Wednesday, March 05, 2008

{Lyrical Extractions}
Sometimes life can feel like a Runaway Train
By Wendy Christensen

Runaway train never goin' back, wrong way on a one way track
seems like I should be getting somewhere, somehow I'm neither here nor there

The above extraction is the chorus to “Runaway Train” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. This song has an eerie feeling to it. It’s also catchy and a bit haunting. And each time I hear it, I feel as though he’s singing about his deepest, darkest days.

I believe it’s safe to say that we’ve all had a bad day. You know the kind … where nothing goes right and you wish you could just crawl back in bed.

Even on the bad train ride days, we have options about how to make the ride better. The first step is to stop right where we are and consider the next best thing to do. For example; let’s say our current ‘runaway train’ has to do with being lonely. This seems to be a common feeling of many. We can stop and decide how we can be more involved with others in our neighborhood, our community or with our church. We could write a letter to a family member, send an email, or make a phone call. By taking control of the situation at hand, we can change the course of our ‘runaway train’.

As part of the song, Petty sings about being here or there. We decide ultimately if we are here or there. Taking responsibility for the direction of our lives requires action on our part. I recently watched a video clip of Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad and was intrigued by his publishing journey. His manuscript was turned down by several publishing houses and instead of choosing to be here or there, he decided to take action. He self-published 1,000 copies of his book and that one choice helped launch this very successful book which to date, has sold over 26 million copies. His book has been on the New York Times Bestseller list for six straight years. I think it’s safe to say that he’s happy on his ‘train ride’. And glad that he decided to get somewhere regardless of what the publishing experts may have decided about his book.

I am grateful to know that I’m not the only one who has had a deep, dark day. I appreciate this song and it serves as a reminder that we choose what train track we’re on and we can choose to get on a different train heading somewhere better. Feel free to rally support as you jump trains and create a different path… It’s ok - call someone you love in the middle of night and ask them to help remind you that you are a person of value and worth!

Wendy Christensen can be reached via her website:

Inside my brain: I wrote this article about a year ago. This particular piece is part of a collection of articles I've written about the songs that fill the air around us and my thoughts on them. I would love to have my own regular column someday and thought I would share a few pieces via my blog :) - Let me know what you think!


Anonymous said...

you have a clever mind

Alyson said...

Awesome advice! I feel like it's easier and easier to have dark days the older I get. It's a good thing to remember that we have some control in how we handle these feelings. Thanks for the reminder!

Jennica said...

I really enjoyed your insight and positive approach on life. I too, agree and love the fact that our lives are in our control. What we do and how we react. This empowers me that if I work a little harder, life will be even better. You are one of the most uplifting people! I'm so glad I get to read your blog and just get a little lift for the day.