Hours after being alerted on the news of BB King‘s passing at the age of 89, I became re-acquainted with his iconic blues jam “The Thrill Is Gone.” Originally released 1969, 46-years-later, its lyrics perfectly encapsulate my current state of mind about the American city I truly belong in. If love is even an option. And if the passion I had for a career in the arts had peaked the year after I graduated college.
Those listed thoughts, I know sound a little “Dang, girl.” But you know I’ll explain! I am not the girl I was when I was 18-years-old, or even 23, as much as I try to be. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But my quarter-life crisis has subsided and stalled into a constant push and shove of what I aspire and dream of and what I ought to do just to keep up. Basically, should I keep chasing these childhood aspirations of nothing but a pen and pad and music or convince myself and others that the cubicle life is just fine with me. Money opens the doors to vacations and good food, but why is that I just can’t seem to have both yet?
After experiencing triumph and heartache sometimes in a span of a month, not only has the thrill been gone, but the thrill has been subjected as a novelty. When I look at someone like King, whose career spanned decades, I wish I could’ve asked him, how did he do it? How did he keep going? Was it just raw talent on his side, or the will to work harder than he did the day before? I know I just answered my own question too.
I know that one of my downfalls is that I am nostalgic. I only like change as long as things, somehow, remain the same. I can’t even walk the streets of Manhattan or metropolitan Boston without seeing another “For Lease” sign, knowing what was there, and feeling sad. Just like the last bin taken out for recycle or trash, my drive and optimism sometimes feels as packaged and placed right in the back. Except unlike the trash, my faith doesn’t belong there. Unlike the businesses of my childhood and mid-twenties in New York, I can my ambition back to me. But the road will (continue) to be rocky and I know that’s what scares me because there isn’t always a map.
The thrill is gone
The thrill is gone away
The thrill is gone baby
The thrill is gone away
You know you done me wrong baby
And you’ll be sorry someday
So am I back at square one? Hmmmmm, that’s debatable. But I know I still have so much to learn and I’m not (just) talking about literally learning new skills. I’m referring to discipline and dedication. The way I was in college when I stayed up ’til midnight and woke up at 6. Just to get to the computer lab by 8, to proofread and make sure my papers were more than good enough to pass on behalf on the legacy I was attempting. Her? I’m not quite sure where she is at the moment. I know she’s tired. She’s been let down. And certainly misunderstood. She’s still learning how to turn what makes her different and unique transferrable to the people around her and via email. It’s not easy trying to not assimilate and still not feel left out.
I also understand the societal politics of the industry I’ve sometimes been paid for but have also worked for free in: journalism. After experiencing internships, freelancing and a full-time writing job, I know the reality of getting “the dream job.” Nobody in the game is your friend. Many are two-faced and you’re only as good as the last time you wrote something great. By no means, was I expecting to be coddled. But the dramatics are not my thing. I’m still in search of a platform, beyond my own blog, that truly gets what I have to offer.
And thrill has felt gone for some time now when it comes to finding a decent person to spend time with. Tired of the suggestion that the same attributes that attracted someone should be changed to their liking. It looks like it’s going to be a long road to love too. I won’t stand still, but yes, I’ll be waiting.
The thrill feels as if it’s gone because I’ve gotten older. I am changing and still unreasonably stubborn on certain bad habits. I’m at the crossroads of reconfiguring and rebooting my purpose. My work is not yet done. And I can’t get back the good days that ended once the sun already set.
But I can stop feeling sorry for myself!
Maybe I have became familiarized. Maybe I have gotten used to the bullshit. But that still isn’t enough ground and give up and fade away.
The thrill is gone, but as I always say in times of trying, “I’m still here.” *wink, wink*