“I ain’t turning back to living that old life no more
So rock me momma like a wagon wheel”
–Wagon Wheel, by Darius Rucker
When I first heard Darius Rucker sing the country song “Wagon Wheel” on the radio, I thought – “That’s Hootie!” (from Hootie & the Blowfish). But wait, he doesn’t sing country… He’s rock, I thought to myself. Well, he’s actually both!
Darius decided to take a hiatus from the extremely successful Hootie & the Blowfish band (16 million records) to follow what he always loved and was in his heart – country music. He didn’t expect his cover of “Wagon Wheel” (co-written by Bob Dylan in 1973) to hit #1 and win a Grammy. He just played the music that spoke to him.
It can take courage to walk away from what’s working for you on the outside but no longer works for you on the inside. And #1 hits are no guarantee when changing direction.
I find it harder to make changes when things are going pretty well, and I’m comfortable, as opposed to when I’m miserable and feel forced to make a change. The resulting personal growth in stepping out of your comfort zone is what Darius speaks about when he sings, “I ain’t turning back to living that old life no more.”
Whether life is good, not too bad or really messed up bad – what’s for certain is that when “that old life” isn’t great, or great enough, we begin itching for something else. As humans, we always evolve into the next best version of ourselves, sometimes with ease and sometimes kicking and screaming.
Darius Rucker said in different interviews, “I don’t think that me having success overnight changed country music and now there’s going to be 20 African-Americans singing the genre… But as far as I can tell, you are not playing that race card. Other people are playing it for you.”
How do others dictate what you should be doing in your life?
Often, we live our lives in a way that we feel we are “supposed to,” following the rules of society, family, friends, or colleagues. Are you “supposed to” work a certain job, or make a certain salary, and if you don’t, you’re not really successful? Are you “supposed to” be married already? Or did you marry too early, or marry someone that fits your family’s or friend’s expectations but not yours?
Societal norms say, as a woman, I should want children. I didn’t and chose not to have them. It took me 40 years to give myself permission to be okay with that.
There is only one way to live your life – that’s your way. And it may look different from everyone else’s way.
Hootie & the Blowfish now perform primarily at specialty concerts and charity events. Country music is Darius’ main “job.” He performs both genres in his own unique way. Recently, through his music, Darius raised over $2 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; and in May 2019, Darius Rucker was recognized with the Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award.
So, now Hootie is a country singer, humanitarian and philanthropist as well as a rock star. What song is singing in your heart that the world needs to hear, no matter what you’re “supposed to” sing? Whatever it is, I hope it “rocks you like a wagon wheel.” Take a listen: https://bit.ly/2Q23Hax .
After not singing for 35 years – in a moment of madness – I answered an ad to be a singer in a Rock’n’Roll band… and got the gig. I share my story about how stepping out of my comfort zone and getting a little outrageous has changed my life.
I want everyone I reach to experience the same transformation through the “GoGaGaTM” process I’ve developed to help attendees Unleash their “Inner Superstar” and realize that it’s never too late to bust through their fears to perform at levels they never thought possible. My talk takes people from “I can’t” to “I can” in 45 to 60 minutes – with my special brand of entertainment with a message. Click here to download my speaker one-sheet, and book me for your next event.