Apparently, we are most influenced by the music we listen to in our 20s.
The first time I heard the Indigo Girls, I was sitting in the front seat of my first car, beside the girl who would become my best friend. We hadn't know each other long, having only met weeks earlier while working the night shift at a factory that was paying our tuition. During one of our middle-of-the-night breaks, she pushed a mixed tape into the cassette player and—in the dark and under the stars—I discovered Romeo and Juliet.
I watched my friend sing the words: "When we made love, you used to cry. I love you like the stars above, I'm gonna love you 'til I die" like she had already lived them. I wanted to live them, too.
It became our summer anthem, and all these years later, it is still our song. It was an intoxicating time—devoted to uncovering a better version of ourselves. She did it all beside me, while we lost ourselves in the lyrics of all those songs.
There are so many songs on the soundtrack of those days—given to me by special people and from the inside of different relationships. Whether the memories released are beautiful or heartbreaking, I can always find affection in revisiting them.
Even though I appreciate the new songs from this talented duo, it was their 20-year-old songs I wanted to hear at the Toronto show last week. And with my other best friend, my sister, beside me, I went back to that time.
As we joined the crowd and sang until our voices were hoarse, I thought of my best friend and our cut-off jean short, sunbathing, ice cream sharing selves. Distance and motherhood and responsibilities separated us that night—but those songs were a reminder of how connected we'll always be.
This post is for my Katerina. Thank you for singing with me.