Playlist 18: Life Energies

℗ 2013 Bad Boy Records, LLC. Manufactured and Distributed by Atlantic Recording Corporation, A Warner Music Group Company.


“Dance Apocalyptic”
Janelle Monae

What a Monday. I can’t even remember the last time I woke up before 7:00 AM on purpose, so today was momentous for more reason than one. Today was orientation day for my new job!

The day was for all new hires, not just therapists or people in my field. Right off the bat I was intrigued by all of the different job titles that I read around the tables: registered nurses, electricians, nutritional aides, and then me, activities therapist. There was such a cool mix!

Orientation was pretty standard- long, a little drawn out, but informative and relaxed, so overall I can’t complain, but by the time we got released, I was so antsy. We spent 90% of our 7 hour day sitting in our seats, listening to speakers and watching presentations. By 4:00 I was toast. My brain was fried, my muscles were starting to seize up and I needed some kind of stimulation to make sure I didn’t slip into a comatose state (though working at a hospital means immediate medical care, so that’s a perk for sure).

Although the day dragged, I got into my car with tons of energy (probably because I barely used any throughout the day), and I took advantage of it on my drive. This song is full of energy itself. It’s quirky, fun and unique, I couldn’t stop myself from bouncing around in my seat. I did my awkward shoulder dance while I sang along and giggled at some of the stranger parts (like when Janelle Monae sounds like a robotic chipmunk and is talking about pork) and it really helped to amplify my good mood. 



System of a Down

Another Tuesday, another confused Elena trying to pick a song.

Today was weird. It started off going well. By the afternoon I had come back from a doctor’s appointment that made me worried and overwhelmed. By the evening I had found a place to escape in my car after a gigantic fight with my mom.

I don’t really know how one thing led to another, and honestly I’m feeling pretty dumbfounded at the moment. It never ceases to amaze me how things can completely get turned upside down in a matter of minutes. Each minute adds up throughout the day, and sometimes it’s stunning to look back and see the difference between where one day started and where it finished.

I hadn’t chosen a song early on, and at this point I’m not connecting with one at all. The argument left me so angry and upset that I didn’t even have space in my head for music. So today’s pick is not one that I emotionally connected with, but rather one that connects by logic alone.

I rarely get angry, I have a very high threshold for dealing with conflict, and I almost always find it a thousand times easier to talk or debate about something rather than argue. It takes a lot to get me involved in a full-fledged argument, but when I am, I lose myself. I lose that positive, rational, level-headed version of myself and turn into someone I don’t like.

System of a Down is one of the bands that I listen to when I’m feeling uncomfortable or in need of a release. Their music is ominous and off-kilter, which is exactly how I feel after having an argument. That’s where I’m at right now. I need to regroup.

℗ 2015 Virgin Records Ltd


“If I Go”
Ella Eyre

Friends, acquaintances, readers, fellow bloggers, today was my official first day of training as a Creative Arts Therapist. To my surprise, my nerves were minimal. In place of the nerves was this quiet confidence that is pretty unfamiliar to me in a new job setting. It’s the type of confidence I feel when I’m about to sing or teach a painting class, a feeling I get when I know I am skilled enough to complete the task that’s in front of me. Although I still get nervous, I know that I’m going to come out on the other side it having done well.

That’s how I felt today! Maybe the fact that I knew I was going to be observing helped. Maybe I’ll be singing a different tune in a few weeks time, once I start running my own groups and am left more to my own devices. Either way, I enjoyed feeling comfortable in what has the potential to be a very challenging environment.

This song pick comes to you courtesy of caffeine, mixed with some natural energy after having a great first day. I grabbed myself a coffee on my break- my training was finished at 3:00 but I had a shift at my second job that kept me going until about 10:30 (the coffee was more than necessary). Coffee + excitement + alone time in the car = party central.

I recently discovered Ella Eyre and she’s got me intrigued. A heavy vibrato with a soulful, powerful tone, Ella sounds like she could make her mark on the music scene once she gains momentum. This song complimented my energy and actually allowed me to release some of it and regulate myself for the second phase of my day.

℗ 2012 The Island Def Jam Music Group


“What Now?”

I don’t think I’ve said this in such definitive terms, but there have been a ton of things going on with me lately including my personal endeavors, as well as a lot of major things for the important people around me. I’ve been saying this since June and will probably be saying it until the fall- it is really difficult to put things together when there are so many moving pieces. I have to incorporate other people’s schedules and happenings while trying to put my own puzzle together. It is not an easy job.

I’ve tried really hard to ward off the abundance of stress that’s been creeping around the corner, but today I was feeling it a little more than usual. I felt my chest tighten on my drive to work as I thought about everything going on and everything coming up. I’m starting to get this all-encompassing feeling that my hands are tied.

For many years I have been a “student,” a “recent graduate,” or have had some other label that I felt has allowed me to maintain some degree of flexibility in where I’m going and what I’m doing. Although I still firmly believe that I can do whatever I want in life, I also have a real career now, one that I need to take seriously.

I’m no longer an intern, no longer a student, and am a few weeks away from having my own clientele. For once I feel like a real adult! It’s exciting, but this shift is also jogging me. I think the overall tone and message of this song reflects that.

Rihanna sings the verses in a pretty vulnerable way, and belts out a very direct “What now?” question in the chorus. For me, that signifies the lack of control that I’ve been noticing lately, that hands-tied feeling where I have less choice and more structure and responsibility. What’s next for me is both set and up in the air, which is a bit of an unsettling dichotomy.

You’d think that with adulthood would come the ability to control things in your life, but maybe it’s a stepping stone towards learning how to deal with things that you have no control of. Maybe that’s part of what being an adult is all about. Maybe I’ll know tomorrow…

℗ 2009 Universal Classics & Jazz


“All At Sea”
Jamie Cullum

Okay, so I was going to save Jamie Cullum for something special, like a week-long feature or a genre-specific week where I focus on jazz. But this is my blog so I can do what I want! And today is special day, after all.

Today is my birthday!

I am now a member of the late 20’s club. I’ve been making jokes about it for months, how 28 is such an “old,” yet “insignificant” age. After this week, I’m no longer so sure that either of those things is true.

Yesterday I had a big revelation regarding the term “adult” and where I stand within that title and milestone. Here’s how I see things today:

Today, on my 28th birthday, I have two new and exciting jobs that feed into two very different yet related sides of me, both of which stimulate my mind and heart. I have the best friends I could ever ask for, a group that has evolved and solidified itself over the years to include only my most important people. I’m in an incredible relationship with an incredible man, one that is strong and full of love regardless of distance. I have a wonderful, imperfect, caring, exhausting, supportive and loving family that has shaped me into who I am. I’m not afraid of independence. In fact, I’m ready to embrace it whole-heartedly, which is not something I’ve ever really been able to say. Most of all, I love myself. I’m happy with my own company and don’t need others to feel at peace. For me, I think that’s one of my greatest accomplishments to date.

I’m all at sea. I’d say that’s a pretty good place to be.

Weekly Wrap-Up:

I was really in touch with my energies this week. Whether they be excited, aggressive, antsy, tentative or at ease, I felt them all in a big way.

Stand-Out Song: “All At Sea”

This is my absolute favorite song of all time, from my absolute favorite artist of all time. Not your typical celebratory birthday song, but it fits for me. Cheers to 28!

What song reflects the energy in your life right now?
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