Ever presenting much appreciated and creative influence into my life (and I am sure those of others!), Jay mentioned to me the creation of a Life Soundtrack early in the year. It’s a project he’s been embarked on himself for about five years now himself, and as he mentioned, with my ever-present hunger for the creatively-written and currently-resonant lyric within my own life, after he mentioned it, I jumped on board for 2013.
There is a constant level of revision here. Once a song made it on to the soundtrack, occasionally it did not stay there [but typically it did]. This is a running accumulation of why these choices were made–and how they fit into my present frame-of-being. I think part of this is that while I will explain my choices [because, I like transparency] . . . there’s also beauty in imagination and mystery.
So far, 2013 has certainly been eventful. Here are the tracks from 2013 thus far . . .
The Resolution – Jack’s Mannequin. “There’s a lot that I don’t know / There’s a lot that I’m still learning. / When I think I’m letting go, I find my body it’s still burning. / And you hold me down. / And you got me living in the past [. . .] / Yeah, I’m alive / But I don’t need a witness / To know that I survive / I’m not looking for forgiveness / Yeah, I just need light / I need light in the dark as I search for the resolution.” Life seldom works out as planned, but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful. These lyrics especially have spoken to me at a myriad of different points throughout the last year, especially in light of the aspects of living with the potential uncertainty of medical issues. “When I think I’m letting go / I find my body it’s still burning” often speaks to me of the reality in that when I sometimes wonder “how am I going to keep doing this?” my body just proves to me that I can do this. This song, and the preceding lyric especially, also became very important to me following my return to life after the emergency room stay.
Even If It Kills Me – Motion City Soundtrack. “But if I had a little more time to kill / I’d settle every little stupid thing / Yeah you’d think that I would. / But I’m too tired to go to sleep tonight / And I’m too weak to follow dreams tonight. / For the first time in a long time / I can say that I want to try to get better / And overcome each moment in my own way. […] I’m really not as stubborn as I seem, said the knuckle to the concrete.” I, like most people, am pretty good at denial. I am working at that–whether that includes the process of of not letting symptoms escalate before seeking help, or the culmination of my learning assessment and subsequent accommodations. I want to be healthy, but sometimes there is so much work involved in getting there that makes it difficult. It’s about taking it slow and steady, and embracing the process . . . even if it kills me along the way.
Feelin’ Good (cover) – Muse. “Freedom is mine, and you know how I feel . . . It’s a new dawn, its a new day, it’s a new life for me / And I’m feelin’ good.” There was a span of time that I allowed certain people to control my thought process, and I expended far too much energy on this–I struggled to let go of something that I had created that had become not what I had visioned and out of my control, trying to help people change who did not want to change. As soon as I was forced to let go of it . . . my life, my thought process, improved further in so many ways. And for that, I am grateful. Each day is new–and that makes me feel good.
Typical – Mutemath. “Come on can I dream for one day / There’s nothin’ that can’t be done / But how long should it take somebody / Before they can be someone. / Because I know there’s got to be another level / Somewhere closer to the other side / And I’m feeling like its now or never / Can I break the spell of the typical?” This one really spoke to me through the process of the educational assessment, I think. While it is less unheard of than one would think, there’s a lot that is atypical about being diagnosed with learning problems when slowly approaching completion of a university degree. “Because it’s dragging me down . . . / I’d like to know about when / When does it all turn around?” Now. It turns around now, with answers in my grasp. Even if that contributes to the atypicality.
Workin’ it Out – Hilary Duff. “Some days I just don’t wanna know why. / Hey, I’m not giving up, no. / I’m gonna stand up and shout it. / No way, I’m not slacking off, or backing out, or cracking up with doubt / I’m working it out.” Getting back into this one was interesting, but enjoyable. I’ve probably had a five year Hilary Duff hiatus, so when this started going through my head one day, I had to dig out Metamorphosis and put it in iTunes. In the process of any diagnosis, any aftermath of said diagnosis, there is the desire to just quit, to continue living life with the feeling that something is not right. I’ve had it through medical problems, and I’ve had it through the learning assessment. But in the end, curiosity always wins out . . . and working it out is so much better than denying what is going on.
The Year of Discovery – Tess Dunn. “I searched the whole world to find / All the missing pieces of me. / But they were already there / Not put together properly. . . […] There’s always something missing / Can’t seem to put the pieces where they belong. / But now, for once / I’m finally feeling complete. / This is my year of discovery.” The 2011/2012 school year was one of deep self-revelation and discovery, I think. However, 2012/2013 has been tumultuous, challenging and rewarding simultaneously. I am discovering who I am, and who I am becoming more and more. I am understanding more about my brain, my body, and how I alter my own world. And how that is all about not only choice . . . but choice combined with discovery . . . and altering the process I walk through every day to be the most meaningful while creating the most meaningful outcome possible.
What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger) – Kelly Clarkson. “Bet you think that everything good is gone […] / Maybe you don’t know me / ‘Cause you’re dead wrong. / What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger / Stand a little taller […] / What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter / Footsteps even lighter.” It’s funny the timing in stumbling back into this one, which was the weekend before my overnight in the hospital, when I thought that I was getting better. Though realistically a breakup song, it applies to a lot of things . . . and a lot of things involving getting better in every way. The anemia experience was brutal . . . but I’m working at rising up stronger.
Caves – Jack’s Mannequin. There is a certain indescribable feeling finding current circumstance eloquently explained in music . . . and during my week in bed and twenty-two hours in the ER [especially those twenty-two hours], Caves was it. “I’m caught somewhere in between alive / and living a dream / No peace, just clicking machines”. For eight hours straight in the hospital, in the middle of the night, this song was honestly what got me through. “The walls caved in on me . . .” All those moments collided, from the vague tiredness to nearly passing out, to IVs and transfusions. “I lay still / Still I’m ready to fight.” The piano that just always floors me around 3:30 was just all that more beautiful at 3 AM as new blood gave me life again. “The walls fell and there I lay saved. / The walls are caving in / as far as I can see / The walls are caving in / Doors got locked for sure / There’s no one here but me.” It also speaks to the resolution after living through it . . . which was in itself much harder than I would have expected. But in everything . . . there is resolution. “I fought a war to walk a gang plank / into a life I left behind / Windows leading to the past / Think it’s time I broke some glass. / Get this history off my mind.[…] Everything’s a piece of everyone.”
I think this is a seasonal thing. Some seasons, perhaps, I may not have as many moments that prompt deep self-reflection and lyrical cerebration as much as January through mid-May have. dragging track after track into an iTunes playlist. However, I could be wrong, and this could be just the beginning. As usual, I am meeting the world with curiosity and a demand for answers . . . that may never change . . . but I am happy to know that growing happens through the challenge, and already, I know this year is going to be full of big things. Because it already has been.