"I'll close my eyes for just three seconds," I thought while driving down the beltway alone in the midst of a six-hour road trip. The radio played some slow elevator music and I aggressively rubbed my eyes and slapped myself on the cheek. "Come on Hannah wake up! This is no time for a nap," I encouraged myself as my eyes grew heavier and heaver. "Fine," I said out loud. "Just three seconds that is it! One, two, threeeeeeee." Shocker- I was out like a light switch.
My car drifted into four different lanes and the rapid honking of horns just became white noise in my dream. My foot rested on the gas pedal and I had no intentions of waking up anytime soon. Alas, by the grace of the good God above watching over me, He did the only thing possible to save my life at that moment. Somehow, I vividly heard the famous first line of my favorite song. "Now she's back in the atmosphere with drops of Jupiter in her hair." (A fitting one as well, I may add, to wake me up from my head floating in the clouds.) I perked up, opened my eyes, and screamed.
I swerved as quick as I could from completely slamming into the guard rail that was 2 inches away from my bright red Toyota Corolla. I felt my heart beating out of my chest and wiped my hands drenched in pools of sweat on my leggings. "Holy sh*t," I thought. "That song just saved my life."
The song 'Drops of Jupiter' has been one of my favorite songs ever since I can remember. After the song single-handedly saved my life, I decided to do some research on it. The band's lead singer Pat Monahan wrote the song about his mother who passed away from a nasty fight with cancer. The song was about his Mom coming back to tell him that throughout her journey in heaven and swimming through all the planets in the universe, it actually turned out to be overrated. She told him how important it was to love the life he had now and to appreciate all aspects of what life had to offer.
For me, the lyrics really spoke as a metaphor for a tough lesson that I learned with time. There is a difference between what is just shiny and sparkly and what is actually real in life. I have spent a big chunk of time in the atmosphere, occasionally falling for shooting stars and even searching for myself in them.
Despite it all, I never truly found happiness on the milky way, or in the constellations, or any of the other things that looked so inviting and twinkly in life. I realized that the happiness and preciousness I wanted could so easily be found in the first dance, a freezer dinner, the best soy latte, and in my best friend. Happiness is not always "out there", but instead has been right before my very eyes all along.
I think that the "milky way" in this song stands for the mysteries of the Universe. As much as the universe is within us, it is under absolutely no obligation to make sense to us. Something that I will never stop searching for is the answers to all the enchanting mysteries that come with this broad never-ending universe composed of life and nature.
I think that a big part of what Pat was trying to portray through his lyrics was that sometimes through the experience of great ignorance and loss is where we ultimately find ourselves; along with a lot of those answers that come with the depths of the milky way. It is not always a bad thing to let your head play in the clouds, (unless your driving) and to let your spirit soar every once in a while.
So I guess when I really take a step back and look on it, Drops of Jupiter saved my life in more ways than one. It evokes me to always stay curious, and to never stop searching for the various different meanings in life I will always encounter through all the vast experiences that are out there waiting for me. The song will constantly remind me that I should not always grab the first shiny toy I see but instead pick the one that has a little more wear and tear because the interior is always more important than the exterior.
But most importantly, it reminds me to explore the limitless possibilities that my own mind has composed for myself through self-discovery.
It is safe to say I definitely owe Pat Monahan more than a beer. Thanks for looking out for me in more ways than one bud.