I just made a brief playlist of songs covering the course of music defining periods of my life ranging from the inception of my musical awakening to now. I find the linear representation of the physical disconnection between then and now-or how far not removed I am from others- fascinating, for lack of a better descriptor, phrase, or less pretentious means by which to organise a sentence. A broad distinction exists between a Kevin that looked to the future, sitting in his stuffy blue room, shielded by the naivette and eagerness of youth that couldn’t quite grasp that the future was so near and the Kevin that is well aware of the daunting momentum of the speed at which two years between now and law school are going to pass. No relative scope existed then, trying to understand time in terms of years. It comes easy now, standing at the helm of the completion of two major chapters of my life-high school and college. It goes without saying that I definitely miss many people in my life, those that have riddled my emotions, confusing me in understanding concepts by way of connotations of ultimatums. And the songs progress, marking shifts in time underscored by optimism or cynicism. And that which defines now? The most recent song, tied to saying goodbye to a close friend only a few days detached from moving an indefinite period of time to Korea-what does it mean? I feel as if I stand amongst the helm of the wisdom of the elders: days turn to months and months turn to years before we’ll be reunited with those that we love.
It is intriguing, being able to describe periods of my life with more nuance, being able to describe blocks of time in terms of that “time in during freshman year” or that “time as a pledge” or “during the first part of high school” or “in junior high” instead of the simple juxtaposition between “then and now,” more often than not referring to a dichotomous period of time between sophomore and junior years of high school. And does it feel good to move past non-sequitors, operating instead under the hope that accompanies years of experience and carefully triangulated over-analysis of every encounter with the opposite sex ever? Yes. I feel that a lot of my life has been spent seeking to realise the lyrics in The Spill Canvas’ The Night Will Goes as Follows: The August sky will then bare witness/ To a brand new chapter with torn up pages/ When the planets align, I can feel the gates opening/ To my courage /As I proceed to run my fingers through her hair/ And forget everyone who’s jaded, ’cause they don’t matter/ And I don’t care. I assume that I can safely say that the benefit of growing older is the privilege of doing instead of seeking. To adventure until the sun rises or to transcend the bounds of curfews or to stay up for 48 hours straight or to go running at 2am or to watch the sun rise on an administrative building or to consume illicit substances or drink below the legal drinking age or giving very few fucks regarding the extent to which I smell like I’ve been bathed in a bath of whiskey or to regard culture with a sincere regard instead of a forced appreciation. Or to feel really free from dogma and in legitimate control of not only the course of a life but of even a moment.
I once convinced a friend to see a show with me despite having seen many similar to it. And I explained to him that the intention of experiencing the show is in experiencing each other, in the events that came either before or after the show, whether it be in transversing a fence, trespassing on city owned property just to get a better view of the nighttime Los Angeles skyline, not only to see the Los Angeles skyline but to know that I did it with you. In knowing that an irremovable aroma of you has ultimately permeated the mundanity separating another day and a lifelong memory, distinguishing this song, this location, this piece of clothing, this picture or even this habit of re-organizing the structure of every other sentence when writing a blog post such that it inhabits a more active tense-just as you had encouraged I do as you revised my college essays- as an unforgettable remnant of you. And the playlist continues condensing the period between the time I fell for you and the time I sat in the backseat of my friends car and felt helpless and felt that I couldn’t truly influence everything in my life and that some things were out of my power and that I just lost this battle of optimism and was becoming an adult with this empty feeling in his stomach within a matter of minutes. And the playlist nears its end, approaching replay, and instead of thinking “the cycle just repeats itself” as I have commonly done, I embrace the future of this playlist with optimism, the same optimism with which I tried to make a girl fall for me by explaining to her that I don’t believe that theres a such thing as a bad high school dance because whats more important is the connection shared between my date and me. That I have no control over the music that plays or the decorations that adorn the gymnasium and that I ultimately do have control of the capacity I have to make her smile.
I look forward to the nuance that 2013 will bring and I understand that even though one song may sound like another one or that certain events in my life will resonate synonymously with those of the past, they will more often than not crescendo emphasising a different dissonance or beat with the deliberation of a different time signature. And I beg the reader to become consumed by the novel-esque atmosphere of this connotation, as I write furiously against the backtrack of what I believe to be a timeline of my life condensed in a matter of minutes-very fitting, I know-coming to the conclusion of this post as Martin Solveing’s The Night Out begins to come through the speakers as I every now and then focus my view outside a window inhabiting a scenery reminiscent of my dorm room during my freshman year that emanates a familiar breeze-a ghostly similarity really.
And I’m thankful for this summer, one my peers would regard as “doing nothing” but one I’ll always remember as exploring the depths of information technological innovation and social media has afforded my generation. Of understanding the dopamine reactions driving our addictions to the internet or of exploring why China is great and why it is not. Of questioning my moral fiber and the internal struggle of finding a balance between an efficient system that honors meritocracy that also strives to put minority groups on a path of equal opportunity that prepares them to engage with the more privileged on a more equal playing field. Or the summer I could run downstairs at almost any hour of the day and wrap my arms around my mom to so simply convey my affection for her. Or I took it upon myself to spend more time with my brother to impart with him the values of brotherhood I have learned from my friends and my fraternity. Or the summer I smoked a cigarette with a friend even though I don’t smoke cigarettes on the roof of our apartment to let him know that I do so for him and that I’ll miss him. Or of the summer I embraced sincerity, the muse, and the futility (or use conclusion) of filing ideas to use later or to do later in favor of doing things that define now, that which I care for now Or of the summer that resounded with optimism.
For I now understand that if I dwell on times 5 years ago 5 years from now, I’ll be nothing but a man that has been left behind by the momentum of 10 years past.
In short, I’ve scrawled through four paragraphs of this 21st century literary creation to thank you. To thank you for helping me believe in myself and for having a sincere faith in me.