Life Lessons From Snow Patrol
As I was writing this story…
Saying Goodbye to the Live Music Capital of the World
The intersection of a Medium friendship and my final concert in Austin
…I knew I would eventually sit down to write a separate story to highlight the music itself from my final concert in Austin.
I was profoundly moved by the sheer musical and lyrical talent of the Snow Patrol band members.
The truth is I only knew a couple of their songs prior to the concert.
Honestly, I ended up buying the pair of tickets based on “Just Say Yes.” It’s rare that one song can compel me to see a concert, but in this case it did.
Serendipity steps into my life from time-to-time. This felt like one of those times.
I am confident that I was supposed to hear these songs, these lyrics at this exact moment in my life.
Did I expect to see a decent show? Sure.
Did I know I would have a lovely time meeting my pal, Heath ዟ, and taking him for his inaugural visit to the always fabulous Moody Theater? Of course!
Did I have any idea how moved I would be by the music of these lads from Northern Ireland? Nope. Not a clue.
But I know that this show, my final concert in Austin, will remain embedded in my soul for a lifetime.
I’d never heard this song prior to the concert, so I had no idea what I was in store for.
This is the kind of song that stops you in your tracks.
Everything fades away. Time stops.
Those lyrics smacked me in the face. No, in the heart, in my very essence.
There’s a lot to unpack from “What If This Is All the Love You Ever Get?”
“What if this is all the love you ever get?” “What if this is all the love I’m ever shown?”
Being confronted so directly with my worst fear: that love is behind me. I won’t ever find the love I am seeking. Love, at least romantic love, is my past.
I’m just old enough, suffered enough defeats to know that this is very possible for me.
“So you’ve fallen apart. What if it hurts like hell? Then it will hurt like hell.”
I’ve been reflecting lately about putting my heart on the line once more earlier this year. And not getting my guy.
This song feels so validating. Ok, so I didn’t get the love I hoped for. I’m disappointed and hurt. But I found the courage to take the risk.
I might find the courage again with someone in the future. Or not.
But I’m still open to love. Even now.
“What if this is all the love I ever know?”
Knowing with certainty that love feels so much more precious, so much more of a gift.
I know I appreciate it way more than I ever did when I was younger. That, should I find it again, I won’t hold back the way I did in my past.
By all means, we must honor ourselves and our boundaries. Don’t give ourselves to just anyone. Don’t lose ourselves.
But for the love of cream corn, if love somehow finds me, I’m grabbing it. And thanking my lucky stars it swung by once more.
As I listened to “Don’t Give In” something became clear: oh! Snow Patrol share the spirit of U2. (And Big Country, too, for that matter.)
There’s an earnestness and sincerity but simultaneously a swagger and confidence.
If you watch Bono, the Edge, Larry Mullen, and Adam Clayton you’ll see the parallel. Larger than life, talented, grace, and humility. Not many bands espouse all of those things.
This song in particular captures the dichotomy of Snow Patrol that endears them to their listeners: a rockin’ edge with an undercurrent of vulnerability.
“The Lightning Strike (What If This Storm Ends)” is very intense!
By the halfway point, I remember being very overwhelmed by the energy and power of this song.
It only increased from there!
It was a highlight of the show in terms of sheer passion.
By the end, my entire being felt it!
I turned to my pal, Heath ዟ, and commented how good that performance was.
As I type this, though, I realize I was really looking for validation. I saw it in Heath’s face: yes, Snow Patrol had blown both of us away.
This was one of the only Snow Patrol songs that I was familiar with.
Though it’s technically a love song, it’s become a bit of an anthem for me.
“Just Say Yes!”
To love. Of course.
But for me, it’s about saying yes…
To life. To chance. To change. To growth. To the unknown.
“Just Say Yes” has become so much more to me.
It represents finding courage, tapping into my strongest self. To curiosity and bravery and scrappiness.
It’s knowing that there are those who wither in their complacency and fear. Who refuse to take the unknown path.
It’s a choice!
I may live a small life. I’m not going to save the planet or invent some life changing product or be immortal.
But my life can still be meaningful in its joys and friendships and experiences. In its wins and missteps and lessons.
Just say yes! I can’t think of a better mantra right now.
Until her 40’s, Bonnie’s worst nightmare included writing and sharing personal stories publicly. At her friends’ suggestion, she bemusedly started Bonnie’s Mixed Tape on Medium in 2017. She remains shocked that anyone reads her stories and that P.S. I Love You, the Writing Cooperative, and the Ascent have published her work.
She is moving to Mississippi in the coming months and is trying to embrace the fact that she has no idea what she’s getting herself into.
Thank you for reading this story
I know you are busy and have lots of ways you could be spending your time. You using your time to read my work means the world to me — my sincerest thanks!