Restore to Factory Settings

I write songs. 

Well, let me clarify that. I write snippets. 

Whatever I am feeling, whether it is dealing with a break-up, frustration with work or parenthood, or overwhelming joy from one of life's sweet moments, you will constantly see me grabbing my phone to record a 30 second melody that accurately and musically captures the moment. Music, just like writing, is my free therapy, my outlet.

The Samsung I used from May 2015 to July 2016, the one I just recently transferred to my daughter, had over 114 snippets saved, These were melodies hastily sung into my phone at a stop light, between students at work, during my early morning quiet time, during sleepless nights---any time an emotion roared from within that needed somewhere to go---all of these were on that phone. Over 114 snippets of joy, angst, happiness, sorrow, all capsuled on her phone so that someday "when time permitted" I could go back and turn these snippets into completed songs. I lazily convinced myself that this mythical day of the week known as 'SOMEDAY' would eventually come and that would be the time I would sit down and let the music pour out of me to complete the songs,  as if there is EVER really time unless one intentionally MAKES time.

Do you notice that everything I am saying is in past tense? That is because right now, at midnight, my daughter just came into my room to tell me that somehow her friend had selected "restore to factory settings"and that not only had all of the pictures and contacts she had accumulated since inheriting the phone been erased but also every single song clip I'd created before the phone became hers. Everything gone. Wiped out. Vanished with the seemingly innocent push of one button.


Let me put this in terms you can relate to, dear reader. If you are a baker, it would be the equivalent of having put your love and countless hours into baking a cake for Food Network, and then finding that 30 minutes later it has fallen flat in the oven and you have a pancake to ice instead of a layered delicacy. If you are a student, it would be the equivalent of having spent days and weeks preparing for a final, sacrificing extra-curricular activities to study, just to get to Test Day and draw a total blank and fail. If you are an accountant, writer, teacher, anyone who relies on technology, it would be the equivalent of having every item you'd drafted being wiped from you computer with no hope of retrieving it. EVER.

My devastation was a cry I'm sure you heard round the world!

So after my shock wore off and common sense prevailed, I remembered that there are NO such things as accidents and that even in this, there must be something I'm supposed to glean. So at what is now 1:00 am, here is the revelation I've received:

  • There's this cute little phrase on social media that says, "There are 7 days of the week and 'SOMEDAY' isn't one of them." Let's take it further and quote a pastor friend of mine who once stated, "There are 24 hours in a day and God isn't adding any more to them." Time is such a sweet and precious gift that we waste. We spend hours on social media, crying into our pillows, watching tv, using retail therapy, nursing unhealthy relationships and habits, when there are books inside of us waiting to be written, songs inside us waiting to be composed, recipes inside us waiting to be created, degrees inside us waiting to be earned, masterpieces inside us waiting to constructed, paintings inside us waiting for us to pick up a brush and get to work. You are waiting for someday when someday is waiting for you! Time isn't going to just magically appear, you're going to have to MAKE time. THERE ARE NO LIMITS TO THE HEIGHTS YOU WILL REACH WHEN YOU GET PROACTIVE AND GET PRODUCTIVE.

  • One of my musical idols came to town last month and got so upset when we all took our phones out to record/post about the concert. She turned her back to the audience and would not turn around. She stated (and I paraphrase), "This society has gotten to

technological. We have to start remembering how to just be in the moment. Be present. Be IN this moment. Right now." Well, she's a chart topper so though my nose bleed seat cost me an arm and leg, instead of complaining I embraced her point. Before my songs were deleted, replaying them would force me to keep reliving those dark moments, those tear-filled nights instead of moving forward and embracing where I am right now! Why would I keep voluntarily locking myself up in that emotional prison instead of rejoicing in the fact that I am now FREE!!??!! I want to focus on enjoying my now. Right now, today, I'm stronger than I've ever been, Right now, today, I have forgiven those I needed to and can finally look in the mirror again and truly love the person I see. Right now, today, my daughter is no longer writing in her diary, "Why is mommy always sad?" Right now, today, my heart is healthy, my mind is healthy, I'm laughing again and hope no longer feel like hope is for chumps. THIS is the moment I want to be in. The present. Not the past whose debris I've finally shaken off. 

  • Lastly, life's experiences sometimes have a way of holding a mirror up to you and showing you where you really are. As I've been learning who I am and growing in my personal life over the last year, I gotta admit, the majority of the songs I wrote were a little melancholy. Hey, some of the ones about my expired relationships may have even been down right bitter (Told ya music is my outlet). I don't think it is a coincidence that these songs were deleted on the very day my ex's uncle came to my job to tell me, unsolicited, I might add:  "He may not realize it, but someday he'll see you're his true soulmate." When the visitor made this comment, I realized just how far I'd come. I'm not looking for Mr. Ex to see me as his anything. Gone are the days where I would melt when I heard his voice, shrink into tears when our paths would cross or waste hours of energy wondering when he will come back, where we would be if we hadn't said goodbye, or if he is thinking of me at all. Know what I realized? Maybe, just maybe, God has restored ME back to "factory settings." Perhaps He, the Great Manufacturer, has wiped away all the clutter, all of the unused "apps" in me that were slowing me down, to give me a brand new start. Maybe His infinite wisdom wanted to be sure I didn't ponder too long over my visitor's comment today and just to be sure, got rid of every single song that would have taken me on that long, reflecting, unnecessary trip down Memory Lane. Maybe this was an external depiction of the posture of my heart, not just restored, but now void of all the things that could potentially hinder me from functioning properly. Who can I be without being all bitter and sorrowful and unforgiving and emotionally destitute? Who can I be if I'm restored back to factory settings, before any of the heartbreaks, before the unreturned time invested in those who would love and leave, before the divorces, before the guilt, blame and shame? Maybe, just maybe, I now get to find out........

As I close, dear reader, and smile to myself at the irony of it all, I can't help but rejoice. Gosh, I have come a mighty long way! Miles to go before I sleep, but I'm up for the challenge and embracing the growth.

Growing as I'm going,

Alexis

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