every fool has a lesson that’s hard to learn
About 8 years ago my husband and I met Vanessa a coworker of John’s. She introduced us to Will Hoge who is now one of our favorite musicians. The obsession over Will Hoge for John is much like my obsession for the Avett Brothers. We have video of our son just shy of his fourth birthday singing along in the car to Will’s album “The Wreckage”. He refers to Will Hoge as “the beat up old guitar singer”.
Two years ago Will came to town and it was one of the best evenings of my life. He is wonderful recorded, but live is amazingly inspiring and the recordings do not do him justice. For this performance in 2012 we met up with one of my former students Kelsiann. She and I are very similar creatures and found over time that we were watching the same shows and listening to the same music and we have kept in touch. We called and messaged Vanessa during the performance at Kirk Avenue Music Hall too.
Watching Will live at Kirk Avenue really moved John and I, but a the time I wasn’t moving well. My hormones were such a mess. My weight was a mess. My hips were a mess. I… I was a mess. Will is extremely personable though and stayed after and signed things and took pictures. I loved that night. I packaged that up and held it in my memory as an amazing moment in my life. John met Will for the first time outside a restroom and he still jokes that he doesn’t wash that hand. I met Will after the show. I took pictures with Kesliann, John and Will. It was really awesome, but I was so disappointed with my appearance in the photos. I don’t meet people like that. I can’t think of anyone else that I have admired as much as an artist that I’ve met and yet I hated the photos.
Some dreams stay with you forever
Drag you around and lead you back to where you were
Shortly before meeting Will I had started working with my chiropractor to work on my hips and back. It was surely a low moment for me and I was struggling. Looking back now I don’t even recognize myself. If I told you it hurt to walk down the block- ached in my joints for days and it became completely impossible to do much of any activity for long. I stood that cold January night when Will came to town and I ached for days from not having a seat, but it was worth it for me. Partly in seeing that picture I was driven to do better and be better to myself.
when you look back I hope I’ll always be your favorite waste of time
In 2008, Will was in a terrible accident that left him in critical condition and it was amazing that he even survived. That night watching him on stage at Kirk Avenue I was amazed by his ability to move and to get beyond all of his injuries and surgeries to be where he was then. It inspired me to work harder to move somehow… it took me a long time to really get it together, but I can mark my drive back to this night and in this moment. If Will could stand, dance, use such physical ability and stamina then… why couldn’t I?
Woman won’t you be strong now
I worked hard and in the year following seeing Will I tried running, went to the chiropractor and during the year lost 20 lbs and then yo yo’d back on 10 more before the full year had come through. This last year I really put my mosaic of me together. I have lost 35 lbs since I met Will, but it’s more than that- if you read my blogs you know that. I have a lot more gumption and surely the idea that I’ve gone from unable to make it down the block without days of pain to being able to run a 10k is just simply amazing.
Where do we go from down
Where do we stop when the bottom has dropped out
I search for light in the shadow of a doubt
I have been wanting a “do-over” with Will. I wanted to go back and fix that image of myself. I wanted to just recapture that moment, but not hold onto the old me. I mean how many times do you get to meet someone you admire so much and when you actually met them it was your lowest of your lows? I can’t even appreciate that moment as much as I should given the memory of how terrible I had felt physically.
So for some time I have been hoping I could cross paths with Will again. I have searched facebook and his website hoping that a tour date would come nearby. I wasn’t sure I could make it happen financially and finding someone to watch the kids. So I’ve been waiting patiently. Yesterday, I decided to look back at that photo of myself with Will and I went to his webpage and flipped my lid when it said Winston-Salem March 7th. That’s a two + hour drive from our home. The weather was crappy so I checked the forecast… called the bar where he was performing… and then sent a text to John saying Will would be so close by. I called my father-in-law and his wife who live twenty minutes from Winston- Salem and asked if we could crash on them and would they watch the kids. They said yes… they knew I was excited, but until they read this they wont understand why. I purchased the tickets and Will posted on facebook that he was on for the night even given the nasty weather and within four hours we were on the road. I’m not a spontaneous person, but I am a woman on a mission.
The weather sucked and we arrived to my in-laws to no power and a slippery icy mess. We dropped off the kids and then our GPS died trying to find the bar, but we made it there with plenty of time before Will went on stage. It was a perfect view and a wonderful time and I yet again was inspired by Will’s stage presence. It was dare I say… serendipitous. During the drive there I told John what made me want to see Will so badly and why it was so important to me. He was surprised but supported my mission. The mission of a do-over with Will.
I was patient…. diligent… and I put my effort forth and my do-over came to fruition.
When you put it all together I honestly don’t even recognize myself. I can hardly even remember where I came from. The part that John pointed out was that since my surgery how my choice of clothing had changed. I feel so different and I should.
* Note all italicized items in this post are lyrics from various Will Hoge songs that have struck me over the last decade.