My music selections lately have been incredibly important to me.
I’ve felt a sort of levity in choosing my songs. I should take it more seriously, when I look back at how music has affected me in the past.
Blink 182 comes on and I’m 17 again, starting at a new school with about 9 times as many kids, and my only solace is that two of the members of this band graduated from the same high school I was on track to graduate from. I’m sitting in the sun in our tiny backyard, trying to tan and listening to my Walkman with real cheap headphones.
Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun brings me back to being 10 and lounging by the pool. I’m still not sure if my bathing suit is turning my skin white or if the sun is making my skin dark, but I love diving and swimming and my goal is to reach a higher level in swim lessons than my older sister did at my age.
I can almost smell the cigarette smoke from the Spring/Summer I drove around in my car with my best friend Brittany, experimenting with smoking and stalking boys and blaring the stereo when any song from Kelly Clarkson’s first two albums comes on. I know I’m imagining the nasty mix of tobacco and Dr. Pepper in my mouth, but it feels real.
Any song embraced by the RockBand fad reminds me of the one really good patch my marriage had; the patch where we found something we both enjoyed together. That game can take full responsibility for my son’s ability to sleep through loud noises- our drumming and singing could not have been quiet, especially when we enjoyed a few beers together with it.
I bought a Hoobastank CD before a road trip with Brittany to see our other friend Sally when she was attending college in Idaho and we listened to it the whole 6 hour drive each way. I hear The Reason and it’s like we’re speeding down 84 in my Dodge Neon again, talking about making out with my boss and whether or not she should keep dating a total jerk I ended up dating a year later.
Bob Marley and I’m on the jerk’s older brother’s boat, learning to wakeboard, jumping off bridges and feeling pretty full of myself. Turn on Weezer and I’m driving down the 101, headed to the beach with my high school boyfriend (who ironically was unbeknownst to me stoned as he sang along with hash pipe). Everlong by the Foo Fighters is still one of the most unusually romantic songs, and along with Red Hot Chili Peppers Californication made me fall in love with music videos.
Tom Petty and I’m enjoying a special date with my daddy, enjoying my first concert at age 10 and still sure Mary Jane is only a girl’s name.
98 Degrees and I’m on a stretcher, shaking hands with the band members backstage at their show in an incredibly twisted version of every 15 year old girl’s fantasy.
So many moments and stages of my life are so strongly associated with a song or band and it’s so truly representative and indicative of who I was at that time. You can see my naivety, or confusion, sadness or anger. The last six months I let sad, lonely songs define my mood.
And it’s freeing to not take myself so seriously for once.
I’ve been mulling over these thoughts in my head for weeks. And tonight I laughed out loud when I realized ironically, the song that feels the most fitting right now is the one I most often complain about having stuck in my head.
So I will let it go, let it go. I won’t hold it back anymore. To be fair- the cold does kinda bother me. But I’m ready to let go.