Let’s Listen: Music & Lyrics.

It never ceases to amaze me how much wroth and meaning we can pull out of music. The depths it can take us, the scenery it can create, and the emotion it can provoke; it’s wondrous and frightening and insane. As a routine, to keep my sanity in check and my emotions in balance, I listen to music every night before I drift off into reverie. I lie there, headphones in, lights off and I stare at the ceiling. Not because I have glow in the dark stars plastered across it (although, I should), but because it’s the closest thing I have to a blank canvas.

I stare at the same spot in the ceiling, only visible through my depleting vision (I would have taken my glasses off already) and the street lamps casting what little orange light they can through the slits of my blinds, and I paint a picture of my life that is tune to the song.

One moment, it’s like ballet, precise and gentle. A memory of me people watching at the mall; the chaos of people, the cacophony of children screaming, and the mundanity of such a trivial chore go quiet and all I focus on is me and how I implant stories and lives to these temporary people walking by. People I’ll never see again. People I’ll never bother to wish “Happy Birthday” or want to grab coffee with. Then the song changes and the canvas is blank once more.

The rhythm is upbeat, but the lyrics hold something deeper. A daydream of me and him finally meeting at the airport. A heavy heart, a piercing look, a hopeful smile. Beyond the canvas, I can feel my left arm tingling, I’m about to cry. Tonight, I don’t want to cry so I hit skip before I could give it the chance to bring up any unwanted tears.

The bass bangs my eardrums and I’m almost instantly on my feet and still in my underwear. Blinded by the lack of corrective lenses and shrouded by the dark of night, I start dancing in the small area around my bed. My phone that is in my hand is no longer a phone, but my guitar pick. I rock along as hard as I can and without care because no one can see me. The canvas takes a break because for once, I feel like I’m living in the moment. What matters is me, the music, and my killer guitar solo.

Music can do so much and yet we so often mindlessly bob to the rhythm in the driver’s seat without giving any regard to the lyrics themselves; the messages embedded so deep within the music sheets are almost always looked over. Let’s stop that.

Homework assignment: Look up the lyrics to the last five songs you listened to and see if they resonate with you. I have a feeling they do.

With music, what draws you in is the melody, but what should keep you there are the lyrics.

Let’s Redefine: Happily Ever After.

Society says life isn’t like how it’s portrayed in the movies. There are no fireworks when you get the guy, there are no boomboxes held over heads, there is no aggrandized profession of love right before the credits roll and play an upbeat song by Train.

Hold on. Why can’t life be like that?

Why is it that those of us who want to lead our lives this way become discredited as unrealistic and naive? Aren’t movies simply the imprinted ideals of our wildest hopes and dreams enacted? Aren’t movies just the unrealistic and naive goals that we can’t seem to attain in real life because they’re only seen in fiction? The fact that movies and society has desensitized the idea of over-the-top acts of affection makes me sad.

If I wanted to, I could play every situation in which my love life would work out like a movie. I can tell you what time the plane would land, the sounds of the crying, confused elderly passengers, and the sights of the trees along the tarmac. I could tell you the songs I’d use to serenade my person and the stupid dance routine that I would inevitably create in my head. It would be Beyoncé, of course. Everything could be perfect, but we’re told that because it doesn’t happen in real life, then it could never happen. Happily ever after doesn’t exist in the nonfiction realm.

And that kills me.

As a writer, all I do is live in the world of fiction, but to me it isn’t fiction. These are real people and lives and situations that have the possibility of permeating the realms, but the world around me dictates the validity. Every fiber of my being can tell you how happily ever after could exist, how it does exist. It just doesn’t exist in the same ways for everybody. The movies have it right, but they also have it cliché and generalized. Maybe the problem isn’t wholly found in society, maybe it’s the movies for only showing the same types of happily ever after? Maybe we should start creating different ones, but not necessarily “realistic” ones. Realistic is a relative term anyhow.

If you’re like me, willing and wanting to go about creating your own happily ever after, then you’ve probably thought: there’s no telling the reactions you’d get from your person, how they saw it playing out, if they wanted this to happen, or if you are their person as much as they are yours. Is it worth the risk if it means making a fool of yourself? What if it ends in flames? What if it ends in fireworks? 

What if the ‘what if’s’ disappeared? What if it didn’t really matter? Just let it happen.

Go with your heart, create your happily ever after, and let the credits roll.

Let’s Define: The Tinker Bell Theory

This is me thinking out loud. If you’re like me, you’ve given upwards of fifty presentations, speeches, talks (what have you) in the last five years of your life. Most likely not, because it’s rare that you are me. One thing i’ve noticed as of late was the response I’d receive from my audience. Before I’d even speak professionally or delve into my topic, I’d get an applause. Not because I’m famous (i’m one of the furthest people from fame), but just random bursts from people. I’ve learned to equate it with an innate sense of awkwardness I assume I exude when i’m behind a podium. I crack jokes, I make it seem inappropriate, and have probably ended up swearing under my breath. After tracking the occurrences down, I wondered if they’re doing it out of pity for my awkwardness or in spite of it? Do they feel that I need this boost to perform better or do they genuinely like my presence? Are they the proverbial public speaking Viagra, medically proven to keep my spirit up for at least four hours of intense, knowledge dropping speech giving? A part of me wants to say that it’s because they genuinely like me. However, the only flaw in that is that most classmates rarely interact with each other and are therefore unable to create a bond that would warrant such uproarious applause. Given the options I’ve laid out, it’s probably because they feel that I am awkward and don’t do this very often. Joke’s on them, it’s an act. I’m very comfortable in front of groups and behind podiums. Just like Tinker Bell, I’ll revel in their applause and come to life before their very eyes.

Have you ever felt this feeling? It may not even be applause, but that someone is doing something out of character or have gone out of their way to make you feel better. I suppose in those terms, it wouldn’t even be a Tinker Bell Theory, it’d just be being a good, well-rounded individual (a feat most humans have an extremely hard time achieving). Regardless of that, if ever we were to meet, you’d get an applause from me.