What I Found When I Downsized: Mixed CD from the Early 2000s
When my husband and I decided to downsize, I realized my life was full of things that I'd held onto for no reason whatsoever. Then, I realized there was actually a "reason," but it was nothing more than dim nostalgia, an idea that I might again, someday, use the stuff I had lying around one more time and have a happy memory. My collection included mainly clothes, shoes, blankets, trinkets, and CDs. One day, after sifting through several pounds of clothes, I finally turned to my ratchety, warped, scratched, and outdated CD collection and sighed.
But music has always been a huge part of my life, and it seemed wrong to just get rid of everything without trying to document some of it. I thought about creating a blog (I was going to call it Scratch & Burn) and writing about each CD, but that got tedious pretty quickly.
Eventually, I decided to go through all of them and listen to them (if they weren't completely scratched to pieces or ruined from the time I left the car window open in the rain/the time I spilled coffee on them) before throwing them away.
Listening to them took my back to different periods of my life. It was somewhat enjoyable, somewhat uncomfortable, and even slightly embarrassing (even though I was alone). But it did allow me to compile a list of 100 angsty teenager songs from the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Music is a Time Capsule
This CD was. my. FAVORITE when I was a teenager. I listened to it over and over again on my drives to and from work as a lifeguard at a little place in Greenbackville, Virginia called Captain's Cove. I had this and the Used on rotation, and only took them out when my girlfriends were in the car who wanted to hear some things that were a little more romantic or popular.
Back then, I had this weird fear of listening to my favorite songs so much that I'd eventually dislike them.
When I saw "Monkey" in the stack of Scratch & Burn CDs, I felt a strange sort of trepidation about relistening to it because I was afraid it would cause some teenage feelings or angst to resurface. Or, I thought I would be completely embarrassed by my actual favorite CD. But I didn't feel that way; in fact, I think it for me now what it did back then: it made me happy.
And here's another twist on my emotions regarding this CD -- I realized when I listened to it today that my adult self didn't want to feel happy about it. I wanted to be embarrassed, and to write my teenage self off, and to decide Sum 41 and New Found Glory and all of those new wave punk bands of the 2000s were ridiculous. Not because it would make me feel better now, but because that is my habit -- to write things off as stupid, even if it's me.
Well, listening to this CD woke me up a little, and showed me that I had that habit, and reminded me to just let myself enjoy something and let myself be at peace with the fact that my past self enjoyed something, and by extension stop judging others when they like something I don't like. To hell with that fear of finding out my past self was a major dork. So what if I had liked something bad? I enjoyed the shit out of it then, and now I have the memory of happily driving the back roads wearing nothing but my red swimsuit, windows down, singing at the top of my lungs.