My Life in Music

Everybody walks to the beat of their own drum. Mine is a very different drum. That beat is what I hear in my head. My memories. My life. My hopes & dreams. This is the soundtrack to my life.


When the world was younger

This is my parent's life; in 1981 they were young parents with a growing active family. I don't remember if my dad was still in ministry, but I know at one point he was. I don't remember if this was written while my mom was the church secretary, or before. What I do know, is that my mom wrote it (her ornate cursive/print blended handwriting is unmistakable), it was written to my great-grandparents, and it was never sent. (click on the picture for a more legible view)

If I do the math correctly, this was written when mom was the age I am now. That was close to the time (maybe a little before) dad left full time ministry. That was a big time of change in our lives, and those transitions are echoing in my life to day. It was their life. And it is slowly becoming mine. Christian is approaching school-age; Zu is the happy toddler that keeps everyone on their toes.

As I slowly grow into the person my parents were, I can't help but wonder who they wanted to be. What were their dreams? What did they plan for their lives? Twenty-seven years later, are they who they thought they'd be?

When I look through old family photos and unsent letters from the time when my parents were my age, I hear Switchfoot in my head. And I want to sing along, "This is your life, are you who you want to be. This is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be." I can't help but wonder what kind of people that my parents would be if things had have happened differently. Or what kind of men that Aaron and I would have become if our parents had have made different choices. I guess that's the curse of being a parent is never knowing for sure how your decisions today will effect your kids in 20 years - and the son's curse is never wanting to repeat your father's mistakes. We do our best, but you can't help but wonder.

This is Your Life is from Switchfoot's fourth album The Beautiful Letdown. While not my favorite album of theirs, it is one of their best... and it is one of the few albums I'd recommend to anyone. Several years ago (at least nine, because I still lived in Seattle) I told my dad that if I was ever in a band, I'd want to make music like Switchfoot. Funny how things change. This is my life. Am I who dreamed that I would be? How about you. Are you who you want to be?

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Superman plays doctor

In my pre-preschool days, my favorite pajamas was this Superman outfit - complete with cape (the toy doctors set was not a part of the outfit, but somehow I managed to combine medicine and the world of superheroes). My cousin and I used to pretend that we were Superman and Lois Lane. Of course, at that age, I didn't understand that Lois was a romantic interest of Clark Kent... I just thought she was a accident prone girl that always needed rescue.

Ah, the lessons we learn as we grow up.

Shortly after graduating high school, I picked up Blindside's self-titled debut album. During some difficult times, I often found solace in this brutally crushing album. Even now, in a more stable place in my life, this is one of those albums that I can listen to over and over - one of those albums that I can play at full volume through my car's stereo and scream along with it, while not feeling remotely silly.

One song has become an anthem for me, a song titled Superman. Not because I have an unhealthy megalomaniacal self-image, but because the song touches that strange dichotomy between who I am and who I once was. The lyrics clearly recognizes weaknesses in our humanity: "Just like you with my hands I can make mistakes. I wish that I could stop playing superman. I have decided to let the case drop. I'm not superman ." The four year old version of me had high hopes, but today, I realize I'm no Superman.

It's strange how, as kids, we want nothing more than to be heroes. We want to save the world. Why is it that as adults, we lose that dream? Is the real world to heavy a burden?

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