MEMORIES AND MUSIC

Memories, for me, are some kind of comfort. I retrieve the sad ones when I feel like I’m way too happy. I regain the happy ones when I feel like being drowned in sadness. Others I recount because I need company when I feel alone and lonely. And all those times, the memories are made more vivid by the songs that accompany me down the road of recollection.

Don’t get me wrong, my life is not that eventful. It will not be worthy of a primetime drama. Actually, it’s too mundane I even bore my own self. But here comes the great irony, I find even the most mundane appealing. I’ve come to the same decision time and again, and I’m going to say it once more- there must be really something wrong with me. If not, then why do I always find something bizarre from the ordinary? Oh, let that be one of life’s many mysteries. I have an entirely different subject in mind.

Memories and music- two different things, and I don’t know how they meant the same to me.

I was born in the 90’s, and I grew up in the era when boybands are at its peak. I don’t know about you, but the songs of Backstreet Boys, Nsync, 98 Degrees, Savage Garden, Stephen Speaks, Moffats, Boyzone, Michael Learns to Rock, Plus One, A1, Blue and of course, my all-time favorite, Westlife has constituted the best of my childhood days. The first thing I heard on those countless mornings were their songs. I remembered how our neighbor’s radio became my daily alarm clock, waking me up with a jolt from a bad or good dream, or somewhere  in between, then giving me a start with the beat of Backstreet Boys’ “Quit Playing Games with my Heart”. That particular song always made me feel like dancing even if I was very awful when it comes to that department. Michael Learns to Rock, “Paint my Love” always made me feel like being four again, trotting behind my older cousins and envying all the times when they were permitted to go outside and play in the mud and rain. I can remember too well how they would go running around the house, teasing and bullying each other, laughing out loud and singing their hearts out like complete lunatics.

“Seasons in the Sun” by the Irish boyband, Westlife, reminds me so much of being nine and free, strolling down the river bank with my childhood gang, pretending to be grown ups and contemplating the ways of life, not quite understanding that the song is all about a man who’s about to die and saying his goodbyes to the people closest to his heart. “Shape of my Heart” and “My Love” took me back to my third grade and the scene where we wreak havoc to the whole class, shouting to the top of our lungs and having the fun of our lives as our spinster of a teacher tried with all her might to put us in order, all in vain because we simply went on our merry ways. “Best in Me” by the British group, Blue, made me feel how was it to be eleven and foolish, having a crush for the first time and guarding the secret like it would make a whole world of difference if somebody learns all about it.

A1’s “Walking in the Rain” makes me remember that gloomy dusk when my mother left me home to bring my grandma to the hospital, and I was like a lost child staring out into the night and thinking of horror stories, effectively scaring myself into cowering under the blanket in my dark bedroom.

Some songs remind me of happy moments of those summer days when all I care about was hanging out with my cousins and painting as many memories as we could together. Constantly, we’d sit on the front porch, watching the cars pass by and talking about random things that vary from TV dramas, to the latest football match and something we crave to eat for dinner.

Then high school happened, and I slowly went out of my shell. I have a strong circle of dependable and carefree friends whom I shared four wonderful years filled with laughter and foolishness. “She Will be Loved” by Maroon 5 served as my soundtrack for those memories, vividly reminding me of long  talks on the hilltop, goofing around under the Indian tree, spending weekends on randomly picked house and watching movies ranging from action films, to romantic comedies and fantasies. It was also around that time when I had a serious crush on Daniel Radcliffe and all my daydreaming was accompanied by Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be”.

My taste has advanced into another genre of music by the time I was sixteen. I fell in love with the music of Dashboard Confessional from “Stolen”, “So Impossible”, “As Lovers Go”, “A Plain Morning”, and “Vindicated” to “Hands Down”, “Best Deception”, “Screaming Infidelities”, “Swiss Army Romance” and “Belle of the Boulevard”. There was also a point in my college life when I listened to “Chasing Cars” of Snow Patrol almost every hour of everyday. I took a liking to the music of Lifehouse, the Train, Nickelback, the Fray, Rascal Flatts, Coldplay, FM Static and Faber Drive. Whenever I hear their songs, countless moments in my college days unfold in my mind and I felt like wishing I’m back in the dorm, having fun with my roommates and closest girl friends despite the endless deadlines to catch, piles of homework and heaps of paper works attempting to make our life a living hell.

And here I am right now, all confused and lost in the real world, finding happiness in places where it can’t be found, forcing myself to do something I loathe and pretending that everything will be okay sooner or later, without making a single move to make a difference. Waiting…just waiting to be where I always wanted to be and have everything click into place, and dreaming the hours away by conjuring the long-ago carefree memories and taking a long walk down the road with the company of a soundtrack of my choice.

Memories and music- I wonder how they meant one and the same to me.

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