when I had the epiphany. Yes, I was crying. But they were happy tears.

Well, I never seem to do it like anybody else
Maybe someday, someday I’m gonna settle down
If you ever want to find me I can still be found

Taking the long way
Taking the long way around
Taking the long way
Taking the long way around

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