Wednesday, August 24, 2011

When I Wake Up at 3am/ I Need Someone to Be Lonely With...

Has it really been since April since I last updated? Dear lord.This will be a lengthy blog, but it's worth it.

And now the topic:

I was sitting in my office the other day listening to the Brad Yoder Pandora station. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Mr. Yoder, he is a singer-songwriter from Pittsburgh whose music played an integral part in my teenage years. Listening to the station prompted me to go home and search for all of my Yoder cds, which I couldn't find so had to purchase on iTunes (much to the chagrin of my sweet, sweet husband).

Here's what's I remember from high school. I remember congregating at the Daily Grind Coffeehouse on Friday nights with my circle of best friends, thinking that all of us would be friends forever but realizing later how untrue that would be for some of us. Yoder would play on Friday nights what seemed like every month and we would all go every single time, the same crowd of 20 or so. We knew all the songs, could sing harmonies, and found happiness in our little piece of time so connected to each other and separate from everyone else.

I remember Maria Cancro always requesting "Wake the Dragon" and getting teary-eyed every time she heard it. Meaghan Crump singing the harmony to "Taking in the Sights." I remember all the BHS Show Choir kids singing "Skyler" so loudly that Yoder could barely hear himself. I remember the night he played "Elliot" when a friend passed away. And, of course, that last show before we left for college when he played "School Together" and we knew that everything would change.

When I was 15, the only way I knew how to express myself was through song lyrics. I would spend free moments looking up the words to different songs because I knew that those lyrics would be superior to any sentences I came up with. So I found this song on Yoder's website in the Out of Circulation section called "Someone to Be Lonely With."

when I wake up at 3am, I need someone to be lonely with,
under my breath, under my skin, someone to be lonely with..

I lost my way, I lost my place, I need someone to be lonely with
a momentary fall from grace, someone to be lonely with,

I was thinking aloud, thought I’d figured it out,
now I don’t know, no, I don’t know
all the usual doubts, my mind gets cloudy
I don’t know, no, I don’t know..

but I would trade my soul, & my good name
for someone to be lonely with,
I’ve got no one but myself to blame,
I need someone to be lonely with..
I was thinking aloud, thought I’d figured it out
now I don’t know, no, I don’t know
all the usual doubts, my mind gets crowded,
I don’t know, no, I don’t know..

when I have burned my pack of days, when I have nothing left to say,
will I find love, or pine away for someone to be lonely with?

someone to be lonely with, I need someone to be lonely with…
                                                                --Brad Yoder,

The song is about wanting to give up everything you own in order to have someone that is there to help you through all the mess of life and not knowing if that will ever happen for you. It's about hoping and praying that someone will come along that won't care about your imperfections. It's also about the confusion of figuring out what it is that you want and the uncertainty of how you go about getting it.

So as a 15 year-old, I was in heaven. All these perfect words that could finally describe what I needed in my life, blah blah blah. Needless to say, it became one of my favorite songs for the longest time (and still is), and I never understood exactly the meaning of the song. I had a standard, academic way of understanding it but I didn't know what any of it felt like.

Until now.

It's pretty publicly known now that I'm an insomniac. I mean, you can tell by the 2-3am Facebook and Twitter posts. The other night I fell asleep early and woke up at around 3am and tried not to wake Joey up. I was lying there and started thinking about that song and that I finally understood what it meant. To have someone that could be emotionally "there" for you, even when they're sound asleep. To have someone that forgave all your faults without question.

The point? We all need people we can depend on and love for different reasons. Doesn't have to be a romantic relationship. It can be a friendship, co-worker, whatever. Nevertheless, it's important to establish meaningful relationships with people that you can depend on through thick and thin. Identify what you want from others and what you're willing to give them in return. Friendship (and relationships in general) are about reciprocity. Ideally, there should be an equal give and take. That doesn't always happen, but identify your motives. Will you be okay if you feel like you're the only one putting in any effort for a period of time? What is it that you need in order to be fulfilled?

Your "Someone to Be Lonely With" can come in any form you need and may take longer than anticipated.

I waited a really long time to find Joey, but it was worth it.


  1. Thanks, Leslie! I just mentioned this blog post in a post on my website. You definitely salvaged "Someone To Be Lonely With" from the musical scrap heap, something I'm grateful for. :]

  2. Leslie,

    I too am a lifelong fan of Brad's work. Of course, as his father, I could be a little biased!

  3. congrats on finding Joey and having had Yoder's words in your life!