Suzanne Vega was on “Sunday Morning” today. She is a singer who reached her peak in the late 1980’s with songs like “Luka” and “Tom’s Diner.” She is 51 years old. She said several things that rang the proverbial bell for me. The first is that fame is like a next door neighbor- you often wave and say hello, but you can’t call them in the middle of the night when you are in trouble. The second was about her annis horribilis, 2002. In that year, her brother died, she got a divorce, and her record label dropped her. Now, in 2010, she married the love of her youth, after recently reconnecting. She also has recently recorded a new album.
Her experience resonated with me. We all have terrible years where we feel that things can’t get much worse; where we say to ourselves that this is the worst experience of my life. Sometimes we only recognize a terrible year in retrospect. Sometimes the terrible year’s events send us into tailspins, the harmful effects of which we don’t appreciate until years later. And sometimes, we come out stronger as a result and sometimes we don’t. Life deals all of us bad hands from time to time. But life is a process and we are beings that are always evolving. But in this case, evolution does not necessarily mean the survival of our best characteristics.
I have had several bad years. 1985 was one, 1994 was another, as was 2005. Have I learned from these terrible years and circumstances? Indeed I have, and some of the lessons are still being revealed. Maybe at some time I will be able to paint a mental picture of it all in order to fully comprehend what happend. I am not there yet, but will continue to try.
At least to some degree then, Suzanne Vega and I share something in common. But my guess is that it’s something we all I.