I Stand Alone

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Sometimes we feel alone
But alone ain’t always wrong

These are the lyrics of Robert Glasper’s “I Stand Alone”, which he speaks at the beginning of the tune in his deep, relaxed voice. I have been a Glasper fan for many years but exactly this time last year, this was my theme song. I would walk to work each morning and home from work each evening with this song on repeat on my iPhone. I would sometimes come home from work and keep listening to it. If I had a particularly rough day, I would listen to it. Anytime I needed strength, I would listen to it. Over and over – adopting it as my own, personal anthem. 

I’m flying high up in the sky
I will not run, I will not hide
I stand alone, I stand alone
I stand alone, I stand alone
The only test is to survive
I will succeed I will not die
I stand alone, I stand alone
I stand alone, I stand alone

It was a really rough time for me. My ex-husband had moved out leaving me to rattle around in our 3-bedroom condo – alone. This was not the life I had imagined at 43 years old. Alone. I didn’t know how I was going to move forward. Alone. And hearing alone ain’t always wrong helped. Hearing sometimes we feel alone – made me feel, not as alone…

Tonight, a year later, I went to see Robert Glasper live at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago. Alone. I didn’t make a reservation because I figured I could always find a seat at the bar. I was alone. But I was wrong, the set was sold out and I ended up standing for most it. There are very few artists I would stand for. Robert Glasper is one of them. And it was worth it. His chord progressions perpetually tug at my heartstrings and remind me that I am alive. It’s a unique blend of hip-hop and jazz and it’s distinct. He has a very strong musical signature. And my standing location was near the stage. I had an up close and personal view of the Robert Glasper Trio. I loved watching the intensity on his face as he played and it didn’t hurt that his drummer is seriously hot.

And a year later, alone feels pretty fucking amazing. Alone no longer represents sadness and loss. Alone represents freedom and choice. Alone means I can do what I want to do when I want to do it. I think you are not alone if you have music or art or whatever gives you a buzz in your life. You might need to redefine alone. And it takes time. Divorce sucks ass and sometimes no matter what, you will have moments of feeling alone. But find an anthem. Find a way to succeed. Find a way to survive. Find a way to fly. And listen to it over and over.

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