Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day and Neither Was This Playlist

Someday perhaps I will document, in great detail, this particular era of my life. Or perhaps I won’t. By the time I get around to it, maybe I will have forgotten the vast majority of the finer points. That would be terribly on brand for me. 

At this point, I can’t go into great detail, or really any detail at all. All I can say is that the last 6 months have joined forces to become one of the most tumultuous, chaotic, life- and self-altering periods of my life. This is not the first wave of upheaval I have experienced in my time on this earth. There have always been waves, there has always been turmoil. But life as I know it hasn’t always turned on its head and dumped me out somewhere I don’t recognize. I haven’t always had to try to right myself blind. And that’s what this has been.

I have felt a lot of things throughout this time. I have felt one single overwhelming emotion; I have felt a dozen or more at once; I have felt none at all. I have been overly present in some moments, and nonexistent for many. But the one constant through all the chaos, the one thing that has anchored me to reality when I could have floated off into the aether and disappeared entirely, is music. 

There has rarely been a time over these last months when I haven’t been listening to music in some capacity. This is not very unusual in general—I’m a big fan of music and always have been. It means a lot to me for so many reasons; it has often been helpful for processing, venting, and overall just enjoying myself. But here in this season, I have been a special brand of fixated, clinging to it like a lifeline.

There have been different songs I’ve related to or obsessed over in different moments. Each emotion, combination of emotions, or lack thereof can be tethered to a song—or a set of songs—usually played on repeat for however long that feeling lasts… which varies greatly. What connects the song to the feeling can be anything: one singular line; the melody; the lyrics as a whole; the title; the tone. They each associate in a way that occurs only in my own mind, but they are connected.

And the best part is, none of it has been linear. It’s not like I’ve gone from feeling sad, to feeling a little less sad, to feeling not sad, to feeling happy, end of story. No, this journey has been all. over. the. place. I never know what I will wake up to on any given day, and I just have to roll with it. I found this interesting and strange as I started living through it, and I thought… what if I documented this era with a playlist? What if I just add every feeling that I have, as I have it? Then at the end of it I will have a musical journal of what *this* was.

And so I did.

This era seems to be coming to a close in a lot of ways now, and I feel comfortable considering my playlist finished. Using songs, I have successfully painted a complete 2-hour-and-49-minute picture of a slice of my life that, while turbulent and not necessarily welcome, is also paramount.

I already feel thankful to have had the idea. I already know this playlist is an invaluable piece of my personal history, if only to myself. I fully appreciate that down the road, I will be able to listen to this straight through, and remember.

Now without further adieu, I present to you, my Sistine Chapel:

A diary of feels

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