“Hello. It’s me. I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet.” Everyone is flipping over this song, myself included, it’s just that good. Of course Adele’s voice has a great deal to do with its intensity, but I don’t think that’s the root of the obsession. This song hits that feeling of breaking someone’s heart and then wanting to hear, “it’s ok,” on the head. We’ve all had the “are you okay?” conversation. It can be a form of closure, but I believe that ultimately it has to do with our innate need to be liked. We’re not bad people, but maybe we made someone feel awful and we can’t take it. We want to hear, “it’s ok,” not because we are worried about him or her but because we want our conscious cleared.
So I know there was this one time that I crushed your heart, made you cry yourself to sleep, hate the world, and perhaps fall into a deep depression, but like, it’s ok now, right?
I’ve done it. And thankfully, I’ve dated some guys who have given me the conversation I’ve craved. I can tell you what though, on the flip side, there a few
men boys out there that I wouldn’t give the satisfaction. It has nothing to do with where I am in my life now, as you all know, I’m happily engaged, but it has everything to do with how I was treated. The men boys I would never give the satisfaction of hearing “it’s ok,” from me are the ones who hurt me with no remorse. The ones who gave absolutely ZERO sh!ts about how their actions might affect me. The ones when there was nothing mutual about it and the ones that I can’t say, “well, he had good intentions.” Simply strung along and rejected. They will never hear, “it’s ok,” from me because well…it’s not ok. It’s not ok that every day men (and women too, but for me it’s men), get away with some of the BS that we let them get away with. I was younger and more timid, and I can only imagine the difference in outcomes if I was in some of those situations now. Oh it woulda been a whole new ball game! I just hope they’ve grown.
Anyway, when I listen to Adele’s song, “Hello,” I realize that there is no one left that I want to hear “it’s ok” from. Unfortunately, I did hurt people along the way but I’ve made my peace. I also don’t believe there is anyone left that I feel deserves it from me. However, when I hear this song, I can think of friends who might still feel that way. I can also think of friends who just think they feel that way, but probably really don’t anymore. I’m sure some of them have put Adele’s song on repeat, while giving a speech over and over to the mirror, hoping that one day they might be able to give it. As for me, I can appreciate the song but I’ve moved on in my life. It’s been too long and I can’t, and don’t want to, go back. I’m emotionally cleansed.
So now that we’ve established that I’m perfect, you all know (from old posts, of course), that there were plenty of times when I wasn’t so emotionally cleansed. I had songs that I would put on repeat too. I would also rehearse speeches that I wasn’t sure I’d ever get a chance to give. In doing research for this post, I had to dig deep into the iTunes archives. I heard songs that immediately put me in a moment, it’s a bit creepy, but very cool and reflective.
“If I Were a Boy” by Beyonce puts me on my bedroom floor in the Florham Park house. I was home for Spring Break sophomore year of college. I knew I had to break up with the first man I thought I loved for the long haul. At the time I thought this was “my first adult relationship” and I loved him very much. Before I even made the call, I listened to the song maybe twenty times through my massive surround sound-ish speakers. The first ten times I was just lying on my floor, in and out of crying. The next ten times, I packed up all of our memories, photos, clothes, tickets, etc (yes, like Rory does on Gilmore Girls)…oh and kept crying. And by the end of the twenty rounds of, “‘UNTIL YOU LOSE THE ONE YOU WANTED CUZ YOU’RE TAKING HER FOR GRANTED,” and packing up anything that reminded me of him, I made the call to end it. It was awful but I was ready.
“Take Care” by Drake puts me on 17th Street NW, Washington, DC walking through DuPont on my way to Georgetown. I’d meet B.Ryan there for yoga thirty times a week, after the end of a very exciting, but very short-lived romantical situation. I can picture myself with my black yoga pants, purple mat strapped to my back, and a determined brow. I was focused on getting focused on anything that wasn’t him. This song was perfect. I could lean on the lines that spoke to me, “you hate the fact that you bought the dream and they sold you one,” but it was upbeat enough to power walk. I didn’t feel like I wanted to crawl up into a ball afterwards. It satisfied my yearn to cry and feel like sh!t and the need to get up, get moving, and move on.
Mumford & Sons, “White Blank Page” puts me in Georgetown at 3523 O Street NW. My room was called “the treehouse” because my bed was lofted up over
the desk the entire room. I had maybe two feet between the door and what was under the lofted bed. It puts me at my desk, on the computer. I had a deep purple curtain for a closet door that I loved. I had a black and tan shag rug that felt nice on my toes. The guys I knew in college gave me so much material, I could write for hours, and I did. I would replay this song over and over. There was a period of time, that felt like an eternity, where every relationship, hook-up, and fling was very one-sided. I was putting my efforts, time, and heart into guys that never gave it back. It was exhausting.
“The Pieces Don’t Fit Here Anymore” by James Morrison is kind of a cute memory. It starts in my freshman dorm room (WADDUP VILLAGE C WEST) with my LoveBug roomie. I was completely depressed that our group of friends (that we had for maybe a month) was ruined. We had the BEST thing going, I was so happy. We had a gang. There was one person in the gang that I was particularly close to. He looked after me and made me laugh. He was there for me 100% of the time. I could call him when I wanted to go to “the caf” or Yates or Saxby’s. He would call me to take a walk through Georgetown or go out to a party. I remember one night we were playing beer pong in my dorm room, which was totally not allowed, and we got caught. I was FREAKED, like super freaked! He told the RA that I had nothing to do with it, and that he and the other guy were the only ones playing. Of course this didn’t work, or matter since it was my room, but that was just how he was. We kissed here and there but we didn’t date. It was so cutely innocent but when it came down to it, he asked me to date him, and I said no. This song now brings me to the outside of McDonough, getting ready to board the bus for softball practice, and sobbing so hard I couldn’t breathe. I can confidently say that he got me through the first month of college, including the first softball practices. The first month may not seem like much but it was significant because I went to college thinking I was ready. However, when I got there I quickly learned that it was more of a transition than I thought, especially with softball. I felt like I couldn’t control my surroundings but I could rely on him. So to lose him felt like I was losing my lifeline. I lost my friend and it truly made me very sad.
Strangely enough “Gavin’s Song” by Marc Broussard takes me on an Amtrak train from Metropark, New Jersey to Washington, DC at 6:30am Monday morning. I had to get back in time for Intermediate Spanish in Walsh. Junior year of college I took the train to and from New Jersey, no lie, every other weekend for the entire first semester. Leading up to that, I had an incredible summer with my friends. I worked at a restaurant and completely took to the people there. So of course I had a friend that I thought would be more than that. I know now, and have for a long time, that it wasn’t right. To be honest, I really kinda knew then that I didn’t really want it. He didn’t either. The thing was though, I was unhappy. I would never have done it but I wanted to leave school and come home for good. I had gained weight. I wasn’t sure who my friends were in DC. Georgetown was hard and bottom line, I was very lonely. Coming home and seeing him made me happy. I should have left it at that but being a girl and being, quite honestly, very desperate, I tried to make it more than it was. We were very close but we didn’t need to be close like that. Anyway, although this song isn’t quite about a guy-girl relationship, the lyrics meant a lot to me – “I wish I could be there, but I can’t.”
Anything by A Fine Frenzy, but specifically, “Almost Lover” takes me to Manhattan. Gosh, I was so young. I had just graduated from high school and was interning in the city for Stacy London’s talk show. I spent that summer mainly on my own, traipsing through the city, doing whatever was asked of me. I made jackets out of crystals, dresses out of recycled material, dropped off shoes, picked up necklaces, I was all over the place. I knew the subway, I knew the streets, I was pretty cool. Unfortunately I had no idea how cool I was because I was engulfed by the idea of being with him. I think I met him at his apartment after my internship, maybe three times, but I loved it. I felt so grown up. He was a kid then too but I thought he was so much older and sophisticated (he was all of 23 years old at the time). We had known each other awhile and I was young enough to believe in a fairy tale. That summer though, Chicken Soupy as it is, I learned that the fairy tale wasn’t going to happen. I knew deep down that this was a game to him but I wanted it to be real. I wanted it to be the one. I was 18 and naive. It was cute and depressing at the same time. I was used to high school boys who were just as cute and naive as I was. This was when I learned about boys in their early twenties. I remember one day it was 100 degrees and I was on the most crowded subway, standing without anything to hold onto. I was holding back tears and when the train took a sharp turn. In that moment, I was the Matrix. I was so distracted, hot, and delirious that my body had bent all the way back and I was falling to the ground in slow motion. Believe it or not, the people on the train helped me before I hit the ground. I went back to the office and sobbed to a nice woman (looking back, she was probably only 24 years old) and made up a story that my boyfriend broke up with me. I was so embarrassed that I let him upset me so much that I lied and said he was my boyfriend…and that he broke up with me! Meanwhile what really happened was that I was supposed to go to his apartment that evening and I hadn’t heard from him in days. Dontchu know a few hours later he texted me and I went. The time I had with him was disappointing and I woke up the next day, listened to this song again on the train, and cried.
There are more, of course, but I won’t bore you with every sob story in my life….at least not right now! In writing this and in reading it back, I am so struck by how much I grew up in these years. Looking back, none of these relationships even come close to what I have now. My relationship is so much deeper and more meaningful. I don’t even mean to toot my own relationship horn, but it’s amazing to reflect and see how far I’ve come. I’ll type it again, to see how far I’ve come. I am cognitively recognizing how far I HAVE COME. Did you get that? I admitted, directly and indirectly, to being desperate, lonely, and naive, and I am no longer those things. I can imagine I would feel differently without my feyonce in my life but even still, I stand much stronger now on my own than I ever did then. It’s a learning curve but now I understand why my mom wanted to shake me silly sometimes! That being said, I believe I was more together than a lot of others my age, but I still had to go through these things to get where I am. And THAT being said, I’m sure I will feel this way again in another 5 to 10 years, and another 5 to 10 after that, and so on.
Well, this was fun and weird, but incredibly interesting. I look back on these instances with appreciation. And more importantly, I look to the future, and to the man lying down next to me, with gratitude. As social media would say, I am truly #blessed.