I’ve been doing something a little bit different with my music as of late. Rather than picking my “Favorites +” (4+ star songs) playlist and randomly shuffling that, I’ve been just randomly shuffling my entire music collection—which is a little over 4,000 songs—and just going from there.

I’d forgotten just how many of my songs were tied to very specific moments or time periods in my life. Hell, I bet I can put my tunes on shuffle right now and pull out half a dozen or so that are very closely tied to specific times in my life.

Let’s do it.

  • Pompeii by Bastille: the end of fall semester 2013. That was probably my favorite semester of school I’ve ever had for quite a few different reasons, and I remember listening to this son a lot that winter, especially around finals.
  • Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning) by Vertical Horizon: haha. Um. My first breakup song. I happened to download it around that time in 2007 and it’s pretty much the perfect “feel sorry for me” song, so yeah. Sitting in my dorm room and crying! Fun times!
  • Anything on the Black Eyed Peas’ “Monkey Business” CD: senior year of high school. This was one of the few CDs I owned at the time and would play it in the car driving to/from school.
  • Anything on Ashlee Simpson’s “Autobiography” CD: the summer between the last year of high school and the first year of college. I still wasn’t too into music and so this was another set of songs that got played over and over and over again that summer.
  • Without You by David Guetta and Usher: Marana, AZ. I moved down there in December 2011 to be with my mom, and it was the most isolated place I’ve ever been. I remember listening to this song in my room before/after doing my 10-mile walking loop every single day.
  • Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes: Marana, AZ. See above.
  • Say It Right by Nelly Furtado: summer 2017. This was always on the radio and I’d listen to it on my way to/from work (Wendy’s).
  • Maps by Yeah Yeah Yeahs: fall 2008. This was one of our frequently-played Rock Band songs in the house with Sean and the others, so it always brings up memories of all of our shenanigans whenever I hear it on shuffle.
  • Some Nights by Fun.: Tucson, AZ. Not only did I download this song while down there, but there are quite a few lyrics in it (e.g., “Well, that is it guys, that is all – five minutes in and I’m bored again/Ten years of this, I’m not sure if anybody understands/This one is not for the folks at home/Sorry to leave, mom, I had to go/Who the fuck wants to die alone all dried up in the desert sun?”) that summarized my feelings about why I was in Tucson in the first place and how much I wanted things to change.
  • Good Life by OneRepublic: my very brief but awful time in London, ON. I downloaded this song like a day before I moved there and I listened to it a lot while I sat in my dorm room because I was too anxious to do anything else. I also listened to it a lot in those two aimless months between moving back to Moscow from London and moving down to Tucson with my mom. It still causes a very bittersweet pang in my brain whenever I hear it.
  • Dildo by Interactive: hahaha. Band friends and basement Rock Band parties/orgies. I miss you nerds.

What sayest thou? Speak!

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