Do you have a Vienna?

Dear Travellers,

This past weekend, I was watching “The Politician” on Netflix, which was a lukewarm experience on the whole outside of two moments. Both of them involved Ben Platt singing. There’s a reason this man won a Tony, am I right?

Anyways, the second song comes near the end of the series. It kinda makes the other 7 hours of it all worth it when he sings “Vienna” which is Billy Joel gold. I think I may have all forgotten just how good Joel was as a lyricist much less pianist. When the song was originally released, I was just a little kid and didn’t even know what it was about.

Do you know this song? If not, give it a listen…I linked both versions up there. Really, just stop reading and listen…

I have to say there are so many great songs that have been written throughout time I tend to have a hard to recalling them all day to day.

And then there is a sort of magic that occurs when the right song crosses your path at the right time. A moment where it feels like your life is being reflected back to you in the lyrics. Like a message, if you believe in that kind of thing. The “There are no coincidences” kind of thing. It also happens with books, tv episodes, movies and conversations. I’m not sure if it’s coincidence or just the weird way the universe is trying to remind you of something. It’s saying, “Hey You, do you remember what you wanted, where you were going, or who you want to be in this world?” or a number of other messages.

Or maybe you don’t believe in that type of thing…

Free will or fate, who knows…but the thing about “Vienna” for me is that although I know there actual biographical info from Joel’s life in this song, it’s always felt like it’s about the great composer Mozart. Because the composers all seemed abit mad in their genius. In fact, I feel like all artists get a sort of fever when they create. As I am writing now, the idea has arrived and I want to catch it, lightening in a bottle. I’m not sure art is truly disciplinable.

So I’m wondering, Can you miss your fate? If life is a stage and we are all players, what happens if you take the wrong role? Does your original casted spot go to another human or is it like the song says and Vienna waits for you? Could Mozart have been anyone else?

Maybe that’s what’s wrong with Donald Trump. He’s been miscast in this current role, and doesn’t know what to do with it. And it’s not like the actual Presidency is going anywhere, because somewhere out there is, well, I believe a girl who will change this country. She just may not know it yet…

Maybe the reason we are experiencing such problems in our society is because there are so many of us who have ignored our gifts or dreams or goals, however you want to look at that and so it’s just social pandemonium. We’re all in the wrong roles or the lesser role we assumed for ease.

One of the things my therapist and I talk about it is not regretting the past. Seeing the past more as a tool for our journey, necessary experiences that one has to acquire to move forward in life. Lessons have to be learned.

We all do what we think is best at the time we do it, and in truth, I’ve come to believe that it’s not only a question of what you want in this life, it’s also a question of are you ready…when you are young and chasing the dream, most likely you’ve never considered the lessons you may be lacking. You may not be able to handle success like a more seasoned human. I tend to think that why child actors struggle, they didn’t get enough life first.

But when have you had enough life and are ready to get down to business?

As a society, we seem to largely believe that success must be found in youth or you’ll never find it at all. Yet there is an increasing number of successful people who arrive at their “Vienna” in their late 30s, 40s and 50s.

I can only speak for myself, but I think the last 20 years of my life were spent wandering because I didn’t face what happened to me in my youth. It had tried to rear it’s ugly head in my mid-20s and I just forced it back down. And I ran. Ran back to this place, into the arms of a relationship, into the home I never had, into a job that’s perfectly fine and a perfectly regular life. Yet, when I heard this song, it made me cry.

When he’s singing “Vienna” on the show, the character is lost. Lately that is exactly how I feel, I’m lost. And I have so much to do. I have an overwhelming sensation of being rushed to find a better life. It’s like I want to turn my divorce and these past 15 years into just a misstep. Like when you trip as you’re walking in public and recover quickly, looking around, like, “Nope, nothing happened. I did not just trip.” That’s how I feel..

I have so much time to make up for, and not much time left. In my 40s no less, and I have to wonder if there’s a book mark still out there holding my place. I’ve always had this odd sense of being displaced in my life. Like out there somewhere is my life, and this isn’t it, and doesn’t that sound f*cking nuts. Have you ever felt that way?

Artistry and intelligence seem to always ride up against insanity and pain don’t they? It’s not that you have to suffer for art, it’s that having any artistic desires seems to make one suffer. I also think pain, especially in youth, seems to inspire art as a sort of outlet. All that emotion has to go somewhere, so either you’re a serial killer or an artist. Think about it.

If you have a perfectly lovely upbringing, chances are good, this all sounds like drivel. You got on your track early and never got off. Your life is just as you believed it would be. For you, there may have never been a “Vienna”.

I don’t have a bow to tie this one up with this morning, so I’ll just leave you with those thoughts and something lovely we saw on our walk last week…



2 thoughts on “Do you have a Vienna?

  1. lbryantharris

    I came to the opinion a few years ago that if you’re in a job you don’t like, you owe it to the person who would love that job to search for your “Vienna” and make room for someone else. That’s not to suggest that anyone should just drop a perfectly good job and put themselves in financial peril because they’re holding someone else’s dream job. I just think if you need motivation to move to your best job, realize you are doing someone’s dream job right now.


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