Sometimes I don’t really even know how it happens, but I pretty often have amazing conversations with my passengers (I drive for a rideshare app). Those conversations make it all worthwhile, work and, truthfully, life itself (shows humanity in a kind light). No matter how I’m feeling, I know that any day I go out driving, I will still have one of these awesome conversations. Those conversations sometimes help me make sense of the world, or they let me see joy in small things, or they teach me new ways of thinking and seeing. It’s nothing I’ve experienced in any other job.
So, a couple of weeks ago, I had a passenger for about 40 minutes (traffic). He started off by asking me if I like Black Sabbath because I had their playlist going, to which I replied that I love them. Then it branched off into how I only really listen to oldies classic rock and how that originated and how it’s been 90% of what I’ve listened to for the past 5 years, yadda yadda yadda. Well, it turns out a lot of our music “origin story” was the same. I’ve never met another person that had such similar experiences! It was wild!
We both were raised listening to oldies classic rock. My dad would always have it on and so would his dad. We both didn’t know there was anything new for a chunk of our childhoods because all we heard was classic rock. Once we figured out there was a lot more music out there, we both explored, but as we got older, all we wanted to listen to anymore was oldies classic rock. Sometimes, we listen to newer stuff, but it doesn’t last long and we revert back. Put on a classic rock station in the car and we can sing along to any song, like a human jukebox, BUT we have to hear the first few seconds of the song to have the lyrics spring to mind. More often than not, we won’t know the title of the song or the artist.
I felt so normal. Not like it was ever a major negative with my life, but I haven’t met anyone else with such similar experiences. Those experiences are usually anecdotes when talking about how my taste in music came about. Apparently, it’s a little unusual what I like to listen to so I tell them those things which usually brings about a laugh. I like to think those experiences made me special because I’m proud of my music taste- a lot of it took deep exploration (thank you internet) and lots and lots of listening time.
Back from where I’m from in CA, I didn’t know anyone my age who liked the same music as I did unless it was new, but out here in Nashville, it’s a lot easier to find people with similar taste. I feel free to passionately speak about older artists I like and I know that if I share a song or album with someone, they’ll really hear it and appreciate it. That has been a huge help with “fitting in” (as someone who didn’t feel like they ever did fit in).
But this… This was one of those experiences where it was so cool to reminisce on familiar times and experiences with a total stranger. It was like talking to myself! After I dropped him off, I had to sit there for a few to really let sink in what had just happened. It was one of those crazy cool encounters that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. Sometimes, you need a reminder about what makes you special and unique and that was one of those times for me.