I finished reading Rob Sheffield’s “Dreaming The Beatles” yesterday. It’s legitimately one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read. I now know more about John Lennon’s penis, the depressing nature of Ringo Starr just wanting to be happy with his bickering friends on a submarine, and the threads connecting Revolution with Silly Love Songs than I ever thought imaginable.
I think I might be Paul McCartney if you remove the money, talent, good looks, and famous friends. This observation on page 261 threw me through a loop for a little while. It described (describes?) my outlook on life to an alarmingly accurate degree.
Paul selected a life, closed the menu, and then lived the fuck out of that life without ever worrying his pretty little head about the other adventures he could be chasing. That’s not just rare, it’s insane. His friends probably felt sorry for him. He brought that same level of follow-through to music.
I never put my outlook on life into words, but Sheffield did it for me through Paul McCartney.
Under a certain lens “selecting a life and closing the menu” is also called settling. Some view it as being content with things that add value to your life. Potato, potatoh. Revolution 9, Silly Love Songs. The easy path is to condemn the choice, expecting “more” out of a person. His friends probably did feel sorry for him, as if it were their place to feel sorry for a man pursuing what made him happy.
I chose my partner early, and clung to the shared experiences and happiness I drew from the relationship. I was satisfied working through life’s problems with this person, and helping her do everything necessary to reach her lofty dreams. It ultimately didn’t work out because she didn’t share that satisfaction, and wanted to aim for a better, more fulfilling life. So it goes.
But who am I to judge a person I care about for honestly pursuing what they feel is right for them? The pain lasted for a long time, but the bitterness didn’t. I know I’m a vastly different person in the aftermath (the jury is hung over whether I’m better or worse), but I still want the same things. In the one relationship I’ve had after my marriage I know I’ve given my all too, often to my detriment in that search for consistent happiness.
When I see John Tavares take a truckload of money to go home to Toronto then tweet out a picture of himself as a little kid wrapped up in Maple Leafs sheets I can’t possibly fault him for it. When LeBron James decides he would rather live in Los Angeles than Cleveland I nod. If Tyler Seguin decides he would rather be somewhere else after the Dallas Stars 2019 season I’ll link to this story, shrug my shoulders, and start making money off of looking at the different ways the Stars can replace his production.
Sometimes life sucks, bad and/or unexpected shit happens that can be really difficult to deal with, but even more challenging alone. My situation opened me up to a world I never wanted to see: divorced in my early 30’s trying to find happiness while not knowing what that is or how to do anything. I’ve stumbled a lot, putting myself in situations I’m ashamed to even admit.
Those situations arose from pursuing happiness. Tavares in Toronto may not work out. Lebron the Laker may fail. Tyler Seguin joining a third team, should that come to pass, may work out for both the Stars and Seguin. Who knows? As long as people are pursuing what makes them happy without trampling over others then screw it. My newly identified inner-Paul will never allow me to burn a jersey. I’ll laugh when you do it though, and commend you on your little $200 fire.