It was Easy for You to get Inside
I played it a bit while they were here, but after they left I brought it into the basement where I have my music so I could play a few of the songs I wrote way back in 2003 - 2006 on it. Ivan was in the office next door, so he could hear me playing -- although I told him that I didn't want to "officially" play for him until I'd regained a little bit of my former basic competence.
I haven't played since before we were married (the last time I played was shortly after we met, because falling in love prompted me to express myself through music. I even remember what I played -- Like a River by Kasey Chambers.)
That means that Ivan has never heard me play. There are still all these places that, despite our being married, I haven't found the best way to share with him. I talk often of my life in Duluth, but I think him hearing me play, and especially hearing some of the songs I wrote during that time, will do more to bring him into that part of my past that was so crucial to forming who I am. So I feel grateful for my dad and my sister for giving me this guitar, this reason to play again, this catalyst to share myself more fully with the man I love.
Going through my songs brought back so many memories of those years, and I was glad I'd written them to encapsulate my most defining experiences during that time -- learning to play guitar, coming to terms with being bisexual, falling in love with Brie, getting to know my goddaughters, and ultimately, feeling on the verge of everything changing. Fittingly, the last song I ever wrote was called, "Left Behind" -- as if I knew I was leaving that part of my life, both the experiences and the songwriting, very soon.
During all those years in Duluth, it was so hard to imagine that life not being my entire life. I still get melancholy when I think about it, missing those huge windows, those wide-open apartments, all that self-discovery. I feel as though I've lived two whole adulthoods, one with Ivan an one without him. And while I sometimes wish I'd met him earlier so that we could have been married longer before we had to seriously consider the issue of kids, in my heart I know that I wouldn't have given up all those years of being single for anything. They weren't a period of "waiting" for my life to begin or to become "complete" the way people often refer to their life before meeting the one they love -- they were the period when I most let my life happen, and learned how to be complete within myself. And those are things that ultimately made me ready to share myself with Ivan, and that will hopefully, someday, allow me to give myself to my children, too, without resentment about having "missed out" on anything.