Music…It says how we feel when we can’t seem to find the words. The beautiful thing about this, is it’s not just the lyrics that do the talking. It’s in the notes, the chords, the arrangement of the chorus amongst verses. The instruments alone evoke feeling and emotion.
Now me, I am the person who can’t leave the house without headphones. Music plays an enormous role in my life. I use it to romanticize certain moments and activities, to clean my room, to write. I have a playlist for virtually every occasion. I enjoy a variety of genres, and my music usually matches the current season (It’s now October. Queue Bon Iver and Elliot Smith.)
Certain songs take me back to a very specific time in life. Hearing “Jordan Belfort” instantly transports me to a crowded fraternity basement. Tainted Love by Softcell holds a vivid memory of driving to the beach with my sisters. Yellow by Coldplay reminds me of my first acid trip. The list goes on. I would encourage you to delve into some of your musical memories, too. And while it’s different for everyone, certain songs impact us for the rest of our lives.
I still remember the first time I heard September Song by Agnes Obel. Something about it sounded so familiar, so comforting. I knew in that moment this song would travel with me, no matter where I went or what I did. And I was right. September Song played through my headphones as I spent hours writing essays and studying. It played when I went for long drives by myself. It played on my train rides, staring out the window at the passing countryside. It played when my dear friend passed away and I had never experienced a loss so dear to my heart. It played when I lost my boyfriend and close friends to mental illness. It played when I was so numb I couldn’t feel anything, and when I felt everything so deeply I thought I might die. And it plays now, as I write this.
If someone asked you what song is the soundtrack to your life, what would you say? Does your song have words? Is it happy, sad, upbeat or slow? There is no right or wrong answer. If it makes sense to you, it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else.
Everyone’s September Song is different. Maybe you haven’t found yours yet, and that’s okay. You’ll know when you hear it. And when you do, you need to hold onto it for as long as life will let you.