I was sitting at my desk in my dorm room. The winter air outside was stuck in my breath and shivering in my fingers. My best friend, Ruby, and I had just gotten back from dinner and donuts.
We always have the most interesting conversations in the car driving to and from our dinners. We spend far too long selecting music on Spotify before getting on the road. We dance in our seats and laugh about the day's events. Ruby was talking about a poem she had read recently that had made her "feel like she had a small brain." It was so awe-inspiring and profound that it blew her mind.
I was telling her that I often feel this way about music and songwriting. When a song has incredible lyrics, I can't help but feel drawn to the story and the particular lines that paint the picture. I have so much respect for songwriters who can portray a relatable message with the most decorative and unique phrasing.
I played her a couple of my favorites: Farsighted by The Band Camino and Backseat by Charli Adams. All of these artists have created music that leaves a mark and makes an impact.
"There's a voice inside my head that I call me, who's a collection of conversations and melodies. There's an ocean between me and myself again, I keep on searching but the circle has no end." - Farsighted, The Band Camino
The Band Camino's lyrics are always a hit with me but for some reason, this song strikes an entirely different chord. I relate to the idea of an internal voice that exists outside of the person that I portray to everyone else. My internal voice likes guitar solos, people-watching, and overanalyzing conversations. I like going to concerts more than parties, I can't start my day without a shower, and I so greatly wish there was a way to be in two places at once. There is so much pressure in college to feel like you have to fit a certain mold. I often feel like I fit just outside of it. Does one actually exist? Absolutely not. An invisible box somehow has the power to make us all feel inadequate. Despite social pressure, we have the power to be our own brand of human being and to celebrate our individual quirks.
"In the backseat, I don't wanna talk I'm fine. In a way I don't wanna be here, I just wanna ride. And my two friends are laughing about the people that we know. In the backseat, my head is heavy out the window. And they say "Get on with it and list all the things I know." But I don't wanna miss the lights and the radio." - Backseat, Charli Adams
Charli puts into words a feeling I have been struggling with for much of my college experience. I know a lot of people my age that like to gossip about their peers or boys or any number of things in between. Somehow I always leave those conversations feeling odd and deflated. It has never felt like a necessary way to use my words or to connect with people. I find much more joy in deep conversations in driving down Ponce De Leon Avenue, and sharing life stories across the table at any of the numerous independent coffee shops in Atlanta. Now I don't think there is anything wrong with getting fulfilled from those other types of discourse, I just struggle to relate.
I guess what I've been feeling is a sense of displacement. I don't know exactly how to relate to the college hook-up and gossip culture, and I don't exactly know how to define my personal identity. It's a strange state to live in. But perhaps, and this actually seems quite likely, I am not the only one who feels this way.