S3 Scribble #16: Head On

“Makes you want to feel, makes you want to try,”

This past weekend, I went to see Lisa Frankenstein in theaters with some of my friends. We enjoyed the movie and it made us laugh a lot, but what stood out to me most was its soundtrack: it was full of the 1980s songs that I know and love! Head On by The Jesus and Mary Chain, the song for today’s scribble, was one of them. Something about hearing the genre of music that I adore in a public setting as opposed to only through my own headphones makes me incredibly happy; that’s one reason (of many) that concerts are so special to me. Not only was I able to enjoy a funny movie with a great soundtrack, but I was able to do so with friends, some of whom I don’t see that often, making the experience all the more special!

“Makes you want to blow the stars from the sky.”

The weather in Ann Arbor has been sunny and on the warmer side, which has coincided (or maybe influenced) a trend of happier moods I’ve been experiencing. I’ve been busy with school, student organizations, my internship, and spending time with friends, but it has been a good kind of busy, filled with new memories, hard work, and love. I have a few busy days left before I begin a (hopefully) relaxing spring break, which I’ll be spending on a vacation with my friends. While I do miss my family, I’m excited to have a spring break adventure with some of my best friends for my last spring break as an undergraduate. So far, my last semester at the University of Michigan has been unforgettable, and I hope it continues on its fun and memorable trajectory. 

“I can’t stand up, I can’t cool down,”

This semester has been incredibly gratifying so far: I’ve been accepted into master’s programs, started a new internship and began working on multiple projects, took on a new leadership role in one of my student organizations, and even witnessed our football team win a national championship. The version of me when I was first starting college would have barely believed all that I’ve accomplished in the few years since then. I look forward to seeing what the rest of the semester has in store for me after this well-deserved break! 

“I can’t get my head off the ground.”

Listen to Head On by The Jesus and Mary Chain here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d79UIkiY6ss

S3 Scribble #15: Silver Springs

“Time cast a spell on you, but you won’t forget me.”

It’s Valentine’s Day, so for my blog today I’ve chosen a love song (though not a positive one) that I haven’t been able to get out of my head recently: “Silver Springs” by Fleetwood Mac. While it doesn’t quite relate to anything I’m experiencing in my personal life at the moment, the passion in the song always makes me want to stop what I’m doing the second it comes on and sing my heart out. Whether I’m on the escalator at Walgreens or in my room at home, I can feel the emotion in Stevie Nicks’s voice as if her feelings were my own.

“I know I could’ve loved you, but you would not let me.”

Even though it’s only mid-February, Spring Break is just around the corner. I can hardly believe that I’m almost done with my senior year of college, and, slowly but surely, I’m starting to see my future plans develop. Things like scheduling graduation photos with my friend group remind me that graduation is a few short months away. While I’m excited for my future, I know I will miss my friends and Ann Arbor dearly. I’ve been so fortunate to have found so much love so far away from home. I came to the University of Michigan not knowing anyone, and I am going to leave with a supportive community of friends and mentors who I plan to treasure for the rest of my life.

“I’ll follow you down ’til the sound of my voice will haunt you.”

Even though “Silver Springs” may be a sad type of love song, my Valentine’s Day is filled with nothing but love and positivity for those who surround me. I’m lucky enough to have friends who surprise me with thoughtful gestures and words throughout the year – Valentine’s Day is just one of the many times we show our love to each other, and, for me, a time to reflect on how happy and grateful I am to be living a life that is bursting with love. 

“Give me just a chance.”

My high school self would be amazed by how far I’ve come and by the community I have established here. As a tour guide, I am constantly reminded of how I’ve grown since senior year of high school and how much I have to be grateful for about my life at the University of Michigan (and my life in general). Ann Arbor is a special place filled with special people and a whole lot of love, and it is a privilege to be a part of it! 

“You’ll never get away from the sound of the woman that loves you.”

Listen to Silver Springs by Fleetwood Mac here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVE4aOUX2iM

S3 Scribble #14: Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall

“I turn the music up,”

After a very anxious past few weeks, I have started to find peace within myself again. This peace has coincidentally lined up with a week of unseasonably warm and sunny weather in Ann Arbor. Seeing the sun and not being freezing every time I step outside has been very healing (even though I’m not happy to know that this is climate change at work). The change in my internal attitude and the external weather has prompted me to listen to some of the music that makes me feel happiest.

“I got my records on.”

Coldplay is my go-to happy band, another band that my mom and I have connected through. When listening to their upbeat songs, I can’t help but feel energized and grateful. Walking around campus with this music in my ears and the sun on my face has been fantastic, and to make things even better, this week I got accepted into grad school! 

“From underneath the rubble sing a rebel song.”

No matter how dreary and anxious I may feel, this week proves that those feelings aren’t permanent. The sun does come back out – metaphorically and literally. It’s the moments of stress and anxiety and sadness that allow me to be even more grateful for the happy and love-filled moments that I am fortunate enough to experience. Life goes on, and regardless of how I may feel in a moment, in my experience, life remains a beautiful, exciting thing.

“Don’t want to see another generation drop.”

That being said, though life ebbs and flows, I’m thrilled to feel like I’m starting the journey back to my usual positive self – I feel more at peace that way. I’m looking forward to the nice weather this weekend and spending time outside in Ann Arbor with some of my closest friends. Here’s to more acceptance, growth, and positivity this semester! 

Listen to Every Teardrop is a Waterfall by Coldplay here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Kf_6BWcOOg

S3 Scribble #13: Bells for Her

“Can’t stop loving,”

Today marks the 30th anniversary of an album that changed my life and provided me with some much-needed feminine strength, energy, and power throughout my late teens and into my present-day early twenties: Tori Amos’s Under the Pink. It was this album that launched me into the phenomenal discography of Tori Amos – an artist who, if you’ve been following my blogs for a while, is clearly one of my favorites. I often see myself in her music, and sometimes her music even helps me process emotions I don’t fully understand prior to hearing one of her songs. 

“Can’t stop what is on its way.”

I’ve had the good fortune of seeing Tori Amos perform live in concert several times. I have made friends through our shared love of her music, and I was even lucky enough to meet her after one of her shows. I’ve been told to never meet my idols. Clearly, whoever said that did not experience meeting Tori Amos. I wrote her a letter thanking her for her music and sharing the impact that it has had on my life and I gave it to one of her team members prior to the concert. When I met Tori after the show and told her my name, she said she had read my letter and thanked me for writing it, even referencing some specific things about myself that I had written in the letter. It was an unforgettable experience: someone whose work I admired so much had not only read my letter, but retained the information it contained! Needless to say, I will be a fan for life.

“And I see it coming,”

When I feel particularly strong emotions, I love that I can often find comfort and relatability in the songs of my favorite artists. This week, I have once again had to practice letting things go, and the song “Bells for Her” is about exactly that. Letting go of things I can’t control isn’t easy for me, and, thanks to this song, I know that I’m not the only one who struggles with this. I “can’t stop what is on its way,” but I can work on accepting that I don’t have control over everything. In this week’s case, everything turned out alright… as it usually does. This is just yet another experienced example I can use, moving forward, to remind myself to relax in the face of uncertainty, because getting worked up will not stop what is on its way.

“And it’s on its way.”

Listen to Bells for Her by Tori Amos here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWIvvDjOt-A

S3 Scribble #12: Augen-blick

“Und ich warte zu lang in der Zelle” (“And I wait too long in the cell”)

I was trying to find a song in English to use for my blog this week after realizing that many of my recent posts have focused on German songs, but I struggled. I decided that I would simply pick another song in German, because the last thing I want to happen is for my Song Scribbles posts to become ingenuine, and ever since returning from Berlin I have been listening to overwhelmingly German music! This week’s song is “Augen-blick” by German gothic rock band Xmal Deutschland, and it is one of my favorite songs at the moment and has been for about a month.

“Es ist nur ein Moment, ein kurzer Moment….” (“It’s just a moment, a brief moment…”)

I’m writing this and looking out the window at a monochromatic gray sky. The rain has made Ann Arbor less cold than it has been recently, but it also looks ominous and gloomy… and eerily matches how I’ve been feeling today. I have an exam coming up later this week that I’m feeling anxious about, along with some technical difficulties I have been experiencing trying to access a practice exam. I feel like I have a lot looming over me, and with the added technical difficulties, I feel like much is out of my control.

“Und ich weiß tausend Hände, tausend Worte,” (“And I know a thousand hands, a thousand words,”)

The nice thing is that I know in a week this will all be behind me, so I need to hang in there and do the best I can for the time being. In the meantime, the only thing I can do is try to take a deep breath or two and trust that things will be okay. After all, what use is it to worry about something that I can’t control? It’s easier said than done, but worth a try, nonetheless. After all, in the words of Xmal Deutschland, “It’s just a moment, a brief moment.”

“Die nichts halten können.” (“That can’t hold anything.”)

While my schedule this week has remained surprisingly packed, I’ve also been able to sleep in and spend quality time with some friends. That being said, I’m looking forward to being done with my exam and having some more me-time next week… and hopefully some more sunshine!

“Die nichts halten wollen.” (“That don’t want to hold anything.”)

Listen to Augen-blick by Xmal Deutchland here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mx4XdWoPp4

S3 Scribble #11: These Days

“All the people gather, fly to carry each his burden,”

I’m back in Ann Arbor and having a very eventful start to the semester! I have had a shocking lack of free time after an incredibly relaxing and low-commitment winter break, but after submitting my grad school applications and settling into the new semester, I am looking forward to more relaxation time in the near future.

“We are young despite the years,”

Winter break was very rejuvenating for me. It was phenomenal to spend some quality time with my family after not being home very often for the past year. It also gave me the opportunity to once again listen to some albums from my parents’ CD collection. For years, my mom has raved to me about R.E.M.’s Lifes Rich Pageant, but it wasn’t until this winter break that I was able to fall in love with the album and recognize it as the masterpiece it is.

“We are concerned, we are hope despite the times,”

As a young person with hopes of changing the world and contributing to a more just and equitable society, I feel inspired by the songs on the album – songs about a desire to stay hopeful and be a part of positive change. Even though the album was released in 1986, the messages of many songs are still relevant today. “These Days” is just one of them. I encourage anyone who feels as if they are losing hope for a better future to listen to this album, because we must stay hopeful when working toward a better world.

“All of a sudden, these days, happy throngs, take this joy,”

The album makes me feel hopeful, of course, but it also makes me feel a special connection to my mom, since I know it is one of her favorites. For me, music often serves as a connector – connecting me to important people, places, and moments throughout my life. With its hopeful and passionate messages coupled with the association that I make between the album and my mom, I am thrilled to have discovered Lifes Rich Pageant this winter break and I look forward to turning to it throughout the semester whenever I need a pick-me-up.

“Wherever, wherever you go.”

Listen to These Days by R.E.M. here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vgEWp7Voyk