Grateful Dad #8.23: Fast Car

April 30, 2023

Youthful memories come flashing in my head every time I listen to the song Fast Car by Tracy Chapman.

It seems like my brain is awash with waves of nostalgia lately. Sometimes the images just come involuntarily in which I will find myself getting lost in my own thoughts about events and emotions from many years ago. Oftentimes, the memories get triggered while listening to my favorite songs. One of those songs that I’ve been playing almost nonstop is “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman. Aside from the melody, it’s the lyrics that will really touch your heart.

Grateful for the song Fast Car by Tracy Chappman

Grateful Dad #8.23: Fast Car


For those who are not familiar with the song, you can find the lyrics of Fast Car here:

As I matured and collected experiences, the meaning of the song became deeper for me. It’s actually a sad song, starting with youthful hope and exuberance despite the challenges that the protagonist has to take on early in life. It’s about finding love outside a dysfunctional home and holding on to optimism that eventually things will turn out well for them.

However, as the years passed, the protagonist soon realized that they haven’t broken free from the lonely cycle of the life that they so wanted to escape from. In the end, though, all hope is not lost after all even if the only option is not the life that they imagined.

How does this relate to me? Well, I have my own set of youthful dreams. As I grew older, my world revolved around pursuing those dreams. I thought that those were the only things that I wanted to do. All the same, it soon dawned upon me that we don’t get to realize all of our dreams no matter how much we imagined them to be true.

There are roadblocks and challenges along the way that would put us on a different path. With that, I sought my own closure and closed that chapter of my life. In the end, even if the things that we have are what we asked for, we make do with what we have. Because that’s what life is all about, moving forward and taking advantage of the options presented to us.

Just the same, I’ve also realized lately that we don’t really forget. There would always be what-ifs and we would encounter things that would remind us of our youthful dreams (clue: The Good Doctor). We can always turn things around, that’s for sure. I’ve realized throughout that we decide our own limitations. At the same time, I believe that we should always be in tune with our current reality lest we compromise other aspects of our lives.

I was honestly at a crossroads. A part of me wanted to keep that old chapter of my life closed. A small voice kept whispering about the what-ifs. In the end, I chose to treat those memories as a happy part of my growing-up years.

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