SAPERE AUDE!

Dare to know.

Archive for Music

Regrets collect like old friends

I’m a music junkie. Just ask my roommates. Early in the morning, music is blasting from my room while I get ready for work. A new mix CD is enough to get me super excited for the 30-minute drive to Herndon, actually hoping there’s traffic so I can prolong the ride. (I’ve only ever driven without music once. I was driving home from Starbucks late one night and I had just finished reading Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men. I was so moved by the intensity of that book I wanted to reflect in silence. Nerd, I know.)

So when I come across a song that just completely shatters my preconception of a “great” song, there is no limit to how many times I play it–in my car, Spotify on my iPhone, Macbook, work laptop. (Did I mention I’m obsessive?)

To clarify, by “great”, I mean a combination of catchy beats and most importantly, lyrics that I can somehow manipulate to describe the exact melodrama I managed to get myself into that particular week. Those two factors and BAM!–it’s a done deal. So you see, it’s all very subjective.

When I first heard Shake It Out by Florence + the Machine on an episode of How I Met Your Mother, I instantly knew it was good. It fit the scene perfectly: Robin had just been dumped by a long-term boyfriend, the Ted situation was resurfacing, and Barney was a lingering thought. When I decided to Spotify it, the song became great–not only because Florence + the Machine are amazing but (cue in my over-sensitive nature) every word fits my current state of mind.

And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
And given half the chance would I take any of it back
It’s a fine romance but it’s left me so undone
It’s always darkest before the dawn

And I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t
So here’s to drinks in the dark at the end of my road
And I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hope
It’s a shot in the dark aimed right at my throat
‘Cause looking for heaven, found the devil in me
Looking for heaven, found the devil in me
Well what the hell I’m gonna let it happen to me

My translation: I’m fucked. But that’s okay. I’m okay.

I don’t mean to make this blog entry about how much I’m still not over you. How much you still manage to invade my thoughts in the most random way. How much just hearing your name makes me want to not only punch the person who brought you up but also cry, endlessly, tirelessly because you still affect me that much. So I’ll just…stop.

Music has a funny way of letting you know you’re not alone. Relating to a song lyric can touch you in ways friends’ advice don’t. It gives you a sense that somebody understands without an explanation. That someone somewhere knew exactly how you were feeling and somehow, they got through it.

Shake It Out is that song for me.