Monday, September 22, 2014

Love Letter to a Song

Love Letter to a Song is a new series I'm super excited about! Music is a powerful thing and I have no end of songs that can instantly transport me back to a specific moment in time. Sort of like a musical time machine! In this series, I will pick one of my favorite songs/albums and explain why I love it so much and what it reminds me of! Simple as that! Read on & enjoy! 

In 2008, I went through one of the worst break-ups of my life. Maybe THE worst breakup. I lost about 15 pounds, cut my hair super short and stayed up late watching TV & movies because I couldn't sleep at night. I threw myself into my work. I wrote some of my best depressing, emo poetry. I had a lot of time on my hands to contemplate my eternal loneliness. Hello drama queen, party of one! Am I painting a picture for you?

During this time I listened to a lot of music. I found some of my all-time bands during this point in my life and re-discovered some of my old favorites. One weekend my mom came to visit and I bought a copy of Rilo Kiley's 2002 album, The Execution of All Things. This album spoke to my broken heart and soothed my aching soul. This album was upbeat, yet sad (dance music for the depressed) and one song in particular became the anthem for my breakup.

Sometimes in the morning I am petrified and can't move
Awake but cannot open my eyes
And the weight is crushing down on my lungs I know I can't breathe
And hope someone will save me this time
And your mother's still calling you insane and high
Swearing it's different this time
And you tell her to give in to the demons that possess her
And that God never blessed her insides
Then you hang up the phone and feel badly for upsetting things
And crawl back into bed to dream of a time
When your heart was open wide and you loved things just because
Like the sick and the dying

And sometimes when you're on, you're really fucking on
And your friends they sing along and they love you
But the lows are so extreme that the good seems fucking cheap
And it teases you for weeks in it's absence
But you'll fight and you'll make it through
You'll fake it if you have to
And you'll show up for work with a smile
You'll be better you'll be smarter
And more grown up and a better daughter
Or son and a real good friend
You'll be awake and you'll be alert
You'll be positive though it hurts
And you'll laugh and embrace all your friends
You'll be a real good listener
You'll be honest, you'll be brave
You'll be handsome, you'll be beautiful
You'll be happy

Your ship may be coming in
You're weak but not giving in
To the cries and the wails of the valley below
Your ship may be coming in
You're weak but not giving in
And you'll fight it you'll go out fighting all of them...

A Better Son/Daughter accurately depicted the daily struggle of moving on when I had no real desire to move at all. Jenny Lewis understood the "fake it till you make it" philosophy that I had adopted after my ultimate rejection. Perhaps she herself had felt the same way when her and Blake Sennett broke up? I thought way too much about the supposed similarities between myself and Ms. Lewis. Reality had no place in my recovery. While Jenny crooned over a snare drum about perseverance despite weakness, I found myself able to hold my head up in solidarity! Had this happened just a few years later, I might have even fist pumped! This song was a game-changer. 

I recently heard that this song might be about bipolar disorder, but I've never heard anyone from RK confirm that. It doesn't really matter anyway. Regardless of the real meaning behind this tune, it will forever remind of the extra push I needed to get back to basics and back to myself. All jokes aside, I can't remember another time in my life that I felt so utterly alone. Knowing (even imagining that knowledge) that someone else may have gone through the same thing as me was so comforting.  Now that I'm a little older, wiser & happily married, when this song comes on one of my playlists I can finally feel nostalgic for a time when a scared young woman stood on the precipice of one of the most wonderful, life-changing times in her life.  A few years later, I went to see Rilo Kiley in Denver. When they began this song, it was as if the mass of people around me disappeared. It was just me and the band and they were singing directly to me. I sincerely hope they could feel my gratitude because I was vibing it out pretty hard. Dare I say a few tears were shed. 

I will be eternally grateful to Jenny Lewis and the boys for convincing me that I'm stronger than I ever thought I could be.

Keep your chin up, kid. 

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