stories of a sweet, short life

“I know these will all be stories some day, and our pictures will become old photographs. We all become somebody’s mom or dad. But right now, these moments are not stories. This is happening. I can see it. This one moment when you know you’re not a sad story. You are alive. And you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And you’re listening to that song, and that drive with the people who you love most in this world.”

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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A couple of years ago, Britt and I were talking about our favorite words, and she mentioned one from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, a collection of words created by artist John Koenig, an ongoing project which seeks to fill gaps in the language of emotion with new words that capture the absurdity and idiosyncrasy of the human condition. It describes feelings that are familiar but nameless; you’ve experienced them before but haven’t had the vocabulary to articulate them.

The word she introduced me to is dès vu—“the awareness that this will become a memory.” She has it tattooed on her wrist because it’s something she thinks about a lot. And I realized I do it all the time, too. Sometimes, I’ll be laughing so hard I can’t breathe or filled with so much joy and I’ll just think, I’m going to remember this forever.

My friend Jasmine tweeted this a couple of years ago, and made a playlist called “Songs to Ask Me About,” and I thought it was such a good idea. I’ve had a playlist of songs forever, just floating around in my iTunes and then my SoundCloud and then my Spotify (how times have changed!), but I finally made a conscious effort to remember exactly where they all came from. And in retrospect, it’s strange to see what actually stands out. How certain musical refrains can make you shiver with recognition or fill you with an inexplicable melancholy. The way familiar sounds can pull at the tiniest, darkest corners of your memory—things you’d forgotten years and years ago—and illuminate them once again, like lighting the smoke trails of a dying candle.

To anyone else, it feels random; there is no genre or common thread. But to you, each of these songs is a specific memory that lives in the heart of your being, that unconsciously alters your thoughts, your personality, the way you move and exist in the world. And in this blissful yet relatively short life, I’ve shared so many precious moments with so many people that I’m grateful for.

Blogging is a curious exercise, because it requires an obsessive degree of introspection that’s probably unhealthy. But it’s also kind of like optimistic storytelling—to put pen to paper and release all of these thoughts into the universe, in the hope that they will be actualized, that someone will read them and intuitively understand. One of the reasons I love examining the Analytics section of this blog is that I like to see where people are from. Squarespace gives you an IP address and a city, but nothing more; just a little glimmer of a person, just enough to make you feel seen. I’ll see readers from all over the world, and it feels nice to know that what I’m writing resonates with some people.

So, here is my life, in a playlist. If you recognize these songs and these places, just know that I always think of you when I hear them. And if you want to know the stories, just ask; I’m always happy to share them. Thank you to all of the amazing people in my life that have shaped it, even unknowingly. Cheers to five whole years!

 

tracklist

  • Concerto for Violin, Strings and Continuo in E Major, No. 1, Op. 8, RV 269, “Spring”: I. Allegro – Vivaldi Chamber Music Orchestra (San Diego, 1999)

  • Lucky – Britney Spears (San Diego, 2001)

  • Up Against The Wall – *NSYNC (San Diego, 2002)

  • Bat Out of Hell – Meat Loaf (San Diego, 2003)

  • Surfin’ U.S.A. – The Beach Boys (San Diego, 2004)

  • Deee-Lite Theme – Deee-Lite (San Diego, 2006)

  • Everytime We Touch – Cascada (Rome, 2007)

  • Slow Dance with a Stranger – Danger Radio (Rome, 2007)

  • Flight Of The Order Of The Phoenix – Nicholas Hooper (Alaska, 2008)

  • Help, I’m Alive – Metric (San Diego, 2009)

  • Monster Hospital (MSTRKRFT Remix) – Metric (San Diego, 2009)

  • Heart Attack – The Asteroids Galaxy Tour (San Diego, 2010)

  • Cosmic Love – Florence + The Machine (Thailand, 2011)

  • New Slang – The Shins (San Diego, 2011)

  • Love on Top – Beyoncé (San Diego, 2011)

  • Rocket Love – Frank Ocean (San Diego, 2011)

  • Man of La Mancha – Brian Stokes Mitchell (San Diego, 2012)

  • Don’t You Worry Child – Swedish House Mafia (Santa Barbara, 2013)

  • Anything Could Happen – Ellie Goulding (Santa Barbara, 2014)

  • Sweet Disposition – The Temper Trap (Santa Barbara, 2014)

  • California Dreamin’ (Royal Gigolos Remix) – The Mama’s and The Papa’s (New York, 2015)

  • After Life – Tchami (Santa Barbara, 2015)

  • Nobody to Love – Sigma (Santa Barbara, 2015)

  • Five Hours – Deorro (Santa Barbara, 2015)

  • On Fire – Carmada ft. Maribelle (Santa Barbara, 2015)

  • Core – RL Grime (Santa Barbara, 2015)

  • Stop Trippin’ – GRiZ ft. iDA Hawk (Santa Barbara, 2015)

  • Fall Under Skies – Jonas Aden & Robby East (Santa Barbara, 2016)

  • I’ll Be Pushin’ On (Carnage & Big Gigantic Edit) – Zac Samuel (Santa Barbara, 2016)

  • Poison (Lāsh remix) – Rita Ora (‎Santa Barbara, 2016)

  • Roses – The Chainsmokers ft. ROZES (Santa Barbara, 2016)

  • Never Be Like You (ft. Kai) – Flume (Santa Barbara, 2016)

  • Discipline – Club cheval (San Francisco, 2016)

  • Git Wit Dis – Manics (San Francisco, 2016)

  • Space Song – Beach House (San Diego, 2016)

  • California – NUDE (Asia, 2016)

  • This Girl – Kungs vs. Cookin’ on 3 Burners (Singapore, 2016)

  • Baba O’Reilly (Justin Caruso remix) – The Who (Singapore, 2016)

  • Lying Together – FKJ (Singapore, 2016)

  • Warmth – Bastille (Singapore, 2016)

  • Fuel Tank – JOYRYDE (San Diego, 2017)

  • Flesh Without Blood – Grimes (LA, 2017)

  • Plug In Baby – Muse (New York, 2017)

  • Lone Digger – Caravan Palace (New York, 2017)

  • Dominos (Galantis remix) – Peter Bjorn and John (New York, 2017)

  • bellyache – Billie Eilish (New York, 2017)

  • Bad Idea – Jessie Mueller & Drew Gehling (New York, 2018)

  • Watch Me – Jaden Smith (New York, 2018)

  • Mrs. – Leon Bridges (New York, 2018)

  • Open – Rhye (New York, 2018)

  • Stay – Post Malone (New York, 2018)

  • Sour Mango – Gabriel Gàrzon-Montano (New York, 2018)

  • Plastic (Mid-City Island Version) — Moses Sumney (New York, 2018)

  • Bet She Looks Like You — Nick Hakim (New York, 2018)

  • Hunger – Florence + The Machine (New York, 2018)

  • California Girls (NoMBe vs. Sonny Allen) – NoMBe (LA, 2018)

  • Drive and Disconnect – Nao (San Diego, 2018)

  • Where Angels Fear to Tread – Disclosure (LA, 2019)

  • TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME – The 1975 (New York, 2019)

  • Paris – The 1975 (New York, 2019)

  • IGOR’S THEME – Tyler, The Creator (New York, 2019)

  • Guilty Love – Zhu (New York, 2019)

  • Light It Up – Zhu, TOKiMONSTA (New York, 2019)

  • BROKEN GIRLS – Saba (New York, 2019)

  • Moderation – Florence + The Machine (New York, 2019)

  • Sleep — Nick Hakim (New York, 2019)

happening meow