I was 10 years old, rockin’ a mullet, sitting Indian style on the floor, watching MTV on a tiny 13 inch black and white television – that didn’t even have a remote – when I first saw Billy Joel. He was dressed in all black, with black sunglasses singing, “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” I was completely in awe of the man I saw singing so passionately about things I could barely pronounce – let alone know what they meant.
I knew then Billy Joel would be my secret boyfriend – the secret being he didn’t know it – and we’ve been together ever since. He has been with me through all of life’s ups and downs.
As a teenager I was drawn to the love stories Billy would write in his songs, like “Uptown Girl,” “She’s Always a Woman” and “Just the Way You Are.”
It was the song “Just the Way You Are” that Billy first taught me it was ok to be my true, authentic self. He sings:
Don’t go changing, to try and please me / You’ve never let me down before
I took the good times, I’ll take the bad times / I’ll take you, just the way you are
Listening to that song now, as a 30 something year old, I’m still learning from it. “Just the Way You Are” first taught me to love myself and now, as an adult, it reminds me to love people for who they are, not you I want them to be…
He has also taught me to be present, to live in each moment. Sometimes, I find myself more focused on capturing the moment, with a picture or video, that I forget to actually BE in the moment… It’s almost like I’m more worried about forgetting the moment than actually experiencing it… Does that make sense?
Billy has a song called, “This is the Time” and in it he writes:
This is the time to remember / ‘Cause it will not last forever
These are the days to hold on to / ‘Cause we won’t although we’ll want to
Sometimes I look back and think I didn’t appreciate someone or something as much as I could have or should have… Because of this life lesson, I now take what I call Purposeful Pauses. During a special moment or big event, I take a few seconds to pause, to look around, take a deep breath and mentally capture that moment – before moving on.
I have big goals and dreams – even I’m not sure how I’m going to reach them. I like a good check list and like to see it crossed off. But in my hurry, in race to achieve – I can forget who I am, what I need – and sometimes what’s really important.
Americans consume an enormous amount of media per day via TV, radio, computers and our phones. I recently read an article that stated the average American consumes 15½ hours of media messages per day. The study also says the American officer worker receive 121 emails daily… 121! I’m exhausted just thinking about this. Which brings me to the latest lesson Billy Joel is trying to teach me…
It’s through a song called “Vienna,” which debuted in 1977 as the B side to “She’s Always a Woman.” This song hits home with me right now.
I believe Billy is trying to teach me to slow down. He says to me – crazy child…You can have dreams – you can have really big dreams but when you go after them but don’t get so caught up in achieving that you forget who you are, what you need.
In 1977, he tells us to “take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while.” I find that thought to be very liberating and frightening at the same time. But after all these years, Billy hasn’t led me astray yet so I am working on taking his advice. I’m trying to slow down while still pursuing my dreams, knowing Vienna waits for me.
Lastly, I’ve included a link to a performance of Vienna for anyone interested in having Billy as their life coach too. Check it out > HERE.
Guest blogger, Lisa, believes life is an adventure and encourages women of all ages to pursue their dreams. As the 2015-2016 National President of the American Business Women’s Association Lisa believes in creating opportunities for women to grow personally and professionally and is a supporter of A Beautiful Me.