There’s something both exhilarating and terrifying about sharing your favorite song with someone.
And I don’t mean just a song that you like. I mean that song. The song that, when you heard it for the first time, struck you in an almost indescribable way, on some sort of innate level. That song that makes you feel alive and at one with yourself, that song that is who you were and who you are and who you want to be all wrapped into three to four minutes, that song that sends chills down your spine sometimes when you listen to it because you find it so hard to believe how much you connect with it, like the artist knew or something, but that’s impossible, so you just listen to it and stare at the ceiling and think about the stars that exist beyond the stucco and brick and drywall, about how you are so tiny and yet so infinite.
Other people have that song, right? That’s not just me? I mean, ok, maybe I got a little lofty there with the prose, but the thought’s there.
I think we all have that thing though, and for me it tends to be music. I’m not really well versed in music on a technical level, so maybe that’s some contributing factor: it’s like magic to me already, and then there’s that right combination of everything working at once and it just clicks in my brain and it won’t leave.
I feel really weird about the music that does that to me though, because I want to share it with others, I want to be like “hey, listen to this song, I really love it, let’s talk about it” and stuff like that, but then I also want to hide it, like it’s a treasure. There’s something personal about songs that really connect with you, so showing them to others becomes a vulnerability.
I make mix cds a lot for my friends. It’s sort of become a holiday tradition, and about a month ago I was at a party and my awesome friend Alex told me that they were talking about my mix cds the other day, and how much they really liked them. That made me so freaking happy.
Because I really put time and effort into each mix I make, you know? I pick songs that I like and think they’ll like, I make sure the flow of the songs feels good, that there’s nothing too jarring in song change-ups (unless it’s supposed to be jarring). Each mix cd is like a little story, a little piece of me that I’m giving to someone else. So hearing that it’s appreciated…it means the world to me.
It’s weird, because music used to (and in some ways still is) be a very public thing, but now I think it’s transitioned to being a lot more private. There’s nothing wrong with that, I don’t think, but sometimes it makes showing someone a song you like that much more powerful and meaningful. It’s like saying “this song reflects some part of me, and I want to share it with you, because I care about you and about us, and I want this private thing to become a collective experience”.
I’ve been trying for a long time to figure out what it is about those songs that makes them so important to me. I still don’t have an answer, and maybe that’s just how it is: maybe those songs—the ones that I hold so close to my heart—maybe there’s something about them that goes beyond words.
So hey. Let’s chill out and listen to some jams.