The Petty Archives

Tom Petty's secret message
By Anna Cutler
The Sun News - Thursday, May 12, 2011

My typical week is quite crammed. I have guitar lessons every Tuesday, art lessons and an online class every Wednesday, my Venture Crew meetings and my home school meetings on Thursday, a social meet every Friday, and I almost always have something on the weekend, whether it's a camping trip or a party at a friend's house. But it made me stop and think - almost everyone I know has a stressed out week like mine, if not worse. I have lots of family and friends who have the same schedule, go to public school and have jobs too. They have no free time in their average week to joke around and go to sleepovers like I can.

I was listening to my iPod the other day when "Free Fallin'" by Tom Petty came on. A calm, soothing, relaxing song with a quite interesting meaning. It made me question what the point of life is.

Now, the point of life can be seen from many different directions and can be argued loads of ways. Some would say the point is to succeed - others would say to fulfill the path God has planned for you. But you know what? Maybe God's plan is for us to succeed by being happy and relaxing a little in our everyday schedule.

In the song, Tom Petty talks about his girlfriend, who is well-behaved unlike himself. Isn't that typical? A well-behaved girl and a bad boy. As the song continues, he wants to "Free fall, out into nothin'." What exactly is he talking about? Like I said, he talks about free falling, and it struck me that he was trying to say he wanted to relax and have no worries-hence "free fall, out into nothin'."

But isn't that what life's about? Joking around and having fun?

I'm not so sure anymore.

People you see on the sidewalk or in town are rushing around and hurrying to do so many things - get to work, take out the trash, walk the dog, fix dinner for the family, worry about their date, get to the meeting on time, return the library book by 2:00...

Maybe we're letting life pass us by too quickly. Maybe we're wasting time on things we don't really need. Maybe we need to take a break and relax before we realize life has come and gone. Maybe we should just listen to Tom Petty...

And free fall out into nothing.