Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tuesday Tunes: Whitney Houston's "One Moment In Time"

Editor's Note: Song lyrics denoted in bold italics.

We all have those moments in pop culture history that stand out in our minds. Something monumental happens, and you forever remember where you were when it happened.

For me, one of those moments is the death of Whitney Houston. It was February, just before the Grammy Awards, and I remember it being one of those times you just can't believe is happening. Here was one of the greatest singers of all time gone far too soon. Her music seemed to transcend everything and every single song held a special place in my heart. These songs? They reminded me of my childhood and those good old days.

Whitney Houston's "One Moment In Time"
From 1988 Summer Olympics Album

Whitney's words and voice were pure gold. They were like anthems for the soul and I'm pretty sure everyone has one song that speaks to them -- you know, the kind that towers above the rest. Whether it has special meaning, makes you happy or brings you to tears, it's the type of song that you play at full blast WHENEVER it comes on the radio.

And for me, so many of her '80s classic take me right back to -- you guessed it! -- my hospital days!

Each day I live
I want to be
A day to give
The best of me
I'm only one
But not alone
My finest day
Is yet unknown

I broke my heart
Fought every gain
To taste the sweet
I face the pain
I rise and fall
Yet through it all
This much remains

Maybe it's only fitting that I write about this song now, seeing as how the Rio Olympics are coming up and this song was featured prominently in the 1988 Summer Olympics! I mean, everyone needs an anthem, right? This song -- it became my anthem from the first time I heard it. I've always lived by the motto that people are doing the best they can in life. We may struggle, get knocked down and have the wind knocked out of us, but we always find a way to get up again. Something -- motivation, determination, a supernatural force -- moves us to GET UP OFF THE FLOOR and keep trying. That's really the essence of the human spirit, don't you think? Because as people, we want to do better. We want to be better than we were before. We want to live better than past generations. We want to make an impact and leave our mark so when we're no longer on this earth, people will still know that we were here. We want future generations to look back at us and say, "Yes, they were here. They made a difference in the world."

I want one moment in time
When I'm more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away
And the answers are all up to me
Give me one moment in time
When I'm racing with destiny
Then in that one moment of time
I will feel
I will feel eternity

During my hospital days, especially, I'd always looked forward to that one day when I was "just me." Granted, those days weren't altogether bad, but I always got the feeling that someday, I'd be free, just like Whitney's song describes. To be able to shed those shackles that I felt were holding me back was such an appealing prospect. In a way, I'm not sure that hunger and drive to be free ever truly leaves us, though. We'll always be fighting something, striving to do better and make positive changes that will get us to the exact place we want to be. Sure, it may take us some time, but that certainly doesn't stop us from trying. Every single day. We try as hard as we can because we know we can do it. Deep down, we know we have that strength to persevere and see it through. Some people may say that it's futile to keep doing something and not seeing results, but I say those people are the shortsighted ones. Things do change if you give it enough time.

I've lived to be
The very best
I want it all
No time for less
I've laid the plans
Now lay the chance
Here in my hands

And maybe in the end, this song is also about learning to be comfortable with who you are -- something, as you know, I haven't always been good at. You have to give yourself permission to love yourself, you know? It's never something that just comes naturally; it has to be won and sometimes winning it is half the battle. I know that I may not always love myself or even be happy with myself, but I'm sure of one thing: I'm NEVER going to stop fighting to be my authentic self.
We encounter so many negative people in this world, and we owe it to ourselves not to be one of those people. After all, we owe it to ourselves to be our own best friend and our own biggest fan. Don't you agree, friends?

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