Have you ever listened to an old song and began to reminisce of a distant memory or experience that felt so real yet surreal all at the same time? There’s a surge of emotions that you feel all over again and it quickly brings you back to the exact moment that you once felt happy, hurt, hopeless, or free. You remember the precise location you were at when you first heard the song or even played repeatedly. You see yourself sitting on the same chair you have in your room, staring blankly at the white wall and wondering what to do next. You feel the similar deep ache in your chest while you listened to that song thinking of him. You remember dancing carelessly at the Brooklyn Bridge Park where you forced yourself to hold onto every minute of that moment. There is a list of songs that bring me back to distinct events in my life. These past experiences and emotions are held on by the lyrics and tunes of each track. Each song openly expresses fragments of my life which I hold deeply and personally. And at times, I would relisten to these songs simply to relive the special moments time and again.
I’ll Be- Edwin McCain
This song brings me back to when I was 11 years old and I first watched the Cinderella story that starred Hilary Duff (I was obsessed with her) and Chad Michael Murray. I remember the song playing in the background when she met Chad at the gazebo and at that moment, I wanted a fairytale love exactly like that. I know, I know, in my childhood dreams right?
With You- Jessica Simpson
This song most likely defines my teenage years. I remember being in my pajamas while singing and dancing alone in my room.. really loudly and passionately. I even tried reenacting the music video. How embarrassing, huh? This song made me feel so free because at that time in my life, I felt undefeatable.
Big Black Car- Gregory Alan Isakov
I’d like to think that I’ve always been an analytical person throughout my premature and mature years. This is the one song that I would listen to if I wanted to think deeply and emotionally about anything. I distinctly remember listening to this song while I sat staring at my computer screen and scrolling through my Tumblr dashboard. The lyrics and tune made me feel sorrow yet relief. It was so unbelievably calming, especially at night.
Leave A Trace- CHVRCHES
As with every song I become obsessed with, I listened to this repeatedly on my road trip in Canada. This song undoubtedly reminds me of him. I remember anticipating our next encounter when I arrived in Vancouver, being both nervous and excited. On my last day there, I clearly remember sitting in his car in silence and staring out the window to my right as he drove me to the airport. At that moment, he interlocked his right hand with my left and I knew that this would be the last time I saw him.
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough- Marvin Gaye, Tammi Terrell
We ran along the boardwalk at the Brooklyn Bridge Park around 10:30 PM and sang along to the song while we skipped around the area with no care in the world. We laughed at ourselves and then locked our gaze onto the New York City skyline. It was a cold night but our laughter and company brought warmth to our entire body. I remember feeling as if there were no limits to my actions and the world was my dance floor. I felt as if I could go anywhere and do anything I wanted to. I was genuinely happy at this moment.
Landslide- Oh Wonder
This was probably one of my lowest moments I’ve had thus far. I remember sitting by myself in the car after I got tea at Twinkle Brown Sugar. I didn’t want to go home from work because I was avoiding tension and interrogation. I couldn’t control my feelings and thoughts, which I had no explanation for. I cried uncontrollably and tried to suppress my fatal thoughts. At this moment, I felt hopeless and through this song, I attempted to find comfort and peace.
Welcome Home, Son- Radical Face
I was driving through the Pacific Northwest from San Francisco to Portland, Oregon while my cousin’s infamous playlist was tuning in the background. The view to my left was a river that extended endlessly. There were no other cars in sight and I felt as if I had the world under control with my two hands on the wheel. I’ve never felt so free and independent. I thought about all the natural beauty and opportunities there were on this planet. I tried to hold on to every moment that I knew I would never get back. These are the moments that I relive time and again.