I always write about what’s going on in my life, and today is a big day in the world of me. Today, my friends, is Hip day. I’ve got tickets to the Tragically Hip show in Hamilton tonight, and August 16th has been looming large on my calendar for many, many weeks.
If you’re reading this blog and live in Canada, chances are that you know the backstory here: The Tragically Hip have been a staple in Canadian music for many decades. Their lead singer, Gord Downie, announced in May that he has terminal brain cancer and The Hip quickly released final tour dates Canada-wide. A victory lap, a final farewell, and a chance for Hip fans to say goodbye and celebrate the Hip soundtrack running through their memories of days gone by.
Music has a way of doing that, doesn’t it? Sometimes a few notes, a simple lyric, a quick guitar chord can transport me back to the 90s, back into my prime Tragically Hip time. The Tragically Hip is road trips and lake swims, best friends and music festivals, Summertime and Canadiana. You see, everyone’s got a Hip story. This happens to be mine:
I was about 17 when I was first introduced to The Hip’s music. I had a boyfriend who was a couple of years older, and his group of friends were slightly older still; they were cool, I was impressionable, and I pretended to know about all things Hip. “Day for Night” became a staple in my life and “Fully Completely” played everywhere from his car to his apartment to my volleyball practices to house parties. Fast forward a year or two, different boyfriend, this time a drummer, and my weekend nights were often spent dancing to his Tragically Hip covers at a University bar. The albums were “Trouble at the Henhouse” and “Phantom Power” and the background noise was school and friends and Varsity track. But despite how this paragraph might read, my Tragically Hip story is not all about boyfriends and beer, but rather a time in my life when the future stretched unknowingly before me.
The life I live today is far more fulfilling, far more complete, far more incredible than anything I could’ve dreamed; but back then, back in my Hip days, this life was not one I knew awaited me. For me, the Tragically Hip represents an entirely different chapter, one where my roots were grown, my identity was formed, and my goals were set. It was a happy chapter, a fun chapter, but a chapter of uncertainty, as it is for many in that early-adult demographic. So, I’ll be at the show tonight with my husband and some great friends, and I’ll be thinking of that girl, that version of me, who didn’t know that she’d end up driving by Bobcaygeon on cottage weekends and saying goodbye to the Tragically Hip on a Tuesday night in August, with a babysitter and two sleeping kids waiting at home.
That girl is happy she ended up here. And so is this one.