I Don’t Wanna Wait - Paula Cole
I was listening to STAR 94’s 90s Weekend on the radio as I drove to Atlanta this weekend for a wedding. There may not be anything I love more than a road trip with 90s tunes… especially a road trip that leads to hanging out and celebrating with most of my favorite people in the whole world.
When this song came on, my initial reaction was to change the station because it’s weepy and melodramatic and I was in a partyin’, car-dancing mood. But by the time Paula got to the second round of “do do do dooo” I was hooked. I love this song, there’s no denying. I really don’t want to wait for my life to be over…
I wasn’t allowed to watch Dawson’s Creek growing up, which at the time, was pretty much the most unfair thing EVAR. But man, I wanted to. My older sister and her Cool Friends were allowed to watch it, and would do so at our house (I am quite sure) just to torture me.
In our house, the living room and tv room had a shared wall with a fireplace that had openings on both sides. My sister and her Cool Friends would sit in the living room and watch this show and talk about boys and high school and driving and these strange new things called cell phones. This fireplace served as a window into the yet-unreached territory of teenage years… filled with reading Seventeen magazine and laughing about how great life was sans-braces.
I would just sit in the other room and watch Dr. Quinn with my parents and try to imagine what Dawson’s Creek was about… my only real understanding of the show came from the CD cover of the soundtrack. I wanted so desperately to sit casually on a dock on a body of water I can only image was Dawson’s actual creek, barefoot and best friends with Katie Holmes and That Guy From That Football Movie. I wanted to wear white pants and have a soundtrack follow me around that made me feel like I was at Lilith Fair. Through that fireplace was where life began. High school. Paula Cole songs becoming reality. Lounging around casually on docks.
I could totally watch Dawson’s Creek now if I wanted to (thanks, adulthood.) But as that song was resonating through my car and out the open windows… I realized how thankful I am for my own growing-up story… a story of hanging out and watching movies in someone’s basement. A story of eating lunch in Mr. B’s marketing class. Of working the concession stand at the baseball fields. Of hours playing in the basketball gym. Of icees at the Ready Market and bike rides down dirt roads. Of going bowling instead of prom and of learning to drive a Suburban in a parking lot. Of moving to Georgia. Of attempting to study in a patch of grass outside the dorms. Of countless smoothie breaks at the dining hall. And, on occasion, actually lounging casually on a dock. My life has been better than what I imagine Dawson’s Creek could offer.
I am thankful for weekends like this one… celebrating a wedding alongside those people that have made growing-up the most fun and exciting and (let’s be honest) scary thing I’ve ever experienced. When I used to look through that fireplace, I couldn’t imagine what my life was going to look like as I got older. And like my girl Paula, I often wanted desperately to know how everything was going to turn out. I still do, on many days, wish to know what’s going to happen to me: What will I do? Where will I go? Whom will I love? What does the Lord have in store for me?
But for now… I’m OK just listening to the soundtrack and enjoying the party while it lasts.