Music and Spirituality: Love Song

When I was 15 years old, my mother decided to move us from our little town of Davenport, Iowa to Grand Rapids, Michigan: a bustling metropolis full of Amway products and Gerald R. Ford memorabilia. Being the angsty teenager that I was, I wholeheartedly disapproved of the idea.

Living as a poor Mexican kid surrounded by rich white kids, it was hard to find a place in the menegere of cliches that exist in a middle school setting. I'd hung out with the geeks, but I wasn't smart enough to understand their humor. I tried to play football with the jocks, but not everyone can be Rudy Ruddiger. Appealing to my roots, I tried to kick it with the black and Latino kids, again to no avail. I felt like Meg: an outsider just trying to find someone who would have lunch with me.

When my mother gave me the news about leaving for Michigan, I'd finally found my place amoungst the "normal" kids. We were a hodge-podge of nerds, musicians, atheletes, and pseudo-hippies. We wore ripped jeans and long hair. We listened to Motley Crue and Skid Row. We were all in the Catholic church group, no one drank or smoke. We were Rebels Without a Vice...and I'd even found my own Natalie Wood.

Her name was Alison, and she would bring out the worst in me.

I don't mean to insinuate that she was in anyway bad. Alison was a pretty, blue-eyed, blonde haired girl who should have said "No!" when I asked her out. She was way out of my league. She was intelligent, and she was more outgoing than me (Yes, yes...there was a time when I was rediculously shy). To this day, I don't know what she saw in me, but I know that I changed as a person because of her.

Rather than learning "what couples do," I went with what my gut told me. Yes, you can imagine what's at the heart of a 15 year old boy who just found his first girlfriend. When we were together, all I wanted to do is make out. We didn't talk much, our interests were only superficial.
By May of that year, we'd broken up. She said it was because I was going to move; I think it was because she realized I was just a horny teenager. I tell the story as an emotionally detracted person, but I spent years trying to get her out of my head. Perhaps I did have true feelings for her, I just didn't know how to show them.

Having a broken heart is a lot like listening to God's calling: you think every song was written just for you. I listened to a lot of sad love songs, and one of them still stands out in my mind: Love Song by Tesla.

Sitting here, writing this, and recalling the memories ares still some of the hardest things in my life to deal with. Whenever I think about that relationship, I stop to cringe and bang my head against the wall, thinking: "WHY? WHY? WHY were you such and IDIOT!!??" We can pawn some mistakes off to being young, but sometimes we screw up so bad, we spend the rest of our lives trying to forgive ourselves.

She's probably forgotten all about me or anything we ever did...but it hangs on my conscience like dead weight. It explains why I see women the way I do. It explains why I have trouble with intimacy. It explains why it's hard for me to be assertive with women. Worst of all: these are things I must come to terms with if I'm ever going to be "good enough" for the priesthood. When I think of people laughing at my desire to follow a religious vocation, I imagine her leading the jeering squad.

This song by Tesla is a constant reminder of a great mistake, a tragic event, and a new chapter of my life that began in June of coming of age. I don't know how life would have turned out had I not left Iowa, nor am I unhappy with how life has turned out so far. There are just things in our life we wish we could do over; second chances we'll never get. The song commemorates a time of my life I can never have back, and reminds me what it's like to live with a broken heart. It was also the first song I ever learned to play on the guitar.

So you think that it's over
Think your love has finally reached the end
Anytime you call, night or day
I'll be right there for you
When you need a friend

It's gonna take a little time
Time will sure mend a broken heart
Don't you even worry, pretty darlin'
I know you'll find love again

Love is all around you
Love is knockin' outside your door
Waiting for you, is this love made just for two
Keep an open mind cause you'll find love again, I know

Love will find a way
Darlin' love is going to find a way
Love will find a way
Love will find it's way back back to you

I know

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