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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Soundtrack of Me: My happy place

So, this time of year gets a little hard for me because this is the time of year my grandmother started to get sick and be in and out of the hospital. This, on top of everyday stresses and the blues you get from the time change kind of put me into a funk.
Luckily, music is always there. No matter what life throws at you, no matter what mood you are in music makes it better. Have you ever heard a song that just opens a floodgate of memories of certain people, places, moments in your life or something that didn’t even have a big significance…but a certain song always reminds you of it? For me, this happens ALL the time.
I am a huge believer in everyone having a soundtrack to their life. I do not think people realize just how special every individual’s soundtrack actually is. It’s just as important as photographs or diaries. There is a quote I love from Maria Von Trapp;“Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens.” I truly believe that.
I am going to take you through some of my personal life soundtrack in this post. There are songs that make me happy, sad and the ones that comfort me. There is no surprise that Lee DeWyze has become a major part of my soundtrack, so I’ll only be speaking of a few of those today. It’s no secret that his voice inspires me and comforts me and I have this entire blog site dedicated to trying to explain that. This is going to be more of the musical side of me that you don’t already know.
You’ll find that I pretty much listen to ALL types of music. For Example, one of my favorite songs is “Regulator” by Warren G. ha-ha, shocked? I do not know of any specific memory attached to this song, but I have always loved it and I get happy inside when I hear it. Lol, true story.
Or, the song from the Dirty dancing soundtrack: “Be my baby” by The Ronettes. This song will always and forever remind me of one of my best friends that now lives across the country in LA. One of our friends had a juke box and this was on it. As soon as we’d get to the party we’d play this song and dance. Sometimes the guys would actually unplug it because we played it so much. It's  small things like that, which makes music so magical. To an outsider... that story may not be that interesting. But to me, it brings back memories of fun times and makes me happy when I miss her and wished she lived closer for when I need those late night marathon diner coffee talks we used to have.
Or of course people's wedding songs… that reminds them of the day they got to marry the person they love. Mine was “My Best Friend” by Tim McGraw. Not only does this song remind me of love and Mark, it now makes us laugh because when you are dancing to it and everyone is watching you… it’s the world’s longest song. Lol. We just kept whispering to each other laughing "omg this is the longest song ever…".
Not all music memories are happy though. Like anyone that knows me knows that I am not a huge Fleetwood Mac fan. I do not dislike them though;  I love their songs…I even like Stevie Nicks, but her voice reminds me of childhood memories that make me uneasy. Now, so you know, I was never in danger or anything like that when I say this, but When I was not at my grandmother’s house... I always felt uneasy. Her house made me happy, it was a comforting safe place to me, so the times I’d have to be away from her, the songs I’d hear there just made me think of how much I wanted to be at my mom-mom’s house. Know what I mean? So I love Stevie Nick’s songs and her style… but I can not listen to her sing. I do not like the place it takes me to. It's the exact opposite of when I listen to Lee.
Another one that is forever embedded in my memory was when I was in Junior high and my mom lived a block away from the school. We saw a kid get hit by a car right in front of her house. Later that night we had to go pick up my step dad from work and the song “Second Chance” came on by 38 Special. I remember sitting in the back of the car re-playing the scene of that poor boy getting hit, then feeling so much sadness for him.. All while this song was playing. Whenever I hear it, I think about that day. (For the record, fortunately, that boy was not killed)
You all know I ramble when I have lots to say! My thoughts are often jumbled in my head, bouncing all around. It's hard to write them out when they are constantly moving! The whole point of this post was to tell you that I made a playlist to listen to when I am sad and missing my grandmother! So, here it is! It is made of songs that hold a very special place in my heart and have the power to make me feel better and closer to her! Here is the list and the why’s. Ready? :
Track 1) Miranda Lambert “The house that built me”
This one is pretty self explanatory, I feel as though I could have written this song. It describes the home I grew up in, the feeling I have now when I miss it. I wish nothing more than that when it went up for sale, I was old enough to buy it. I’d love to live there now. Creating new memories. My grandfather built that house for my grandmother. It's always been a magical place, the world was never a scary place when I was in those walls.
Track 2) Cyndi Lauper- “Time after time”
My grandfather passed away when I was in 7th grade, so by the time I moved away to art school it was just my grandmother and me for 6 years. This song was playing on the radio as I backed out of the driveway as she stood on the porch waving goodbye when I left for the next chapter of my life.
Track 3) Lee DeWyze- “Don’t be afraid”
Did you really think Lee would not make this list? This song kind of speaks to me as a comforting pep talk. Obviously being raised by a grandparent, you know that at some point they are going to pass. I started worrying about this after my grandfather passed away. I was petrified of what I was going to do without her. Heck, I STILL am. So not only do the lyrics fit, I get the bonus of his voice saying those words… win
Track 4) Steve Wonder- “I just called to say I love you”
This was my grandmother’s favorite song! My sister and I would call her and play it over the phone, get her greeting cards that played it and sang it to her all the time. I can not listen to this song without shedding tears. I love it and it makes me feel closer to her.
Track 5) Jack Johnson- “Breakdown”
I remember being at work one day listening to my iPod while my grandmother was in Hospice. At that time it was just us waiting for that sad call. She was ready to let go. This song came on shuffle and the lyrics just hit me. I started crying and I could not stop. It kind of made me realize that I shouldn’t be so greedy in wanting her to hang on when she was ready to let go. She wanted to. That is all I have to say about this song 
Track 6) Jamie Johnson- “In Color”
This song does not have a memory attached to it per say, but if you listen to the lyrics; I just put together an entire music video of my grandparent’s old photos…..

There you have it, it is not a long playlist, but it’s just enough to comfort me when I miss her and I’m feeling overwhelmed or down. I’d love to hear what songs you have attached to certain memories! Please post them below if you’d like to share!

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