don’t think twice

My son graduates college on Saturday. A milestone. A happy occasion. And I am just that. A friend recently asked me how I feel about it. I had to think about it then. Process a bit before I came to the conclusion. Proud. Pleased. Old. Especially old.

A song. Over and over in my head. That’s how I sometimes process. Life. What’s happening. And today. The song as of late? Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.

Why? Why an early Bob Dylan song?

A song he seemingly wrote to a girlfriend, telling her goodbye? In a semi sarcastic, snarky way? I am not at all alluding to my son and his girlfriend. Not in the least. What am I then? Well, this.

I like everything tied in a bow. The loose ends…you know… Don’t leave anything undone. When I go on a trip, I like the sink cleared of dishes and all the laundry done. The house clean. That’s crazy, right? What does it matter? When I leave a place…say my final goodbyes, I like to leave on a high note. Everything good.

Yet in life, that’s for the most part, impossible. There will always be what ifs? Undones. Things yet to be accomplished. Estranged relationships. Unanswered questions. And I think this song, though again seemingly written to a woman as the singer leaves town, expresses a bit of what I want to convey.

Don’t think twice. It’s all right.

Don’t second guess. Don’t ask yourself over and over if you did the right thing. Don’t ponder scenarios until you are exhausted and do not question why people do what they do. It’s not worth it and in reality, you most likely will never know. So go on. With your life. Live well. Be happy. Do what you’re supposed to do.

I heard this on NPR this morning. A woman speaking about a book she wrote. And I believe it’s true.

In the West, particularly in America, there’s this whole emphasis on closure. But I have lived around the world so much and I have come to realize that in most parts of world, we go through life without finding closure, and yet we can still live a meaningful life. We can confront tragedy and we can live with that sense of loss, but still life is about taking all that in and [moving] on in the best way we can. Closure isn’t static; closure is a process, it’s an ongoing process. ~ Vaddey Ratner

Powerful words, right? As we move on, from early twenty something to college graduate. As we prepare to enter the world in a whole new way. We don’t have to have closure. We don’t have to know every why. Every how. Every answer. Moving forward, we don’t have to know. We don’t have to question ourselves over and over. Make a decision and move on. Don’t think twice. Everything is going to be all right.

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My son, upon reading this, will probably ask, in his mind, why I didn’t quote a Kendrick Lamar song. Alright. I don’t think it fits here. That’s why. Here’s the thing. The A side of Bob Dylan’s recording I am speaking of is Blowin in the Wind. Iconic, right? Is there a song that says more? About everything? We.just.don’t.know.much.of.anything. And the people who think they do, most likely don’t.

You don’t have to know the answers today. That’s what I tell myself nearly everyday. Someday…you might need to know the answers. But today, no. And that’s what I wish upon my son as he moves from college student to grad student. You don’t have to know today. One day at a time. It’s gonna be all right. Don’t think twice. Make a decision. Move on. Hope for the best. In hoping, we plan for the best and we make a life that’s most likely our best. Don’t concern yourself with the others. The non-closers. My dad has a baseball signed by Goose Gossage. Who was a closer way before Mariano Rivera. There’s some baseball history for you, James!

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. ~ Ferris Bueller

Look around, Jamie. Look around and be who you’re supposed to be. Love people. Share your music and your world. And everything will be all right.

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I could not be more pleased with my son’s accomplishments. Raising a musician, an artist, has its challenges. The accolades and critics and all the emotion. Yet knowing full well he is doing what he was put on this planet to do, is satisfying. Knowing his gifts will inspire, motivate and make a difference. That’s the best gift a mother can receive. So I celebrate with him. And I celebrate HIM. And I know, in my heart, everything will be all right.

Don’t think twice, Jamie. It’s all right.

 

Well it ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
Ifin’ you don’t know by now
An’ it ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
It’ll never do some how
When your rooster crows at the break a dawn
Look out your window and I’ll be gone
You’re the reason I’m trav’lin’ on
Don’t think twice, it’s all right
And it ain’t no use in a-turnin’ on your light, babe
The light I never knowed
An’ it ain’t no use in turnin’ on your light, babe
I’m on the dark side of the road
But I wish there was somethin’ you would do or say
To try and make me change my mind and stay
We never did too much talkin’ anyway
But don’t think twice, it’s all right
No it ain’t no use in callin’ out my name, gal
Like you never done before
And it ain’t no use in callin’ out my name, gal
I can’t hear ya any more
I’m a-thinkin’ and a-wond’rin’ wallkin’ way down the road
I once loved a woman, a child I am told
I give her my heart but she wanted my soul
But don’t think twice, it’s all right
So long honey babe
Where I’m bound, I can’t tell
Goodbye is too good a word, babe
So I just say fare thee well
I ain’t sayin’ you treated me unkind
You could have done better but I don’t mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time
But don’t think twice, it’s all right
Bob Dylan, 1963 (Dylan was 21 years old)

Congratulations to Jamie, who will be attending the New England Conservatory of Music in the fall. 

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