Every so often I get in a mood that for some reason necessitates putting my entire iTunes library on "shuffle" mode and sitting in my bed remembering. It is glorious and I highly recommend it when you just aren't sure what you need. Trust me, this is what you need. Granted, I tend to skip half the songs (DotA by Basshunter? I'll pass. Thanks for that 14 year old me...) but there is something so therapeutic about remembering that fixes anything that could possibly be off-balance within me.
There is one song in particular that triggers memories so strong I could cry of happiness - Golden Days by the Damnwells. This was truly the soundtrack to some of the best times in my life - and a song that I share with my core high school girlfriends. It was the song that reverberated off the high ceiling in the old church in Exeter, NH, where my best friend Mads softly spoke her emotionally transformative "Meditation" - a long, personal narrative we are required to write in our senior year - to life. It was the song that echoed in a big open field in Duxbury, MA as that same core group lay on an itchy blanket in the too-cold spring air as we wished for summer and the end of school. It was the song that hummed almost inaudibly in the background as we completed our homework on the back patio of our dorm at the light faded.
A few weeks ago, on one such shuffle night, that song came on and I found myself searching for more songs from that time, something else to bring me back to those places. I found a few and created a small list, which I proceeded to play on repeat for the next week. But I needed more - such potent memories can be so addicting once you capture them. So I recruited the help of my friends, and they delivered tenfold. We created a 57-track playlist on Google Docs, and then on Spotify, that perfectly encompasses the emotion of my high school experience, of figuring out who I was, and of forging some of the strongest friendships I am lucky enough to possess.
High on the product of the first playlist, I decided to create another with my cousin Amanda. All of my cousins are absurdly close by typical standards, and Amanda is about as much of a sister to me as Haley and Sydney (neither of whom are strangers to this blog). Together we created a playlist of 147 tracks that perfectly capture barefoot summer vacations up at the lake house, and our ridiculous reunions as adults where we relive our childhood with Disney movies and coloring.
In short - I highly recommend the practice of collaborating on a playlist with the favorite people in your life. These playlists are something I find myself gravitating toward while I'm at work, when I get home, as I ready myself for bed, as I clean my apartment, basically all the time. If you are so inclined, you can here them here (high school) and here (Amanda's).
What are the songs that trigger strong emotions for you? A few more of mine:
Annie's Song by John Denver - the song they played at my nana's funeral
Paradise by the Dashboard Light by Meatloaf - the song I watched my Aunt Julie sing karaoke to in one of my last and most hilarious memories of her before she passed away.