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After months, days, weeks, hours, endless minutes – it is nearing Spring. The concept of Spring is like a natural new year, it is when you can declutter, fall in love, see the sun and reassess your life or closet or work. Unlike New Year’s it gives you time to settle in and it looks far more optimistic than the dismal view from January to the next sunny day you can really question, what the fuck am I doing?
I am better at spring resolutions anyway. A New Year’s resolution usually revolves around 5 less pounds and being more assertive for most. Spring has the essence of rebirth in a way, you shed things for Spring. I was out yesterday with a girl friend. We are both moving back to America from overseas and are in the place where you get rid of everything that doesn’t fit in two bags. There is a moment in all of this where you start to feel lighter and freer. It is never the intention of your things you collect to end up weighing you down. Think about the major movies and books and stories you may have heard. Wild, she puts it all in storage to go on a trek. So does the protagonist in Eat Pray Love. Into the Wild. Etc.
So much of how we frame ourselves revolves around the company we keep with our things. But in the event of fire, a flash move opportunity, a swift exit – we are forced to think about what of this matters and what we have collected for ourselves. Like heavy dust on our life.
What would you keep if you had just two bags to pack it all up and leave? Do you think you would really miss the other bits in the end? Or is this a chance to rebuild what you want in your life like a spring awakening?
On that note, the idea of shedding and letting go and sorting what you want is one part. The other is realising what you used to identify yourself with. A lot of things that are sitting on the side of my suitcase are the things that I wanted to represent me. The things I thought were tokens of my lifestyle. Of being the person I wanted to be. Again torn if I wanted those to represent that part of me if having them can make them part of me or if I will ever be the imposter holding my own things aiming to be a version of myself. Then I am left asking, who is really paying attention? Not in a morbid or sad or “look at me way”. People are busy and we put alot of pressure on ourselves to fit the box. To buy that stuff to begin with. To be the person we thought they all needed.
It is shedding parts of you, you are bare and vulnerable. Left with just you. Isn’t that enough? Isn’t the stuff we want people to associate with us something we do with our words, with our taste?
I love this song and this man’s voice. I have had him on a daily mix for a while. Sounding like the old school vocal styling of the crooners of the ‘50s and ‘60s. Leon Bridges has been on the scene for a bit now but also still getting his footing. I wonder if this is the only version he has of himself or if he has the stuff on the side of his suitcase he is willing to leave behind to go home.
We are in an automatic cycle. The one that keeps us twirling in the same spirals. We try to pretend that the inevitable isn’t coming. A bum visa leaving us in a situation we didn’t think would happen after two years in the same country. The same space. “Like Crazy” was written about us I am sure of it. Or it was meant to be an omen of what was to come rather.
There’s a black cloud hanging over my head”
This song reminds me of a tune I listened to before I left America. Taking a last drive down the PCH. Taking in a last sunset. Taking in the salt air. Taking in what I wanted to leave behind. Trying to forget about what I could have stayed over.
The same old habits, oh
Black leather jacket, oh
Living on automatic, oh
There’s a bad taste, there’s a bad taste in my mouth”
We are back in the cycle now. We got too comfortable when we thought ‘Netflix and chill’ could be forever. But deep down I felt anxious. Wasting time on the couch. “I should be writing. I should be working on something.” We both talk about dreams but perhaps when we are together we put them on hold. Is that what we really want? But we get along. Like my puzzle piece. When I do rest it is leaning on you for support.
Do you think there can be a good time to leave? If after all of this time, we got too cocky in it, stopped working to keep it together, that now we have to separate ways. Could this be where the road was supposed to go, to a fork and lead us both in different ways? Take what we got and keep trekking on?
When did this bed get, oh
And if you dream with me
Then we can both sleepwalk home”
I heard this song on repeat through my headphones today and for a second I flash back to my car. My little blue car. Before I moved. Before we knew what we would be. Before I knew what we would be. Before I knew what I wanted. This song pulls you in like a catchy pop tune and then you focus on what the brother/sister duo cut in with the lyrics.
XYLØ, you heal with this. Sometimes you need someone, or two, who can make beautiful earthy productions to articulate what you feel you cannot. It is a gift to be able to make things that hurt sound beautiful.
One of the most beautiful aspects of music these days is the remix. I know it sounds cliché at this point but the speed at which music culture reinterprets itself is nothing to overlook. But we do, simply because it’s so ubiquitous.
I’ll add that to my list of luxuries and advances in culture and technology that people take for granted. Not only do you get a new favorite song, but then a bunch of people make new versions of it for you that are equally great or better. Furthermore, all you have to do is press play. You don’t even have to pay for it. Yet, as listeners there are many who still complain about the state of music. That delusion right there, let me tell you, it’s not just in music…
That lack of perspective is perhaps one of the few things that makes me feel sadness these days. I’ve come to understand just how lucky we are to live in this dynamic, highly advanced world. That Louis C.K. bit about airplane WiFi is the best example. You’re complaining about a dropped connection while you’re in sitting in the sky, flying.
Another example. Have you ever see someone open up their futuristic iPhone, tap their touch screen and open the Uber app. Request a private car and then be genuinely angry when it says it will be there in 5 minutes?
That lack of perspective itself is ubiquitous in our day and age. We get mad about things we should be grateful for, I can’t think of anything that makes me sadder. People actually think they have bad lives by misunderstanding the blessings in front of them. I’ve done it myself and man, it doesn’t get worse than that.
Understanding our place in history is key to true gratitude. Life suddenly becomes a lot brighter with grace and gratitude. That said, listen to another awesome remix of THEY.’s Motley Crue, don’t take the fact that it comes so easy for granted.
The concept of friends is one that changes with age.
As a kid, I had my little pack who would run the playground with me. My crew consisted of mostly boys who wanted to play Jurassic Park and would let me be the scientist lady as we ran around like a literal pack of wild animals, or dinosaurs. Since all kids are weird and have no concept of money yet really, the barriers of friendship are low where we could slink in with being funny or crafty or have the ability to host sleepovers. Those raptors/friends became extinct in time. I picked up one of my ride-or-die people soon after moving schools and knowing no one, seeing her dressed in overalls and sitting with a funny accent on the side of the playground. I asked her if she wanted to be my friend and she obliged. 18 years ago.
As a young adult, I remember my friends who developed first rose to the top of cool group with their bras reflecting the GPAs they left behind on the path to being more popular than the rest of us. As we experimented with bad make-up choices and kissing boys and girls for the first time, my friends and I would duck through the halls to avoid being detected by others until high school. We passed notes back and forth through the halls.
As a teen, it is really the first time I saw the shift in friend groups, in the mindsets of where we could end up and who would come along when we could finally pack up and leave that town. We got cooler only because we got slightly more comfortable with ourselves. Grew in to our noses and personalities. Grew a sense of self and a determination to keep following it. I see some of them still from time to time. Late night in the local bars when I go home. A quick picture of their new baby or the wedding I missed. I see another ride or die close to never but every time I need to talk to someone she is still the person I call. I know when she answers the phone it will be like we just hung out, sitting in her parked car with the windows down, letting the hot air come in as we talked about where we were going.
As a young adult, I met my absolute ride or die, soul mate of a friend. I think everyone has to have this person. She is the one who is literally my other half. I get sad if I think she is sad. I can ask her to be the logical part of the brain when I can’t be. And I know she expects the same of me. She is truthful, always, unless she can see I need someone to just be nice and give a well polished white lie.
As an adul(tish), I feel like I am actually at a place I can reflect on the friendships that have come and gone. I can identify the ones that stuck and contemplate those that didn’t. It is after the faulty friendships you can see the masks some have one. I started to recognise the friends that seem like good friends, but realise you didn’t really like them. Those people who somehow creep in to your life and linger, and it is isn’t until something happens when you get the moment like “Dude, you are not that nice. I don’t feel better being around you.” At this point in life you actually have to schedule time in to see people you want to. Precious time. I feel guilt for myself for wasting so much time on so many people who I wouldn’t have as my ride or die. I only have time for the ride or dies now. That is all I want. I take down notes on things I want to my best friend about if I can’t get ahold of her. I cannot wait to hear her opinion. I cannot wait to be around her and feel like the coolest, smartest best me. And that is what a ride or die can do.
Do you have this person? If not, I suggest finding them. You can try asking the stranger on the playground (or adult equivalent, so bar?) if they want to be friends. You can try meeting them through a series of unfortunate events. You may already know them. I challenge you all to sit and think about your roster, your friends, your ride or dies. Who makes you feel like the best version of you? Keep them. Who doesn’t? Fucking lose those numbers then. I think we have forgotten after years of collecting friends and likes the value of a real friend you actually like.
A good friend has the power to save|change|make|expand your life.