Thursday, 19 January 2017

let's show them we are better: daydreams, defiance and democracy

maybe it's because i'm now in my final months of uni and will soon be entering The Real World, but i've been feeling even more nostalgic/introspective/emotional than usual (delete where applicable). this week i finished my dissertation, aka the last academic essay i'll probably ever write, and though i'm incredibly relieved that my final year of education is coming to an end, i can't help feel nostalgic and have been reminiscing about when i first moved away. at the time things were pretty terrible, but looking back it's the sense that anything was possible and my grades didn't really matter that i miss most. at one point i was also going out three times a week, something i long to get back to, but i'm sure my liver is grateful that i've scaled back on my drinking somewhat.

like my relationship with alcohol, my feelings towards my hometown have also been tumultuous. it's something i've written about extensively on this blog but still find myself constantly coming back to. the majority of 2016 was pretty fucking terrible, and i think looking back to the past was a way of avoiding what was happening in the present, and it's only now, with a small handful of exciting opportunities that have come my way, that i'm starting to believe things might just work out once i leave uni and find myself without the structure of education. 

the thing i've found hardest to deal with since moving away is the realisation that my life will never be the same as it was before. sounds obvious, i know, but i naively assumed things would simply go back to how they were, and though part of me longs for that to happen, that sense of nostalgia clouds my judgement and makes me forget that things were actually Not That Great. though i wish i'd appreciated spending nearly every day with my best friend, the pressure of getting into uni was having a catastrophic effect on my mental health, and i found myself doubting everything when my a-level results weren't what i was hoping for. fast forward nearly three years and i'm actually excited for the future, and have come to accept that things - and people - change, and that's okay.

this sense of nostalgia has definitely crept into the music i've been listening to this week, as i found myself properly listening to my chemical romance for the first time in a long time. i never fully recovered from their split in 2013, and avoided listening to them because it just hurt too much, but i think i'm finally reaching the point where i can listen to the kids from yesterday, summertime, bulletproof heart, i don't love you and of course i'm not okay, and only cry just a tiny bit. 

i've also been listening to the latest song from the chainsmokers a lot, but before you judge me, i recommend listening to the lyrics of paris, which deal heavily in nostalgia and remind me of how me and my best friend felt before we moved away to uni in the summer of 2014. if we go down, then we go down together / we'll get away with everything / let's show them we are better, goes the chorus, and looking back on the last few years, we've certainly got away with a fair few things our parents would probably be best not knowing. i only hope the future holds more exciting times for us, wherever it takes us. 

another band i never thought i'd enjoy listening to is bring me the horizon, whose 2015 track follow you was played on nick grimshaw's radio one breakfast show last friday (which the light of my life matty healy co-hosted). it's considerably less heavy and shows the full vocal range of frontman oli sykes, and whenever i think of the band, i have fond memories of one of my friends from school and i, as we both had a crush on oli. we also loved bands who were slightly more ~alternative~ such as you me at six and all time low, both of whom we went to see live, arriving at the venues early and queuing all day in the freezing cold with hopes of seeing them up close. it may be a far cry from my current love of pop music, but my devotion to these bands was no less intense, and though it's embarrassing to say, they got me through some difficult times. for that i'll be forever thankful, and though i may not listen to them much anymore, and my friend and i aren't close like we used to be, that sense of nostalgia still comes through when i listen to follow you.

finally, one of my favourite youtube people helen anderson posted a lookbook that doubled as a music video for her excellent cover of 17 by youth lagoon, one of those songs i'd listen to as a teenager that made me feel incredibly cool thanks to its ~indie~ status. (god i was embarrassing.) having heard the song again, i've had it on repeat all week and the lyrics still resonate with me as i spend a lot of time daydreaming, so much so that i read this article the other day and worried it might actually be a serious problem, though as i said, when times are difficult, this imaginary world feels like the only thing i've got. 

i get the sense that trevor powers, (formerly) the man behind youth lagoon, felt the same when he wrote 17 as he was receiving counselling for anxiety, something i can relate to all too well. the line when i was 17 / my mother said to me / "don't stop imagining, the day that you do is the day that you die" still resonates with me, and i think there's nothing wrong with daydreaming so long as it doesn't interfere with real life. knowing when to draw that line has always been difficult for me, but i truly think things can only get better from here. as all time low once said, maybe it's not my weekend, but it's gonna be my year. 

a playlist of these songs, and more i've enjoyed this week*, can be found here

*these two aren't on spotify but i had to include the long-awaited new track from findlay and arcade fire's anti-trump anthem i give you power.

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