“I Like Me Better”
New music alert! I’ve recently discovered Lauv and the few songs I’ve heard, I lauv… (HA HA oh Elena you’re so funny... but seriously, check out some of their other songs, they’re really cool). The whole lyrical story is a nice ode to a modern love story, but what I can really relate to is the chorus, “I like me better when I’m with you.”
Before even hearing this song, I’d shared similar sentiments with Ben several times over cuddles or late night heart-to-hearts: “I am my best, happiest self when I’m with you.” So many of his positive qualities rub off on me, regardless of whether we’re together or talking on Skype.
His calm energy helps me to remain calm and centered. He is consistently motivated and working hard, which makes me prioritize my own goals and keep my head on straight. He is always educating himself with books and reading, which gives me a kick in the butt to pick up a book for five minutes or read an article that I find interesting. And above all, he keeps a positive attitude even in the midst of challenges.
I’ll admit, sometimes his optimistic outlook isn’t what I want to hear. Sometimes I want him to commiserate with my negativity and say “You know what babe, that’s really annoying. I don’t blame you for being grumpy.” But I don’t dissuade his positivity, and after a few breaths (and sometimes a few hours) I am always appreciative that he’s sending those good vibes my way. So, I do like me better when I’m with him, because he brings out the best parts of me and inspires me to be my best self.
Truth be told, there wasn’t a single song that caught my attention today. I listened through a lot of music but found myself preferring silence. I had a pretty busy day, taking a drive for meetings and appointments with my new job (stay tuned to hear more about it), and I think the reality of adulthood hit me hard and made me preoccupied. I was trying to piece together all of the changes that are coming up for me and figure out how it would all fit, which made me focused on that and little else.
So today, I’m choosing to honor Chester Bennington and his incredible contributions to rock music. I watched a video of a radio interview that he had back in February with 102.7 KIIS FM where he spoke candidly about his lifelong struggle with mental illness. He was open and honest about the difficulties he has faced with depression, and explained from his perspective how it feels to go through days being stuck within patterns of negative thoughts.
He shared that much of the music he created over the years, and recorded with Linkin Park, was directly derived from the experiences and challenges that he has faced. He spoke about awareness and how crucial that can be for someone dealing with mental illness in their efforts to recognize their symptoms and improve their state of mind. I was moved watching Chester express himself and saddened by the fact that his depression wound up taking over.
I’ll share another truthful moment with you: when I first heard this song, I hated it. I was annoyed with Linkin Park in general for “softening up” and parting ways with the aggressive, bone-chilling music that they had made for so many years. But now, my perspective has totally changed. Listening to “Heavy” actually makes me want to cry. To me, it feels like a surrender, as if he felt he had no place else to turn to for help in coping with his illness.
And maybe that’s true. Maybe music was the best way he knew how to cope, but it’s obvious now why the tone of this song felt so different than most of their others- because it was. It was his final goodbye. I’m not really sure how to end this on a positive note, so I’ll just say that I hope he knows he is missed.
“Say You’ll Be There”
I sent a post on Instagram to two of my close friends this morning. It read, “Never ignore a woman’s intuition. Your mother, your wife, your girl, your sister, your daughter, your friend. Never discredit female energy.” (Billy Chapata, @thegoodquote).
The two friends I sent it to are big on energies and vibes, so I knew they’d appreciate it. From the morning onward, I felt myself being drawn to female energies in the form of music. I was hanging up my clothes when I randomly started singing “Say You’ll Be There” out loud. It inspired me to upload the Spice Girls CD so I could listen to it on the way to work, and it seemed like my iPod got the memo about this feminine energy.
I cycled through Little Mix, B*Witched, and Tori Kelly on my commute. I was really connecting to all of these songs and artists and felt a tangible pull towards the female spirit, which I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced before, or at the very least have never recognized in such a purposeful way as I did today. I’m curious to see if it continues throughout the week.
“How Far I’ll Go”
I don’t know how I didn’t see this movie the second it came out in theaters! (Actually I do. It’s because I fall terribly behind with movies and watch the same one three dozen times… Oops.)
I watched Moana last night in response to some friendly peer pressure from one of my coworkers; I was really excited to see it. Within the first five minutes I started feeling sentimental (when little Moana saved the baby turtle? Come on, that was too precious), and I knew I’d love the rest. Naturally I did, but not because it’s a Disney movie and not because it was fun and entertaining, though those both improved my opinion.
The story of Moana is so beautiful and inspiring, and something that a lot of people can relate to; finding your calling and striving to fulfill it. Sometimes the things we want to achieve in life are difficult or may seem scary, and it’s easy to convince ourselves to stay “safe” and stick with what we know. But that’s not always the best option. Standing up tall and working hard for what you truly want takes a lot of courage, but once you do, you may often find that those goals weren’t as difficult or scary as they once seemed.
I was recently hired for a real deal art therapy job, which is super exciting but also super scary. I’m really looking forward to starting and getting a lot of wonderful experience, but there’s still this small voice in my head that’s telling me that I may not be able to handle the job. I’m doing my best to keep that voice as quiet as possible, because I know that it’s only going to make me worry more than I need to. Sure I should be nervous, but I’m sure that once I get started and learn the ropes, I’ll look back and realize I had the ability in me all along.
This morning I got my training schedule which adds to my nerves, but it’s actually helping to sing along to “How Far I’ll Go” to remind myself that I won’t know how far I can go until I try. Nothing like life lessons from a cartoon!
I would be lying to you if I told you “How Far I’ll Go” wasn’t still stuck in my head, but I need to move on, at least for the purposes of this playlist.
I was caught off guard when this tune came on but it immediately made me feel nostalgic. This song was my jam back in the day; 15 year old me was really into punk-pop music, and this one really hit home as my then-boyfriend shared it with me. It was “our song” so to speak (or at least it was in my own head, the relationship only lasted about 3 months so take that with a grain of salt), so at the time it was very sentimental.
Hearing it now reminded me of my teenage years and brought a smirk to my face. Nostalgia aside, I really do like this song. The harmonies in the chorus hit me in a particularly strong way, and actually still give me goosebumps.
I can’t really explain the technical musical reasoning behind it, but it’s something that strikes me. The message and delivery feels very heartfelt and sincere, which may be why I still connect to it over a decade later. #FlashbackFriday was in full effect for me today!
While I definitely felt the female spirit connection spill into Thursday, I can’t say it applied across the board. Instead, I noticed a focus on recognizing the different facets of you, positive or negative, and incorporating all of them into your whole self.
Stand-Out Song: “Heavy”
It breaks my heart that Linkin Park’s last hit directly referenced the weight that Chester Bennington was feeling in dealing with depression.
What songs best represent the different parts of you?
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