The Introspective Salon
STUFF has been on my mind a LOT, ever since my post, "Thoughts on Materialism and STUFF."
My thoughts initially sparked because when my husband and I were living with his parents, we were surrounded by their things, and when we moved I felt surrounded by our own things. We didn't even have that much to move, it only took us one morning to move the boxes and furniture! So, that got me thinking more about where my desire to downsize and have even fewer things comes from.
I've been exploring these thoughts more as I've following some minimalist folks on the Internet, like Raw Alignment, Jenny Mustard, Light by Coco and Simple Living and Travel (I've linked all websites simply so you can check them out for yourself with ease). The lifestyles lived and encouraged by these lovely ladies look so appealing to me, but at the same time, I think they're a little extreme for my actual life.
I also think what attracts me to this minimal lifestyle, is that I believe it would rid me of anxiety. If I just had less stuff to worry about, if there were just fewer things to look at, then I could be calm. This idea was especially apparent to me during the move into our own place. While my husband was unpacked in about two days, I spent an entire week putting things away. I can't even pinpoint exactly what took me so long, I just went slow because I got hung up on whether or not where I was putting things made sense.
This snail's pace of unpacking got me thinking, if I didn't have all this STUFF (and it's not even that much) then I wouldn't have to deal with the frustration of putting it away in the perfect spots that make my brain shut up.
"Converting" to minimalism, to the degree that many people who tout the label online have, would be a way for me to run away from the problem. There isn't anything wrong in getting rid of some things, and I have, but I think that to essentially purge all my belongings just for the sake of less anxiety would be avoiding the mess in my brain.
Life is not a minimalist's Instagram account. Life is full of things, like old photo albums, and notebooks for school, and a few sets of sheets, and a small collection of stirring spoons for when one is in the dishwasher. It's full of old journals that remind you of where you've come from. It's full of items you've been gifted and things with sentimental value.
I don't want a house that's a storage facility, but I also don't want a house that's full of only functional items and nothing else. I don't think that any of the minimalists I've mentioned would want that, either, they just lead different lives that allow them less items. They travel more. They have less ties to their past, perhaps. But for me, I plan on being where my husband and I are now until we decide to start a family. For me, I can't just get rid of sentimental items because they don't match my aesthetic.
It does appeal to me, to be removed from the material, but I also think that I want to escape into a minimalist's life because I want to hide from my own anxiety. I want a house that doesn't even give my compulsions a chance. The thing is, though, if I went full minimalist my brain would find another obsession. The clean white of the minimalist aesthetic would drive me nuts with the dirt. There'd be so many bare surfaces I'd want to clean to perfection. I'd be busy with dust and streaks.
The point is, I can't run from my brain. I try so hard to shut it up, and minimalism seems like an erasure of sorts, but it wouldn't be.
There's another minimalist lady I follow, and I think she's struck the right balance - Laura with How To Get Your Shit Together doesn't present the unnerving perfection that many minimalists do. This blurb is straight from her website, "I’m sick to death of reading productivity and organisational blogs that assume you’re the next Martha Stewart with lots of free time at your disposal and a shitload of money in your bank account." Yea, I think she gets that life is not pure aesthetic.
Alright, thoughts released. Thank you for reading, and feel free to share your own thoughts if you feel so amused.
I've been thinking a lot about the role of music in my life lately. One major reason for this is I've been converting all my CDs to digital files so that I can get rid of all my physical CDs. The experience is really bringing back a lot of memories and reminding me about the role music used to play in my life. It's been a while since I've taken the time to really appreciate music, so I'm thankful to have been reminded about how music used to bring me such joy.
The other reason for this musical reflection is that I've been driving a lot more lately. We just moved, and I have a longer drive to work now, which means more passive time that I can listen to music. One of my favorite new stations, 105.5 The Colorado Sound, plays a wide variety of music, plus they do some cool weekly programs like "Bring To A Boil and Cover" where they play an original song followed by a cover. This Friday they played MANAMANA, and I learned that the band Cake once made an album for kids, complete with a cover of that song. I didn't even mind that I was singing MANANANA the rest of the day. At work that same day, one of my students said that a nine sided shape is a nanonogon, and I started singing NANONOGON. No regrets.
The last reason for my musical musings is that I've been thinking about how older people always think the music from their youth is the best. Well, I get that. Another station I listen to, 99.9 The Point, does a Throwback Thursday and every time I hear the program I get that wave of nostalgia, and can't help but turn up the volume and sing along.
That nostalgic feeling brought on by music is the inspiration for today's post, which is a track list to a public playlist you can find on my Spotify [follow me @ wingedzion]. The playlist is, 1. Miscellaneous Tracks of Sorrows and Joys (there's a 1. because I have a private playlist of the same name that I'm using to post ideas before I transfer them to the public one). I have every intention of updating this playlist monthly, so I hope you check back in next month for a new playlist!
Per the behavior of my past CD mixing self, I am going to include a small blurb about each track. And since this month's playlist was inspired by my nostalgic musings, I'll include a memory about each track, too. So, this month's blurbs will be a little lengthy. Nostalgia makes me blurby.
Of course, if you have no interest in my blurbing you can head straight to the playlist.
One more thing before the tracks; there's only one thing that could make this more authentic to my past self, which is if I could change the order of the songs once I've added them. I used to take the most meticulous care ordering the songs on my CD mixes, even sometimes adding "transition" songs that were short or just instrumental. Oh, younger Trisha, weren't you precious.
1. Miscellaneous Tracks of Sorrows and Joys
1. I Like Giants by Kimya Dawson
- This song is a trigger of existential ponderings. I used to drive around my hometown listening to it, and I have a clear memory of driving out on some country road, then pulling over and listening to this song while I watched the sun rise.
2. Mouth Like a Magazine by Showbread
- I remember watching the music video to this song when my family and I all shared a family computer, which was in my dad's office, and as I was watching my dad was like, "Wow, that's the worst thing I've ever heard." Of course, that only made me like it more.
3. Somewhere Else by Razorlight
- My parents always had cable growing up, and we used to get this channel, IMF, as in International Music Feed, and the channel was what MTV should be, all music videos. It's through this channel that I first heard this song. I very clearly remember having a HUGE crush on the lead singer, with his pea coat, shaggy hair, and broad jaw.
His bedraggled appearance in the video only added to the appeal.
4. Gigantic by Pixies
- I don't have as vivid a memory about this song, I just remember that my oldest sister put it on a CD mix she made for me one year as a Christmas present, and I loved to listen to it as loud as possible, mostly because the sound quality wasn't that good and it came through the speakers really quiet.
5. Here it Comes by Modest Mouse
- This is another song that my oldest sister put on a CD mix for me, and I remember listening to it on repeat for weeks while I drove to school or work, or to meet up with my boyfriend. The song has a sound that makes me feel kind-of weird, an unnameable feeling brought on by other songs I've listened to, and I have no idea what that's about. I'd be curious to know if that happens to anybody else.
6. The CN Tower Belongs to the Dead by Final Fantasy
- I put this on a CD mix for my friend JD in High School and I remember I was so excited because it was rather obscure, and he was into obscurity, so I thought he'd also be stoked, but then, to my disappointment, either he had some criticism about the song, or was just blasé. I can't remember which. Whatever. I still love it.
7. All These Things I've Done by The Killers
- "I got soul, but I'm not a soldier" is the line that stood out for me in this song. Not only because it's the bridge, but because I think I related to it on an emotional level. I remember singing along to this will all my soul. And, if I remember correctly, I'd recorded it onto a cassette tape after days of hoping it would come onto the radio so I could trap it forever.
8. Child I Can See Ya by Katie Herzig
- This is another song that wrapped me in existential thoughts (and still does). My best memory of this song, though, is hearing it performed live after the third time seeing the artist in concert. That moment, listening to the artists perform this only a few feet in front of me and leaning back into my husband's arms as we swayed slowly to the beat, is probably the most peace I've ever felt.
After the concert, I got to gush at Katie about how much I love this song. I rarely fangirl, but when I do, I fangirl hard.
9. Samson by Regina Spektor
- My husband and I often sing this song together. I even wrote and framed the lyrics for him as a gift when we were still dating. I'm not sure why, it's not necessarily romantic, especially considering its origin story of Samson and Delilah. So, let it be known, my husband has short hair, and I will never betray him.
10. Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard by Paul Simon
- This comes from the soundtrack of The Royal Tenenbaums, my favorite movie of all time, and this song reminds me of the scene with Royal and his grand kids running a muck around town.
11. House of Cards by Radiohead
- This is another song that makes me feel inexplicably weird. It also conjures up existential questions. I remember on one of my trips to Nicaragua in High School, I had gotten sick and was laying in bed, listening to this song over and over again, questioning the existence of a god and wondering what the hell I was doing with a bunch of Christian missionaries.
12. Play Crack the Sky by Brand New
- I used to do this thing when I was a teenager, whenever I got sad I would just let myself go down the rabbit hole. This song was a ladder down that hole.
13. Road to Joy by Bright Eyes
- As a kid who grew up in a religious house hold, I often felt like saying swear words was some kind of horrific sin worthy of severe punishment. I think I felt this way up until High School. So, I remember I found tremendous thrill in this song because of the line "Let's fuck it up boys, make some noise!" And I remember still feeling slightly guilty for repeating it.
14. Trouble by Coldplay
- Coldplay was the first band that I found without the guidance of my older sisters' music choices, and so I latched on pretty hard to them. Up until the last few years, I had every one of their CDs. I remember watching the video for this song on IMF, and being enthralled by it. What a strange and lovely creation.
15. Burn the Witch by Queens of the Stone Age
I have a weird memory associated with the artist of this song. In my junior high English class we were doing some free writing to music, and then we had the opportunity to read out loud. A classmate read about how she knew the artist of one of the songs we were listening to, My Chemical Romance, and I remember feeling my face go hot because I also knew an artist to one of the songs and had written about it, and I wanted to "show off," too. So I read mine aloud and thought I was way cooler than my classmate because everyone knew My Chemical Romance, but who else even knew Queens of the Stone Age?
Wow. Yea, I was like that. But, then, I think most teenagers have a "cool" complex. Right? I wasn't just a total crazy person?
Alright, that's it for this month's playlist. If you enjoyed the songs, I suggest saving the track list, or creating your own separate playlist, because "1. Miscellaneous Tracks of Sorrows and Joys" will