From the entire plot of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan, the relationship of Mia and Adam in Gayle Forman’s heart wrenching If I Stay, to the very desire of attending once in a lifetime concerts and music festivals – music, I have found, plays a very beautiful, very important role in our natural crave for human connection. Music has a magical way of making the world seem like a better place to live in.
Think of the hardest life experience you’ve ever hard to live through – the exact moment you found yourself thrown into a room made of four walls with no way out except to sit in your own silence, with your never-ending questions and surprisingly, tears. So many tears you didn’t think were humanly possible. And then think of how you got through it, the day you realized you were finally getting better and seeing clearer, the day you realized this was going to be a story worth telling. What, other than you, helped you get through it?
When I think of the role music plays in my life, I first think of that particular situation I’ve been droning on and on about, and how I had never felt so powerless as the time I realized there was nothing I could do except accept what life decided put me through. I remember realizing there was no way out except to get through it, even if I didn’t want to; I remember feeling my heart physically hurt and the soreness of my eyes as I lived through every day. And then I think of the countless songs that became the antidotes to that part of my life, the relief I felt when I felt my heart healing to the rhythm of albums like Lorde’s Melodrama playing in my mind, or Rex Orange County telling me that loving is easy. Maybe it was the pain that was constantly demanding to be felt, the determined path to healing, or maybe it was the undeniable feel good sound of the way those drums went with the bass. Maybe it was all those elements put together. Either way, the artists in this playlist-turned-antidote will forever hold a spot in my heart – a spot so solid that as soon as these songs play, I am instantly reminded of the nights I spent crying on my bedroom floor, trying my hardest to calm myself down with the sound of these songs that unintentionally became the background music of the hardest point in my life, and how even after all that, I managed to live.
I remember the satisfying, beautiful reoccurring moments I found my answer to the question: “Am I ever going to get through this?” in between the lyrics of my favorite song. It could be in the hustle of public transport, with strangers surrounding me and the sun glaring at my back, and even though my current circumstances weren’t looking so great, with a good song like “Stay” by Mac Ayres blasting from my earphones I decided I was okay, simply because this song was playing. Or it could be alone in my bedroom, trying desperately to feel okay again, and then a beautiful song plays, and my heart begins to flutter.
Another one of my favorite moments, though, is when I am on my short walk home and the sunset is the first to welcome me back. All that natural beauty combined with my favorite song rests every last ounce of my soul, no matter how bad my day could have been.
Moments like these are moments that make my favorite music so unforgettable, so significantly beautiful that I believe I can tell anyone— from my closest friend to a complete stranger—that if you are under the impression that you have lost your soul, you just might be able to find it in between the lyrics of a good song.