Monday, January 30, 2012

My Soundtrack

This week's listicles topic by Bruna was a tough one: 10 Songs That Tell the Story of My Life.  I spent no less than four hours on YouTube listening to some of my all time favorite songs, many of which pulled out memories I had long ago tucked away.  It was tempting to pick songs that OMGIJUSTLOVE! but I wanted to choose ones that represent more than an isolated moment or that one crazy night. *wink*

The songs I chose don't tell a chronological story of my life, but represent themes, life-changing moments, or a period of time that in some way have shaped who I am.

1. Bye Bye Bye - N'Sync
Of course I had to pick a boy band song, considering I grew up in era of boy bands.  But, to me, this song is more than just silly lyrics and cheesy super cool dance moves by a manufactured group. Bye Bye Bye came out my senior year of high school, the only year of high school that was carefree.  All the other years are somewhat tainted by the abusive relationship I was in.

It's hard to give this song choice justice without explaining how oppressive that relationship was.  But to put it simply, this song represents freedom.  A time to sing loudly in the car.  A time to laugh and be silly.  An end to being controlled and belittled and manipulated.  A time to begin to discover who it is to be me and not the person someone else wanted me to be.

2. It's My Life - Bon Jovi
My senior class trip was to Europe.  We visited four countries - Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy - in two weeks.  On our last day we went to an amusement park where the rides looked like they had been assembled in the 1940s and hadn't been maintained, repaired or inspected for safety since.  Their one modern "ride" was Bungee Jumping.  As two of my classmates got harnessed up and began their ride up to the top of the jump, It's My Life started playing.

I'm not sure if it was planned this way or just coincidence, but they jumped just as the chorus started playing:

It's my life
It's now or never
I ain't gonna live forever
I just want to live while I'm alive

It's my life

I wish I could explain the feeling that came over me in that moment. So many things loomed before us: the end of our trip, graduation, the end to everything we had ever known, and the beginning of the unknown.

But not just yet.  We had this moment to live.

I haven't seen many of my classmates since graduation and I'll probably never see most of them again. We've all gone on to live our lives.  But we will always share that moment when time stood still, where we were caught between the past and the future, and "lived while we were alive."

3. Intergalactic - Beastie Boys
I was a cheerleader for six years.  I have enough stories about those years to fill a book or twelve.  The days cheering for the TKA Lions and being a part of the most awesome sausage wackiest group of girls will always be some of the best of my life.  This song makes the list because it was the opening of our 1999 Nationals routine and I cannot think of it without thinking of those six years.

Can you guess which one is me?

4. F*ckin Perfect - Pink
This song represents my battle with depression, when my brain lies to me and tells me I'm not worth it.  I would give anything in those moments to believe that I am perfect.  Just the way I am.

You're so mean,
When you talk, About yourself, You are wrong.
Change the voices, In your head
Make them like you Instead.

Filled with so much hatred
Such a tired game.

Oh, Pretty, pretty please
Don't you ever, ever feel
Like your less than f*ckin' perfect.
Pretty, pretty please
If you ever, ever feel
Like your nothing
You're f*ckin' perfect to me.

5. Crazy Girl - Eli Young Band
Anxiety.  It's almost as much fun as the depression.  Especially when it makes me act outside my mind.  One of the hardest things about depression and anxiety is knowing the toll it takes on the people who love you.  Some days I worry the husband will get tired of it all and leave me.  When I say that to him, his response is something like this...

Crazy girl, don’t you know that I love you?
And I wouldn’t dream of goin’ nowhere
Silly woman, come here, let me hold you
Have I told you lately?
I love you like crazy, girl

6. Better Together - Jack Johnson

There are no two words more appropriate to describe me and the husband.  Better Together.  On a beach in Jamaica, watching t.v. on the couch, sitting in a airport for nine hours (on the first day of our honeymoon) because our flight has been cancelled...everything is always better because the two of us are together.

7. The Anthem - Good Charlotte
I have been a rule follower my whole life.  Played it by the book.  Did what was expected.  I don't regret being a "good kid," getting straight A's, going to college.  All those were things I was "supposed to do," and I wanted to do them.  Truly.

But then what?  I got a good job.  Made good money.  Worked long hours.  Was respected.  Admired.  There was very little risk to my life.  But there was also little reward.  Because in playing it by the book, I had sold my soul.

I don't think there is anything wrong with wearing suits, making speeches, sitting behind a desk, working hours dictated by someone else.  But it wasn't me.  It wasn't right for my life.

Because my life, my anthem, is to write.  And so I quit  my good paying job with the stability and the certainty.  I stopped doing what was right for everyone else and started doing what was right for me.

...Get a real job
That's what they said to me
But I could never, live the way they want...

'Cause I don't ever wanna
I don't ever wanna be, you
Don't wanna be just like you
What I'm saying is, this is the anthem
Throw all your hands up
You, don't wanna be you

8. This One's For the Girls - Martina McBride
This song represents my relationship with my friends and the journey we've taken together- a road lined with laughter and tears, good times and bad.  It represents memories of a more youthful time, the days we're living today and the life we've yet to live...all more enriched by the special bond that is friendship.

9. Livin' On A Prayer - Bon Jovi
This represents me and the husband right now.  I am not the only one who is pursuing my anthem.  A year and a half ago, the husband quit his "good well-paying job" and started his own business.  We are both defying convention, pursuing our dreams and yes, living on a prayer.

It might not work out.  We may have to go back to our nine-to-five.  But at least we gave it a shot.

It doesn't make a difference if we make it or not
We got each other and that's a lot
For love we'll give it a shot!

Oh, we're half way there
Oh oh, livin' on a prayer
Take my hand, we'll make it I swear
Oh oh, livin' on a prayer
Livin' on a prayer!

10. Amazing Grace
I think the lyrics to this song say it all.  If there is anything I would add, it would be this: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8


  1. I love this...especially the It's My Life bungee jumping story.

    In the cheerleading picture...I think you're on top in the middle. Do I win??

  2. Great choices!! Oh Boy bands...98 degrees was my first concert!

    1. 98 degrees, LFO, N'Sync, Backstreet Boys...I loved them all!

  3. Cool list. I love doing those!
    I was 99% Anti boy band, but gawd dammit, Bye Bye Bye was so damn catchy!

    1. I know! They make it so hard to by anti boy band.

  4. I love you so much right now! You get the title of Just Plain Awesome today, my friend.

  5. This is suppose to be an easy list with tunes, not well written piece :) You truly are a wonderful writer my Goddess. ANd I really like how songs represent bits of your life.
    I think you are the bottom row all the way on the right cheerleader. Holding the whole group up. I am right, right?

    1. Thank you! Your words mean so much to me.

      And nope! That's not me. :)

  6. Two Bon Jovi songs, I like you already! Good list.

  7. I love the links between your life and these songs. And I think Bye Bye Bye's a great song :) I also thought about picking a song that we used for a cheerleading dance, but I couldn't pick one. So I left that off my list.

    1. I just had to pick Intergalactic. I don't even know half of what they say but I still love that song, or at least the robotic part.

  8. Love the Bon Jovi influence - those songs bring back memories for me too. I am guessing you are the one on the right keeping the stability in check..

    1. It's so sweet of you to think I would have anything to do with stability considering what a nut job I am...but that's not me!

  9. Great list. I should have had some Bon Jovi on my list. And loved the cheerleading picture. I picked you out immediately.

    1. Bon Jovi is a must on any list! It doesn't even matter the type of list.

  10. WHAT a great post. I feel like I know so much more about you (no. 4 rocks, btw). Wow - that is some pretty amazing cheerleading! The Bon Jovi moment got me - isn't it incredible how the songs that play in the "heyday of our youth" are the ones we never, ever forget?

    1. I loved that that song was playing. It was like something out of a movie...the last day, bungee jumping, the music. A moment I'll never forget.

  11. Just want to tell you how much I hate knowing that you deal with anxiety as I do. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Mental Issues as I like to call them can just be horrible. The Hubby dedicated Crazy Girl to me when it came out because I deal with anxiety, ocd, and other infractions of the mind and so does my daughter but truthfully he hates the word crazy. That song is just way to pretty and I love the fact that my husband supports all my crazy lol...

    1. I sorta hate the word crazy, but I kinda embrace it too... it is what I am and I'm learning to be ok with that. I love that your husband supports your crazy too! :)

  12. I. Love. This. How could I have left off the Beastie Boys? or Bon Jovi? You are F**kin' Perfect, don't ever doubt it.

    1. Thank you! :) I don't know how you left them off the list either!

  13. You make me smile. Love the list, your writing, and how a song really does take you back to an exact moment. Love that we share so many of the same memories. Except Bye-Bye-Bye takes me back to a parking garage senior year where I was stuck for nearly two hours due to sunfest traffic with my date. And having to explain what took so long once we finally made it to the after party. I cannot hear intergalactic without immediately thinking of that year at nationals. Most recently- Luke Bryan has been playing every time I turn on the radio and I immediately think of all the fun we had on Saturday. You make me smile :)

    1. Ok, I am seriously laughing so hard right now thinking about you being stuck in the parking garage. That totally sucked but it makes for a great story now.

      The Luke Bryan concert was sooooo much fun! You make me smile too. I LOVE YOU!

  14. Dude, I completely forgot to comment on Pink's F*cking Perfect being in your list. I did a whole post about that song once, and it was my ringtone for quite awhile!

  15. I love the whole premise of this, and how you answered it. These types of posts are not only fun to write, but fun (and inspiring) to read. I will be "stealing" it and writing my own version. Thank you for sharing!

  16. Never would've taken you for a cheerleader. You seem so anti-status quo. Which is not a bad thing at all!

    The last song? Love.


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