‘Your Own Special Way’ – Genesis Ballad Brings Sense of Personal Triumph, Renewal

Welcome back, Phil.

I quickly glanced down at my phone to scour the daily music headlines on Facebook Wednesday morning. I came across a Rolling Stone article, “Phil Collins Plotting Comeback: ‘I Am No Longer Retired.’”

Instantly, my jaw dropped when I read the headline. I did a double take. Was it true? Or, am I just reading this in my exhausted work haze?

No, it was true. I quickly scanned the article, and saw his quote in Rolling Stone, “The horse is out of the stable, and I’m raring to go.”

Phil, I’m there to hold the door open when you’re ready to prance back into the music scene. I’ll be in line with thousands of fans worldwide who are eager for your comeback.

Like Collins, I have been “retired” in a sense. I started my “retirement” about three and half years ago when I experienced some professional hardships at work. I felt myself slipping away and didn’t know how to keep the “real” me in check.

The only way I could keep the “real” me alive was through music. With music, I could feel myself come back in bits and pieces, but it wasn’t enough for me to feel like a whole person. At the time, I found comfort in Genesis’ music and felt like I could breathe when I listened to their albums.

One of my favorite Genesis albums is “Wind & Wuthering,” which is among the best of all the band’s releases during their career. It’s the second album Genesis released with Collins as the lead singer after Peter Gabriel left to pursue a successful solo career in 1975.

I first heard the album in March 2012 after purchasing it at a local record store. I was a Genesis fan briefly back in high school, but never dove deep into their catalog until then.

Mostly, I knew their radio hits with Collins back in the early to mid-‘80s. Heck, I my brother and I lip synched “Invisible Touch” at Universal Studios in Hollywood in 1986, but I’ll save that memory for another post.

Let’s get back to “Wind & Wuthering.” The songs on that album bring me a sense of inner peace. Each song is a mini-adventure to a romantic, mystical time. Some songs tell tales of earls, soldiers and mice facing major life struggles, while others capture an appreciation for the gentle human spirit.

One of my favorite songs on the album is “Your Own Special Way.” It sets the tone for many of Collins’ commercially successful ballads he sang with Genesis and as a solo artist.

For me, the song is a reminder of why I’m a lucky gal. It reminds me of the strong person I used to be and how my husband, Brian, is the one who fought to help bring me back.

“I’ve sailed the world for seven years/And I left all I love behind in tears/Won’t you come here, where you are/I’ve been alone long enough.”

For me, those words sound as if they’d come out of Brian’s voice instead of a Genesis song. They represent the strong bond we’ve shared for more than 20 years and how my struggles became his.

Three and a half years later, “Your Own Special Way” still brings me ultimate joy.

“In my own special way, I’ve found myself again. Things didn’t go the way I planned, but then again, the best things in life happen by accident.”

I’ve moved beyond the hardships I’ve faced and emerged from my “retirement” ready to live a better version of me.

I’m just relieved Collins decided to join me.


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