One week ago I decided to jump in on the 30 Day Song Challenge. It wasn't to brag about my taste in music (which admittedly has been described by several people as 'awful'), nor to seek attention. I joined it as an avenue to express myself.
Sometimes the most innocent things can have roots that run much deeper. Take for example a girl who buys a copy of The Big Issue on her way to work every month. To passersby, it looks like she' simply helping out a guy on the street. Perhaps she's a 'philanthropist', or perhaps 'she simply wants to help out those less fortunate'. Others around her might see her as simply a good person.
Consider for a moment then, that perhaps she was only homeless herself six months ago, three months ago, last month. She might be buying a magazine from her brother or sister. Maybe she herself is on the brink of being homeless once again. There are many battles that a person faces that the rest of the world is blind to seeing - this is why I place so much importance on being open and friendly to other people; you never know what battles they are facing.
Sometimes, the battles a person faces cause them to become withdrawn. While internalizing everything can be a good coping mechanism for coming to terms with whatever they are trying to deal with, it also makes it more difficult for other people to understand what's going on and thus give them the support they need. It is these deepest moments of personal reflection and understanding that it is most important for one to express themselves so that people can understand where they're coming from. If I'm being honest to myself, the reason I started this blog was to be able to express myself, not for glory or self-glorification or any kind of attention seeking.
For the 30 day song challenge, it's become a very...reflective exercise for me. Therapeutic in a way I suppose. Music for me is a genre where I can connect emotionally to the world around me - particularly through the lyrics. From this first week alone I've walked through some of my happiest moments, as well as my darkest ones.
These are my songs from the first seven days of the challenge:
Day 01 - Your faovurite song
Emilie Autumn - Opheliac
This is the song that first got me hooked on EA. She is a spectacular artist, being able to broach serious personal challenges such as bipolar disorder, rape and depression with dark humor and a lyrics that are raw and poignant.
Opheliac is one of those songs that manages to combine intense lyrics with an almost sadistically playful melody. The overall effect is something that reminds me of a chucky doll - cute on the surface but hiding something so much more sinister beneath.
Day 02 - Your least favourite song
Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up
Unfortunately, I wish I could say that there was some hidden meaning behind choosing this song. There isn't though - I just hate listening to it :P. If I was to put more into this I could probably choose a Pink song for reminding me about my ex, but that's neither here nor there.
Day 03 - A song that makes you happy
Daft Punk - Technologic
I'm very much a thinker - although you can't always see it, I spend a lot of time contemplating a range of things. One of the most important things I've learned is that sometimes you just have to put everything to one side and spend time doing nothing other than existing.
For me, this song represents that. There's no intense, thought-provoking lyrics. There is no soul-resonating melody, or muse-like vocals. No, there's nothing else other than a catchy tune. Sometimes, that's all we need.
Day 04 - A song that makes you sad
Evergrey - Broken Wings
This was a difficult day to find an appropriate song for, because 'sad' to me is a very generic emotion that often can be better described. In the end, I could think of a song that managed to fulfill 'sad'. Angry, hurt, envious, wistful, isolated, despairing...but not sad.
This song for me is a very strong reminder of the price I've paid in giving my all in being there for other people and helping them when they're doing it tough. There have been a number of people in my life who have just leeched from me time and time again, but haven't been there for me when I've needed it. This kind of one-way street is something I'm working hard to try and change. The price of altruism is a great one, and you can't always give everything to everyone when they need you - sometimes, you need people around you who are willing to be there for you when you're doing it tough. I haven't found that network of people yet, but I'm still trying.
Day 05 - A song that reminds you of someone
Emilie Autumn - Shalott
Danny Danny Danny, what a clusterfuck of a life you had when I jumped smack bang in the middle of it. Although you're an extrovert, a party animal and many other things besides, this song reminds me so much of you when you were doing it tough. While you always have on this macho, alpha-male facade, deep down you're a rather sensitive guy. You need to think less about how other people see you and just do what makes you happy.
Day 06 - A song that reminds you of somewhere
Epica - Solitary Ground (Remix)
For this day, I went with a more metaphorical somewhere rather than a physical one. For those who've noticed me become absent-minded and withdrawn, when things are tough I often disappear into the depths of my own mind. ALthough it's difficult to explain, somewhere in there is a place where I feel secure despite what's going on around me - an eye to a storm if you will.
The reason why I went with the remixed version of this song is because it tends to match that real tempest I feel when a lot of things are coming down on me at once.
Day - 07 - A song that reminds you of a certain event
Nightwish - Nemo
One day two years ago, I saved a life. It was a series of events that ultimately caused me to walk away from where I was teaching, my university degree, and so much more. It left me a shadow of myself, and a whole lot of other things besides.
I feel the time to tell this story is coming soon. For now though, it's not yet right.