Me and my very cute beau who I am very cute with and who is on a very cute trip to the UK right now did a very cute thing where we made each other mixtapes for when we respectively miss each other’s very cute face. Yeah, yeah,
Don’t fret, this post won’t be how fucking cute and honeymoon-y my man and I are. That’s for me, and me only, and also some of my coworkers and very good friends and mom.
Here’s the thing, actually — I’m totally head over heels for this guy, very much so in a way I’ve never experienced. Wholly, completely, and surely. I’m pretty sure I said this in my last sad grl post, but man, there is a happiness and a confidence I’ve felt with him immediately….
…and so as I’m curating this playlist (and let’s not forget I LOVE curating a good playlist), I’m going through all of my favorite love songs. This should be easy, right? There’s only a billion and a half love songs out there, and I’m deep deep in the puppy love feels — but all of the songs that are really resonating with me are… sad. Some lyrically, some tonally, some both. I guess this isn’t surprising. Historically, my favorite genre of both music and movie comes down to romance, but very rarely happy romance.
I’ve been happy in love before, but being as romantic of a person as I am, I have often struggled to see love without a cynical gaze. My parents are happily married still (though not without tribulation throughout time), and yet I’ve often been very doubtful of the idea of “forever.” Love to me has always felt like an intersection — not two beings moving parallel, but meeting at a crossroads, sharing a moment in time, and moving on their way. I love that, even though it is deeply sad, and makes me deeply sad. It’s what kept me consistently in relationships, and I think consistently in relationships where my heart is really in it (my therapist might have a field day with that one, though).
I can’t say I’ve loved everyone I’ve been in love with. But I do think I’ve fought for that brief connection, nominal intimacy, yknow? Even one night stands have been things I don’t take lightly. No matter the stranger, you’re experiencing them in an intimate light that even their closest pals likely haven’t. It’s amazing, and it only exists in that moment.
Music has a way to capture us in a way not all mediums can, because music can go beyond meaning and reach feelings; nostalgia, peace, fury. That’s amazing, and can only exist in the moment you’re listening to it.
Right now I’m listening to Sylvan Esso’s “Sound” on loop. I have goosebumps, and I’m near crying. The song only has two lines, essentially. The center of the song is about writing a song for a person that is entirely overwhelming. This idea is repeated, as the sound itself builds and recedes.
As so very often with my thoughts, I’m not sure I have a conclusion here, but I’m going to try my best — because right now I feel I am very much at an intersection of feelings. For once I feel I’m with someone — not at the wrong time, not to learn a lesson, not to work through my relationship with relationships or to sit in the romance of sadness and hurt. I feel I’m with someone because I should be with this someone.
I don’t think it’ll always be happy (although it really is now), but I think it’ll always be filled with liminal moments, feelings that are overwhelming and only exist within that time. I don’t know if it’s the sadness I’m in love with, as much as I’m in love with the brevity of honest presence — and I understand with that presence, all things pass. Honeymoon phases pass. The exhilarating weeks where we weren’t sure of each other’s feelings have already passed. Genuine sadness will come, and it will pass. New milestones will come and pass too. Each moment will be overwhelming and nonrepeatable. I think in past relationships, I understood there to be a whole lot more of a timeline, with an impending conclusion, and I came to understand love as sad. Sadness equates romantic.
I don’t know how this one ends, and it’s scary, but thrilling, and very present.
Since I started treating my depression, I’ve had to learn how to replace my sadness with more, and how to translate sadness into more. Is “Sound” a sad song? Maybe not. But it’s a vulnerable one.
I don’t know if all the songs I sent him are sad ones. Some of them are scared songs, and some of them are contemplative. Some nothing more than silly. Many vulnerable, many intimate — full of sound.
And that’s where I am in this moment.