Trapped In The Trap

Trapped In The Trap

The music that moves me.

Music is one of the most significant, crucial, helpful and moving sources of art anyone can find in this world. Regardless of the artist, genre, or style, there is something out there for everyone. Music has been, and will forever be, a huge benefit to the human mind. Various studies have shown that different types of music help with different situations that we encounter on a daily basis. Classical music, as an example, is proven to help better memorize information for exams if you listen to it while you’re simultaneously studying. Other forms of music such as rap and hip-hop are known to help release anger when one is stressed out. It’s no lie that music moves the soul. There is something about music that allows for us to link with it, for whatever reason we may need to, which is completely dependent on the person listening, their life, the people they’re surrounded by and, most importantly, the unexplainable connection that resides within them when they hear a song.

Coming into college my music preferences were very basic. As your typical female, I had a special place in my heart for Taylor Swift, John Mayer, Luke Bryan and Beyoncé. My taste in music genres always depended on the mood I was in, which was changing constantly, and there were always a variety of choices I had to choose from. Slowly at first, but then ever so quickly, I became a big fan of electronic dance music, also known as EDM. I listened to EDM songs here and there in high school, but the college environment had it much more prominent and desirable. When I went out as a freshman to parties and the music was playing, I would dance the nights away without a second thought. The music made me move.

I began searching for this music on my own, which was when I came across the beautiful website known as SoundCloud. SoundCloud is a website with mainly electronic music streaming, although they also have their fair share of indie, rap, hip-hop and even classical music. Personally, I just wanted to find the songs that became familiar to me from basements at parties and I would be content with that. That was three years ago.

Today, the only music I listen to is EDM. Little did I know at the time that there were different types of this moving music as well. Trap, techno, synth, progressive, bass, dubstep and the list goes on. I love it all. When I wake up in the morning for my 9 a.m. class, this is the music I put on to get ready to. When I drive in the car, when I study for tests, when I go for a run, this music is with me. It lives in my soul and I breathe its rhythms. It consumes me and makes me feel emotion that I cannot successfully describe in words. This phenomenon didn’t take place overnight either.

I started listening to this music to get ready to go out in my college dorm. It was upbeat and fun, simple as that. Then, I started to workout to it. The beats and the pace allowed for open motivation to get my body moving and keep it moving. Next came car rides. I bought an aux cord for my old, little, black Toyota and jammed out to EDM wherever I was intending to travel. All of a sudden, and I'm not even exactly sure when this moment was, this music devoured my life. I have no desire to listen to any other types of music too, which I find to be the absolute weirdest part. I’m a writer. I love words, I love lyrics. The EDM songs I listen to, majority of the time, don’t have lyrics for me to connect to, so it makes no sense to me as to why I love it as much as I do.

I have found different styles of EDM to fit every single one of my emotions and moods, even sadness. I know you are thinking, “How does ‘robots clashing together’ make a person feel okay when they are upset?” because I think the same thing too. I really don’t know nor understand why this music speaks to me the way that it does. What I do know is that it makes me feel alive. It comforts me, it awakens me, it challenges me and it makes me joyous. Different songs evoke different emotions, different emotions draw me to new and unusual songs and the cycle repeats again and again.

When I was younger I distinctively remember always judging people that listened to hardcore screamo music. I didn’t understand how they could extract any type of thoughts, feelings or fulfillments from it…now, I do. I understand because people listen to the music I like and think what I was thinking to myself ten years ago. I even think it to myself because I don’t fully understand the craving and sensations that fill my body when this music comes on, but I love it.

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A Letter To My Humans On Our Last Day Together

We never thought this day would come.

I didn't sleep much last night after I saw your tears. I would have gotten up to snuggle you, but I am just too weak. We both know my time with you is coming close to its end, and I just can't believe it how fast it has happened.

I remember the first time I saw you like it was yesterday.

You guys were squealing and jumping all around, because you were going home with a new dog. Dad, I can still feel your strong hands lifting me from the crate where the rest of my puppy brothers and sisters were snuggled around my warm, comforting puppy Momma. You held me up so that my chunky belly and floppy wrinkles squished my face together, and looked me right in the eyes, grinning, “She's the one."

I was so nervous on the way to my new home, I really didn't know what to expect.

But now, 12 years later as I sit in the sun on the front porch, trying to keep my wise, old eyes open, I am so grateful for you. We have been through it all together.

Twelve “First Days of School." Losing your first teeth. Watching Mom hang great tests on the refrigerator. Letting you guys use my fur as a tissue for your tears. Sneaking Halloween candy from your pillowcases.

Keeping quiet while Santa put your gifts under the tree each year. Never telling Mom and Dad when everyone started sneaking around. Being at the door to greet you no matter how long you were gone. Getting to be in senior pictures. Waking you up with big, sloppy kisses despite the sun not even being up.

Always going to the basement first, to make sure there wasn't anything scary. Catching your first fish. First dates. Every birthday. Prom pictures. Happily watching dad as he taught the boys how to throw every kind of ball. Chasing the sticks you threw, even though it got harder over the years.

Cuddling every time any of you weren't feeling well. Running in the sprinkler all summer long. Claiming the title “Shotgun Rider" when you guys finally learned how to drive. Watching you cry in mom and dads arms before your graduation. Feeling lost every time you went on vacation without me.

Witnessing the awkward years that you magically all overcame. Hearing my siblings learn to read. Comforting you when you lost grandma and grandpa. Listening to your phone conversations. Celebrating new jobs. Licking your scraped knees when you would fall.

Hearing your shower singing. Sidewalk chalk and bubbles in the sun. New pets. Family reunions. Sleepovers. Watching you wave goodbye to me as the jam-packed car sped up the driveway to drop you off at college. So many memories in what feels like so little time.

When the time comes today, we will all be crying. We won't want to say goodbye. My eyes might look glossy, but just know that I feel your love and I see you hugging each other. I love that, I love when we are all together.

I want you to remember the times we shared, every milestone that I got to be a part of.

I won't be waiting for you at the door anymore and my fur will slowly stop covering your clothes. It will be different, and the house will feel empty. But I will be there in spirit.

No matter how bad of a game you played, how terrible your work day was, how ugly your outfit is, how bad you smell, how much money you have, I could go on; I will always love you just the way you are. You cared for me and I cared for you. We are companions, partners in crime.

To you, I was simply a part of your life, but to me, you were my entire life.

Thank you for letting me grow up with you.

Love always,

Your family dog

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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