Category Archives: Music

One Night Only

I’m listening to the Dreamgirls Official Motion Picture soundtrack and having the night of my life.

I first saw this musical with my mom, brother, and sister many years ago. A local park often did musicals and plays and my mom always jumped at the opportunity to take us to see them. Admittedly, I wasn’t that excited to go because who wants to sit in a park for 2.5 hours during the summer? You might say, “I do!” to that question and that’s how I know you’re not me. I definitely did not want to sit in a park on a warm summer night.

We went to the show and I was immediately impressed by how little the outdoor elements affected my enjoyment of the musical. It was great! The big number, And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going, came and there was rousing applause. And that’s all I really remember about the actual experience of going to see that musical. I remember unexpected enjoyment and gaining a tiny glimpse into who my mom was. Because my mom really likes theatre and art and the outdoors and moments that only have meaning years later. But I didn’t always know that.

Like many girls, I had a love/hate relationship with my mom growing up. Though in retrospect I can see that she was my greatest cheerleader, at the time she felt like my most insurmountable obstacle. Whereas my dad was fun and funny and generally care-free, my mom was strict and sarcastic and seemingly crazy. It wasn’t charming, it was just a thing I had come to understand about my mom.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate my mom. But if I wanted to have fun, I went to my dad. But a few months ago when I was at my parents’ house, that changed. I was chilling in the kitchen with nothing to do and I asked my mom to play FIFA 14 with me and she agreed. And I wasn’t surprised that she agreed. Because that’s who my mom really always was.

Even in the midst of working full-time and raising three kids (one of whom was a little terror), she took time out to take us to the Pizza Hut afternoon lunch buffet, or buy us subs and take us to the petting zoo, or drive us to a park so we can see a musical that she loved. My mom loves her family a lot. When I was a kid it felt stifling; now that I’m an adult it feels necessary.

So I’m thankful that my mom is willing to play a few rounds of cards whenever I ask, talk on the phone with me for hours, or convince the rest of the family to join our fantasy football league because she knows it’s important to me. And I’m glad that now I can appreciate your sarcasm and craziness as I see it manifesting in my own personality. And you have the best sayings. They don’t make sense at all.

 

If you haven’t seen Dreamgirls, here’s a taste. The movie’s great too:

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Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien

I remember hearing this song for the first time in my high school French class and it’s a song that has stayed with me for probably a decade since.

As I write this, I wonder if I have any regrets. That may be an odd thing to say – presumably, you’d know if you had any major regrets or not – but my confusion comes from my hesitance to trust my first response. When I first encounter this idea, I immediately react in agreement with the song: “No, I don’t regret anything!” But when I pause for a moment, I’m forced to ask myself, “Am I just lying because I know I shouldn’t regret anything? Do I actually have regrets?”

It’s a weird question to ask myself, I know.

Here, though, I think my initial reaction is true. I don’t regret anything. That doesn’t mean I don’t think about things. In fact, it’s that thinking that initially makes me hesitate to answer the question. There are certainly things in my life worth regretting: relationships with men, my academic performance, how I’ve navigated friendships. Those are the things I think about when I wonder whether or not I do have regrets. But when I really think back on those topics, I realize that they weren’t all bad.

Now, I’m not making the argument that you shouldn’t have regrets because every experience is a learning experience. That may be true, but I don’t know how inclined I am to agree with that statement at this point in my life. Some things don’t have to be experientially learned. Sometimes you should just make good decisions. No, my argument is different. Because when I think about all of my failed encounters with men I remember that they failed because I was focused on other, at times more important, things. When I look back on my academic performance in college, I remember that I didn’t spend additional hours on papers because I wanted to spend additional hours with people. And when I think about some poor friendship decisions, I remember that, in the grand scheme of things, they weren’t always all that poor.

The final thing is what I want to talk more about.

I’d be a horribly ineffectual liar if I said I don’t think about the impact of ending a friendship that, at one point, was one of the most important relationships in my life. I’d be lying if I said I never wonder what would happen if I were to revisit it. But I’d also be dishonest if I didn’t admit that those moments usually come when I’m feeling lonely, sad, or selfish.

The other day, I was thinking about loving people badly. How I’ve spent so much of my time looking for someone to love me well, that I do them a huge disservice in the end. That, sometimes, the best way to show your love for someone doesn’t include your continued presence in their life. I’ve had to learn that a few times already this year (admittedly, I’m not a good learner. I’m learning all of this very slowly. Like, right now, I’m in the midst of very-slowly-learning this). It hasn’t been easy to learn. And maybe it’s something I won’t fully learn ever. Because sometimes I’m selfish. And sometimes I seek the most immediate medicine to deal with my human condition. Because it’s not fun to feel lonely, or invisible, or misunderstood. But it’s also not cool to enter and exit people’s lives, wreaking new havoc with every appearance, all in any attempt to heal thyself. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m the only 20-something in the world to ever make bad decisions, end friendships, and feel sad. In fact, I’ve been under the impression that this is everyone’s 20s (amirite? Please tell me I’m right. It would be so utterly devastating to realize I’m one of few people in the world who makes such consistently disturbingly bad decisions. Seriously. Comment if I’m wrong). Still, knowing that lots of people mess up like I do doesn’t make me feel so great about my mess-ups. It just makes me wonder why I can’t love people better.

Still, I think I love my best friend enough not to reintroduce her to the relational roller-coaster that can be my friendship.

There’s pain in saying that – a pain that will certainly dull as time passes – but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

No, I don’t regret anything.

Adele’s 25: When We Were Young

Lyrics:

Everybody loves the things you do
From the way you talk to the way you move
Everybody here is watching you
‘Cause you feel like home
You’re like a dream come true

But if by chance you’re here alone
Can I have a moment before I go?
‘Cause I’ve been by myself all night long
Hoping you’re someone I used to know

You look like a movie
You sound like a song
My God, this reminds me
Of when we were young

Let me photograph you in this light
In case it is the last time
That we might be exactly like we were
Before we realized
We were sad of getting old
It made us restless
It was just like a movie
It was just like a song

I was so scared to face my fears
Nobody told me that you’d be here
And I swear you moved overseas
That’s what you said, when you left me

You still look like a movie
You still sound like a song
My God, this reminds me
Of when we were young

Let me photograph you in this light
In case it is the last time
That we might be exactly like we were
Before we realized
We were sad of getting old
It made us restless
It was just like a movie
It was just like a song

When we were young [4x]

It’s hard to admit that
Everything just takes me back
To when you were there
To when you were there
And a part of me keeps holding on
Just in case it hasn’t gone
I guess I still care
Do you still care?

It was just like a movie
It was just like a song
My God, this reminds me
Of when we were young

When we were young [4x]

Let me photograph you in this light
In case it is the last time
That we might be exactly like we were
Before we realized
We were sad of getting old
It made us restless
Oh I’m so mad I’m getting old
It makes me reckless
It was just like a movie
It was just like a song
When we were young

Thoughts:

Full disclosure: this is my absolute favorite song from the album. And I also think it’s the best song on the album. Some people may disagree, but those people are wrong.

Let’s start at the very beginning. This song comes right after “I Miss You” and it feels like something that would. No longer is Adele stuck on the facade of “Hello”, the passive-aggression of “Send My Love”, or the pure regret and longing of “I Miss You”. No, now she’s moved on to what is the centerpiece of the album and probably the centerpiece of what it means to be 25: nostalgia. In the first stanza, we get exactly that. “You feel like home” isn’t just a passing statement, it’s the embodiment of nostalgia (a word that comes from the Greek nostos, which means a return home). But more than just nostalgia, this song does something I’ve mentioned a few times on this blog in recent weeks: it backtracks. “Can I have a moment before I go” is Adele’s first attempt in this album to actually revisit a past from which she’s already far removed.

The first part I have in bold is a lyric she repeats throughout the song and I think it’s super poignant. Here’s why: not only does it represent Adele’s interaction with this man she’s seeing, it’s also indicative of the song. When you listen to the track, it feels like a movie and it’s clearly a song. The line is kind of meta but it’s also just the embodiment of the moment. It operates on so many levels.

The next stanza marks Adele’s transition into full-on nostalgia. When she says that she wants to photograph him in case this is the last time they’ll be the way they were before they get old, she’s putting the feelings of nostalgia into lyric form. That’s what we all want to do at some point in our lives. We want to keep things the way they were and remember them that way. That’s what photos do, they capture singular moments in time without context or meaning. They’re just moments. But we (I) so often want to keep those moments, forgetting all the moments that came directly before or after. That’s the danger of nostalgia.

Adele kind of knows that and she finally gets out the truth she’s been skirting around in the first 3 songs of the album. “A part of me keeps holding on/ just in case it hasn’t gone/ I guess I still care/ do you still care?” That’s the thing about nostalgia. It’s only there if you still actually care about how the past was. It only remains if you still care. And it’s ridiculously difficult to be at this liminal point where you’re looking back but you know you have to move forward. Not to mention the last, most strikingly debilitating line – “do you still care?” It’s frustrating and confusing and even maddening. Adele even says as much in the last highlighted phrase.

Getting old makes you reckless because it makes you remember your youth, even the parts that you’re probably better off forgetting.

I love this song. At every moment in every line, I feel what Adele is feeling. It forces introspection upon me but also regret and general sadness. When I’m done listening to this song I’m always left with a big ball of emotion that I don’t quite know what to do with. It’s not a bad feeling though. It’s the kind of feeling you only get every so often with music.

Grade: A+

I’ve already revealed that this is my favorite song from the album and the best song so this grade is no surprise. It’s basically perfect. You can listen below.

 

 

Adele’s 25: I Miss You

Lyrics:

I want every single piece of you
I want your heaven and your oceans too
Treat me soft but touch me cruel
I wanna teach you things you never knew, baby
Bring the floor up to my knees
Let me fall into your gravity
Then kiss me back to life to see
Your body standing over me

Baby, don’t let the lights go down
Baby, don’t let the lights go down
Baby, don’t let the lights go down
Lights go down lights go down
Lights go down lights go down
Down down down

[2x:]
I miss you when the lights go out
It illuminates all of my doubts
Pull me in, hold me tight, don’t let go
Baby, give me light

I love the way your body moves
Towards me from across the room
Brushing past my every groove
No one has me like you do, baby
Bring your heart I’ll bring my soul
But be delicate with my ego
I want to step into your great unknown
With you and me setting the tone

Baby, don’t let the lights go down
Baby, don’t let the lights go down
Baby, don’t let the lights go down
Lights go down lights go down
Lights go down lights go down
Down down down

[2x:]
I miss you when the lights go out
It illuminates all of my doubts
Pull me in, hold me tight, don’t let go
Baby, give me light

We play so dirty in the dark
Cause we are living worlds apart
It only makes it harder, baby
It only makes it harder, baby
Harder, baby harder, baby harder, baby harder, baby

[2x:]
I miss you when the lights go out
It illuminates all of my doubts
Pull me in, hold me tight, don’t let go
Baby, give me light

Thoughts:

Every time this song comes up, I think about how it should be on the next 50 Shades of Grey movie soundtrack. It’s clearly very sensual/sexual, but, if taken in the context of the other songs on the album, it’s also a huge change from “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)”. Now, Adele is openly missing the person, while acknowledging some of the negative parts of their relationship.

There’s something to be said about the double meaning of the lights going down. On the one hand, people tend to have sex with the lights down and sex is clearly a major part of this song. On the other hand, being in the dark “illuminates” all the doubts she’s having. It’s a great little paradox she puts in the song and I think it works because it actually works in real life too.

Lying in bed at night is when I do most of my thinking, thus illuminating all of my doubts, concerns, worries, and stresses from the previous day and the days to come. And yet there’s also something very satisfying about that time of the day. Admittedly, I can’t relate to all the experiences voiced in the song, but I think it’s certainly evocative of the physical/emotional passion and yet psychological anguish that’s present in a lot of relationships, not just sexual/romantic ones.

Grade: B+

Another strong song, but definitely not the strongest on the album.

Adele’s 25: Send My Love (To Your New Lover)

Lyrics:

Just the guitar, okay cool

This was all you, none of it me
You put your hands on, on my body and told me
Mmm
You told me you were ready
For the big one, for the big jump
I’d be your last love everlasting you and me
Mmm
That was what you told me

I’m giving you up
I’ve forgiven it all
You set me free-ee

Send my love to your new lover
Treat her better
We’ve gotta let go of all of our ghosts
We both know we ain’t kids no more
Send my love to your new lover
Treat her better
We gotta let go of all of our ghosts
We both know we ain’t kids no more

I was too strong you were trembling
You couldn’t handle the hot heat rising (rising)
Mmm
Baby I’m still rising
I was running, you were walking
You couldn’t keep up, you were falling down (down)
Mmm
Mmm there’s only one way down

I’m giving you up
I’ve forgiven it all
You set me free-ee, oh

Send my love to your new lover
Treat her better
We gotta let go of all of our ghosts
We both know we ain’t kids no more
Send my love to your new lover
Treat her better
We’ve gotta let go of all of our ghosts
We both know we ain’t kids no more

If you’re ready, if you’re ready
If you’re ready, I am ready
If you’re ready, if you’re ready
We both know we ain’t kids no more
No, we ain’t kids no more

I’m giving you up
I’ve forgiven it all
You set me free

Thoughts:
I really like this song. It’s one of my favorites from the album (easily ahead of Hello). It has a feeling different from any other Adele song – it actually sounds like a Taylor Swift song, partially because it shares the same producer from one of her tracks – but in a really good, catchy way. It’s probably the most radio friendly, but that’s not a fault of the song, it actually makes me like it more.
The part I’ve emphasized is something of a motif throughout the album and I think it’s part of the conceit/facade of the whole thing. The title and chorus boldly implore this guy to send his love to his new lover, as if Adele is completely done and over this guy. But when she says the lines in bold, it feels a little bit like she’s still holding on. She hasn’t let go; she still needs to declare her actions and feelings to prove that she’s really moved on. Popgenius.com describes the song as passive-aggressive and I think that’s true. She wants to be at the place where she’s given it up, but she’s not all the way there yet. In fact, as we progress through the album we’ll see it’s a long way until she does get there.
I don’t think this song requires a lot more deep analysis (it’s a great listen so you should certainly check it out). Those are my thoughts on track 2 from 25.
Grade: B+
Though this song is one of my favorites because of its catchyness and general deviance from a standard Adele track, I actually don’t think it’s one of the top ones objectively. I just really like it a lot.

Adele’s 25: Hello

I’m finally getting around to writing about Adele’s record-breaking year-end album. I’ll go through the album song by song (in the order they appear on her album). This is less a review, and more me gushing over every song on this album. Let it begin!

Lyrics:

Hello, it’s me
I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet
To go over everything
They say that time’s supposed to heal ya
But I ain’t done much healing

Hello, can you hear me
I’m in California dreaming about who we used to be
When we were younger and free
I’ve forgotten how it felt before the world fell at our feet

There’s such a difference between us
And a million miles

Hello from the other side
I must have called a thousand times
To tell you I’m sorry for everything that I’ve done
But when I call you never seem to be home

Hello from the outside
At least I can say that I’ve tried
To tell you I’m sorry for breaking your heart
But it don’t matter it clearly doesn’t tear you apart anymore

Hello, how are you?
It’s so typical of me to talk about myself I’m sorry
I hope that you’re well
Did you ever make it out of that town where nothing ever happened

It’s no secret that the both of us
Are running out of time

So hello from the other side
I must have called a thousand times
To tell you I’m sorry for everything that I’ve done
But when I call you never seem to be home
Hello from the outside
At least I can say that I’ve tried
To tell you I’m sorry for breaking your heart
But it don’t matter it clearly doesn’t tear you apart anymore

Thoughts:

This was the first single to drop from Adele’s album and it’s the first track as well. Admittedly, this song didn’t hit me as hard as it did many other people. I was glad that Adele was back but if this song comes up on my phone, I usually just shuffle past it. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, I’ve just heard it so much that it’s lost much of it’s impact.

My favorite lines from the song, though, are in bold. On an episode of Switched on Pop, they compared this song to Drake’s Hotline Bling, and noted the outward facade of moving on that is covering up the actual ambivalence the singer feels about the whole situation. Without those lines, Hello just seems like an attempt at an apology and the acceptance of a break up. With those lines, it’s totally different. Although Adele presents herself as if she’s OK with the situation, those lines reveal her true feelings to be a bit more complicated than that.

I can kind of relate to that. There’s a part of you that actually wants the person you ended things with to still be heartbroken over it. However illogical and generally upsetting that may sound, it’s true. I think the reason for this desire is because, if you’re reconnecting with an ex to “apologize”, you’re actually not completely over it either. You may not be interested in reviving the relationship, but it’s probably still something you think about.

There’s also the reality that none of us wants to be the bad guy. But if you go to an ex to apologize for how you broke up and he says, “don’t worry about it, I don’t really care anymore”, you’re left to wonder why he doesn’t care. Did you ruin things to such an extent that the person no longer even wants to spend emotional energy conversing with you? Were you so destructive that you had to be forgotten?

All of these thoughts, and this song generally, lead into the final line in bold. Because, in reality, this song is about someone who is just a bit too self-involved. She goes back to talk to the ex not because she’s concerned about his well-being, but because she wants to free herself from any anguish, pain, or regret that she may feel. And isn’t that what it means to be 25? To know that you’ve done wrong but still be a bit too narcissistic to deal with that wrong appropriately. It’s looking back on the issues but still being unable to clearly identify their causes.

I don’t mean to imply that 25 is all youthful arrogance and egoism, I think it’s actually just the remnants of those things. It’s the final foray into stupidity before better logic sets in. So it’s more like straddling the line between narcissism and  selflessness.

Grade: B

Disengaged

Still haven’t decided if I’m going to write that post about every song on Adele’s new album. I feel like I will, but I’m not sure yet.

—————————————

The other day I was thinking about how disengaged I become when I’m here at my parent’s house.

It’s like all my stress just melts away and I become this care-free, chill, happy person. I had a passing thought to this effect the other day, but now I wonder a little more about it.

A friend from NYC who’s currently spending the holiday back home in Chi-town sent me a text and I was a little stunned. First off, I didn’t really expect to hear from her because I’m at my house and she’s at her house so I just assumed we wouldn’t talk again until one or both of us was back on the East Side. But instead, she sent me this text.

I haven’t responded to it yet for a few reasons. 1) I feel way less obligated to immediately respond to texts than I did a few years ago, 2)  I haven’t done the thing her text implied I should do, and 3) I feel so far removed from her and basically everyone who isn’t a member of my family.

That third thing is the weirdest thing. I imagine the last time I felt this way was in high school and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. I still care about my friends and really want to see and reconnect with them when I go back to the city next week, but I feel really distant. I’m at an odd place in my life where I’m really excited for what’s next but I’m kind of looking over my shoulder to make sure I’m not being set up.

Last week (has it only been a week? It feels like a lifetime), I was really proud of myself for making a decision I hadn’t been able to make for a while. I didn’t feel proud because I’m a sociopath (that always needs clarification) but because I knew I was finally more willing to let go of idols and choose God than I had ever been before. And that was a really cool feeling. But I’m also realizing that there are other idols I need to get rid of and those idols may be harder to separate myself from.

My self is one of my biggest idols. I guess people sometimes call this pride but for me it tends to be pride in the other direction. I have this obsession with harping on my faults and flaws. I constantly think about what I’ve done or am doing wrong, why I’m unworthy, why I’ll never be worthy, and why I don’t deserve anything. But when I’m with my family, I can’t do that. I can’t sit around thinking about all my shortcomings because everyone here is constantly undermining the notion that I’m a failure (words of affirmation = my love language).

In any case, I want to strike a balance between engagement and idolatry. When I’m super engaged I idolize my relationships with people and my flaws and when I’m not at all engaged I idolize nothing (literally nothing. Not even God). Clearly, both states are bad. And both states are pretty driven by fear.

So, I’m going to start with God because He’s always the best person to start with. I’ll see what follows. I’ll see what gets torn down and rebuilt along the way. I’ll see where I end up. But that’s where I’ll start. Or at least try.

In honor of a new start*, here’s my favorite Bible verse, which is fitting for almost all occasions but especially for this one:

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

DJP

*I wanted to include a video reference to the Arrested Development joke about “anus tart” here but there was no video that properly set the joke up and delivered the punchline. Suffice it to say that it was a great joke, as most Arrested Development jokes are.

 

Adele

I had planned to write a post a few weeks ago about Adele, in advance of her new album, 25. I failed, as the album was released last Thursday so instead I will write a post that includes her latest album.

I love Adele.

I remember first hearing “Right As Rain” back in high school and thinking it was a black woman singing (I was wrong). After that song, I bought her first album 19 and fell in love with almost every track. Her voice was different and beautiful but her songs were so easy to relate to. Thus began a beautiful love affair.

Of all my friends, I tend to be the most surprisingly nostalgic and introspective. I imagine it’s surprising because I don’t think I come off that way upon first meeting but anyone who knows me well knows that I can easily cross into moments of deep self-reflection, nostalgia, and general angst. (Maybe it’s my spiritual gift.) So listening to Adele reminds me of that.

I don’t think I’m alone in this ability; in fact, I think many 20-somethings have within themselves the ability to be airy and light, and also deep and pensive. In fact, this might be representative of what it means to be in your 20s. At one moment you ride high on anthems like “We Are Young” and at the next you consider how fleeting youth really is. The 20s are a pretty crazy time in life and the feelings you get being a 20-something are also pretty crazy.

This is what I feel when I listen to Adele and this is why I (somewhat jokingly) tell my friends that she is the voice of our generation. She, like so many others, knows what it is to be heartbroken and sad and that’s a major part of what makes her songs so poignant. But she also knows that the face we present to the world isn’t our more or less true self, it’s just the self we’re expressing in that moment.

That last sentence is mostly in response to the only semi-negative review I’ve heard of Adele’s most recent album. The writer wondered why Adele continues to tap into the angst and sadness of 25 instead of the joy, sarcasm, and general coolness that she exudes in person. The comment reminds me of one my friend said to me last night.

A couple years ago, I got annoyed with the idea of being thought of only as a “cool person”. It felt stifling and disingenuous. And somehow the topic came up again last night. But this time, a few months shy of 25, I had a different feeling about it. I didn’t mind. The moment after I said that I wondered if I was just lying. That happens sometimes. Sometimes I say what seems right instead of what is true. So I wondered if this was one of those times. But I don’t think it is. I don’t mind so much if people think of me as cool. I don’t need people to see the depth that I once thought I possessed in fathoms. One reason is that it doesn’t matter that much. The other reason is that I’m not that deep.

I feel like 25 is aware of this. It knows that it’s not super deep even if it doesn’t ever say it. It feels like Adele is just chronicling her life and asking people to join in on it with her. It’s not false or over done, it’s the kind of nostalgia that only someone in their 20s feels. After all, nostalgia is a young man’s game.

So, in honor of Adele and her awesomeness and coolness and the way she exudes a person-I’d-love-to-have-a-deep-late-night-conversation-with-in-a-crowded-bar aura, here are my current favorite Adele songs. I’m sure these will change by the time she releases her next album – they’ll probably change next month – but until then, these are my favs.

  1. When We Were Young – This song is such a nostalgia fest! Supposedly it was written about friendship so obviously this would be my favorite song. It’s one of those songs that makes me almost want to cry. I actually have the equal and opposite reaction to this song as I do to the aforementioned “We Are Young”.
  2. Don’t You Remember – At the moment, I enjoy this more than 21‘s breakout hit, “Someone Like You”. No particular reason though.
  3. River Lea (there’s no version of this online)- This one took me a while to get into but now I really like it. It’s similar to 19‘s “Hometown Glory” in that it’s about where she grew up and how that has affected her. It just sticks with you.
  4. Make You Feel My Love – I like a lot of songs from 19 but this is the one I had on repeat back in high school. It’s a cover of a song that other artists have done but I love the way Adele does it.
  5. Someone Like You – It was actually hard to pick number 5 because there are a few songs from 25 that could also go here but I didn’t want to make this a list of my favorite songs from Adele’s most recent album. I also considered adding “Chasing Pavements” but it’s really hard to make a list of top Adele songs and not include “Someone Like You”. It’s the song everyone knows her for, it’s great, it’s instantly memorable, and the lyric “never mind, I’ll find someone like you” could be the subject of countless music theory term papers. It’s a classic, man.

Anyway, you should buy the new Adele album. It’s amazing. And then you should make a list of your favorite Adele songs.

 

DJP

Solitude and Pleasure

I got a text a few minutes ago: Does today feel like a sad day?

I was shocked because I did feel that way and the text was unprovoked: Yeah, it does actually!

After a few exchanges, we concluded that my reason for feeling this way was the fact that I had spent the past two days inside and had no contact with the outside world, save for one conversation with my brother. This wasn’t my initial plan though.

When I went to bed last night, I told myself I would wake up in the morning and go to the park. Central Park is great and the part I live closest to is especially great in my unbiased opinion. Since I live uptown, there aren’t many people there and so it’s relaxing the way a park should be.

Anyway, when I woke up this morning I did not go to the park. Instead I sat in my room in my apartment and watched YouTube and Netflix. I told myself I would get some pages done towards my thesis chapter but I didn’t (and still haven’t). Overall, it was a pretty wasteful day.

So after I got the text I decided to go to the park. It still wasn’t dark out so I wouldn’t get murdered by anyone out there. When I got to the park, I found this nice, elevated site. It overlooked a pond and gave a really nice view of the surrounding area. It was pretty secluded (only a few people were there when I got there and they left after a few minutes) and it was a great place to be. It was a Coldplay-type of area, so I had to play this song as I looked out over the fence.

As I stood there alone I thought about how awesome it was to be standing there alone. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always love solitude. Some days I really need it to get by, while other days I wonder if I’ll have to spend the rest of my life alone. It’s not the solitude itself that I hate, it’s the feeling of unwanted disconnect. I don’t mind being alone if I’ve turned someone down for dinner and instead spent the night in watching Netflix. I don’t mind being alone if I’m engaged in something fun or exciting. I don’t mind being alone after a long day of being with lots of people. I just don’t like feeling disconnected.

But somehow, standing atop that hill, I felt the pleasure that can come with solitude. I enjoyed looking out and seeing the water. I enjoyed listening to the song and letting it wash over me. I enjoyed being with myself.

Here’s a good picture from my vantage point:

A walk in the Park
A walk in the Park