Needing Is One Thing. Getting is Another.

I went to a wake today for a kid.

She was in her 20s, but really, for those of us who have made it out of our twenties, we know most of the best stuff comes after that decade.  Just a kid.  Didn’t even get a chance to make all the really great mistakes that don’t come along until our thirties or older.  And of course the converse of that: she never got to come to the really kind and satisfying conclusions we all get to after the terrible mistakes we make as kids.  And so, as death usually encourages, it got me to thinking about my own life, and about what I am doing with it, now that this other person no longer gets to live hers.

And this song has been rattling around in my head because of it:

The lyrics:

I’ve been waiting for months
Waiting for years
Waiting for you to change
Aw, but there ain’t much that’s dumber
There ain’t much that’s dumber
Than pinning your hopes on a change in another

And I, yeah, I still need you, but what good’s that gonna do?
Needing is one thing and getting, getting is another

So I been sitting around
Wasting my time
Wondering what you been doing
Aw, and it ain’t real forgiving
It ain’t real forgiving
Sitting here picturing someone else living

And I, yeah, I still need you, but what good’s that gonna do?
Needing is one thing and getting, getting is another

I’ve been hoping for months
Hoping for years
Hoping I might forget
Aw, but it don’t get much dumber
It don’t get much dumber
Than trying to forget a girl when you love her

And I, yeah, I still need you, but what good’s that gonna do?
Oh, needing is one thing and getting, getting is another

When?
When?
Why not now?
Why not me?
Why not me?
When?
When?
Why not now?
Why not me?
Why not me?

And so, of course this might make you think of a person, someone in your life, or rather, someone who used to be in your life that you wish was back in it.  Or it might make you think of something else altogether–

In this song, at this point in my life, the elusive you the speaker is pining for is writing.  What do I need?  What do I want?  I have to forge a writing life again, something creative and independent of this blog.  I need it to live again–my life is unfamiliar without writing, or, more directly, my life is not the life I am meant to live without writing in it.  I am a writer, and a writer without a writing life is a fish with no gills.  We can’t breathe.  I know the analogy is loosely apt, and disgusting–Jesus see what I mean!  I need to get writing again–my analogies are vague, and vaguely cliche!

I have made many excuses: grad school broke my heart and I turned my back on writing because of it–and now writing, in many ways, feels like a spurned lover–writing has become the one I loved best, the one that was always loyal, and was the one I turned my back on, and now, I can no longer look her in the eye.

But, I have to heal this rift somehow, and so, in honor of the kid who isn’t going to wake up tomorrow and have another chance, I will begin right now to look my writing in the eye (by acknowledging my wrong doing in this post) and say I’m sorry.  And mean it.  Because she has always known, even when I haven’t, when I was bullshitting.  And I can’t begin to write again until I have made my amends.  It’s time I start “pinning my hopes on a change” in myself.

When?
Why not now?
Why not me?

And for that matter, why not you?  What do you need?  What do you want?  Why don’t you go get it?

Be nice to yourselves,
Your Pal Eli

8 thoughts on “Needing Is One Thing. Getting is Another.

  1. Reblogged this on Outside the Limits of FTM and commented:

    Jules,

    I’m not fancy enough to link this from the blog I first saw this on, but I loved it. The video is amazing in itself but… the lyrics are what really stuck out to me. When I was first reading the blog I saw this on, My Life Without Tits, I was like “that’s my life!”. I’ll let the words of the lyrics speak for themselves. Thanks, Universe.

    I’ve been waiting for months
    Waiting for years
    Waiting for you to change
    Aw, but there ain’t much that’s dumber
    There ain’t much that’s dumber
    Than pinning your hopes on a change in another

    And I, yeah, I still need you, but what good’s that gonna do?
    Needing is one thing and getting, getting is another

    So I been sitting around
    Wasting my time
    Wondering what you been doing
    Aw, and it ain’t real forgiving
    It ain’t real forgiving
    Sitting here picturing someone else living

    And I, yeah, I still need you, but what good’s that gonna do?
    Needing is one thing and getting, getting is another

    I’ve been hoping for months
    Hoping for years
    Hoping I might forget
    Aw, but it don’t get much dumber
    It don’t get much dumber
    Than trying to forget a girl when you love her

    And I, yeah, I still need you, but what good’s that gonna do?
    Oh, needing is one thing and getting, getting is another

    When?
    When?
    Why not now?
    Why not me?
    Why not me?
    When?
    When?
    Why not now?
    Why not me?
    Why not me?

    There’s also this version, and I think they both speak well to how I feel.

  2. i’m totally tearing up, cat, cuz this post resonates with me.

    (bear in mind, i don’t usually tell this story cuz it’s sappy and ridiculous.) i used to be a classical flautist and do all this serious flautist stuff. people were always like, “oh, that kid’s a prodigy; let’s keep our eyes on them.” but then all the people sorta got between me and my instrument and i started to hate playing the flute. actually, i started to hate classical music in general. after almost 10 years of playing for hours every day, i put my flute away and i threw out my classical cds.

    stuff happened and i tried to move on in non-musical ways. i ditched the people who kept bugging me to play the flute again and i enrolled in the biology program at a university. i put a lot into that first year in the biology program and i was seriously interested in the material.

    but i had to walk past the music building every day while walking from the biology building to the bus stop. i ‘d hear this ruckus of trombone scoops, poly-rhythmic drumbeats, and people singing together and swinging hard; it made me feel all tight behind my bellybutton and i’d cry on the bus all the way home.

    after a year, i dropped biology and enrolled in the jazz program as a voice major. all the other voice majors had been taking private voice lessons for years, but i’d just started singing. it was scary and i wasn’t on top of shit anymore, but i knew i belonged in that drafty old building with the famously tight-knit students and faculty.

    i’m still there and i have no fucking regrets even though i know i’ll never be a professional performer. i have zero talent as a vocalist and i have to work twice as hard as my peers, but i know i need to do this to be happy. i sorta hit the bottom and i know just how much i need to make music and to be surrounded by musicians. really, it’s pretty fucking awesome that i realized i had to do this when i was 21 rather than waiting a few decades and steeping myself in regrets.

    yeah. so that’s my sappy story about going after the thing i want. should i even post this? sorry it’s so long, eli. just– just fucking do what you need to do. it looks like you have the conviction to go through with it and i’m glad. you deserve all the good shit.

    • Punk,

      Right on. I’m glad you responded in such a thorough way–and I’m really glad to read your story. And really proud you made the right, albeit difficult, decision. We have this one life, I’ve noticed, so we might as well enjoy ourselves.

      • yeah, i don’t usually talk about it. it sounds like something that probably needs a montage with sappy music. bleh. (this is me being all shy and stuff.)

        thanks, eli! ❤

  3. Pingback: Converse | My Life Without Tits

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