And that made me think of the summer of 2004.
Which made me think of this . . .
That song was EVERYTHING.
Alicia Keys was EVERYTHING.
And then there was this one:
If you can't tell, I was really into R&B at that point in my life.
And Burn. Oh man. I was 24-years-old and every time I heard that song I would get all teary and emotional. I was going through a bad breakup at the time and I can remember feeling like USHER WAS SINGING RIGHT TO ME. I do but I don't think we should go our separate ways . . . tell me why I should stay in this relationship when I'm hurtin' baby, I ain't happy baby . . .
When I think of that summer I also think of . . .
. . . My bestie Keri. She was married with a child but her husband was in Iraq and her son was a tiny baby and we were pretty much inseparable that summer.
(Inseparable AND Fabulous)
(I'm probably wearing a skort)
. . . spending days at Keri's mom's pool. We would spend entire weekends there, floating in the pool and drinking . . .
. . . Smirnoff Ice, raspberry flavor (with a shot of raspberry vodka) I don't care if I ever drink Smirnoff Ice or anything raspberry flavored ever again for the rest of my life.
. . . Working. Working, working, working. I was the director of an after school/ summer program and was given the option that summer of working the entire program day (12 hours) rather than hiring in someone else. I did the "take the money and run" option and spent 6-6 Monday through Friday at the school.
. . . The working paid off because I capped off the summer like THIS:
The funny thing about all this is, when I was 24 and living in that moment on an inflatable raft in an above-ground pool with my BFF's brother hitting on me, I never realized just how good life was back then. I was miserable and heartbroken. I couldn't imagine getting through the next day let alone the next decade (plus!)
In the years since, I've learned REAL tragedy. I lost my dad. I married and divorced. I had three babies. I moved and I moved and I moved again. I found love again. I found happiness, true happiness. I have LIVED.
It's tempting to say I want to go back and shake that poor 24-year-old girl, just knock some sense into her. "Learn what real tragedy is! You're going to have a reason to be legitimately sad before too long!" Mostly, though, I wish she'd just have realized that harder days were coming . . . and even better and more amazing days after that. And that, one day, she'd look back on that summer and realize that . . . SERIOUSLY? Is there anything better than spending the weekends on a raft in someone's pool (just no Smirnoff Ice, por favor) and capping the whole damn thing off with a freaking seven day cruise?!?
You had it pretty good, 24-year-old Brandi. You had it pretty good.