Recently, I began playing U2's Achtung, Baby (one of my favorite album titles) for the first time in a lonnnng time. Maybe for the first time in more than ten years, even though I like the album very much.
And during the first of these recent listens, I realized that I'd been slightly misquoting "Zoo Station" for a lonnnng time.
In discussing the song, I'd quote the lyrics as
ready to let go of the steering wheel
ready for what's next
All of those lyrics actually appear in the song, so I'm not just making it up out of whole cloth, or having a mondegren moment.
But "ready for what's next" comes early on, and far away from "ready to let go of the steering wheel." The line that actually comes after "ready to let go of the steering wheel" isn't "ready for what's next," but "ready for the crush."
Nevertheless, the way I (mis)remembered it is important, because it says what's important to me about the song and how the song relates to my life. Over the years, my memory had simply pared it down to the thesis.
I've made a lot of changes over the last three or four years. While I had a modicum of happiness where I was before, it was only a modicum. I wasn't really happy. There was always something wrong.
Nowadays, things are different. Instead of resigning myself, I've made an effort. I've taken a lot of chances, at least by my standards. Even when events didn't turn out how I might have liked, I've gained from every experience. I've found out that I can actually get the things I really want. I've finally lived.
I'm not sure if I let go of the steering wheel or if I finally took hold of it. Somehow, I think I did both.
And I am far, far happier for it.
Don't get me wrong, my life isn't without challenges. But now, when I face those challenges, there's a tranquility at the eye of the storm because I feel better about myself and my life.
Both sets of lyrics turn out to be true.
I was finally ready for what's next.
I am ready for the crush.