A month ago, I went searching my through my binder—the kind that holds hundreds of cd’s. If you’re a millennial, you know what I’m talking about.
I even had the “cd visor” too. I sported that baby proudly in my black Ford Taurus (with fuzzy, zebra print seat covers). I was legit. More so, I miss those days. Strictly because cd’s do not run out of battery, unlike my iPhone constantly knocking on death’s door. It’s literally a running joke between Trav and I.
Trav: “I called, but it went straight to voicemail.”
Me: I can’t help but to laugh as I confess, “sorry, my phone died…again.”
Trav: Rolls eyes, before muttering, “shocker!”
I was on a mission, surfing through my collection, created and collected between the ages of 12-17 years-old, in search of Deana Carter’s “Did I Shave My Legs for This?”
Know it? If not, iTunes search it, now. It is gold, at least when I was twelve I thought so (okay, I still do. And to this day, I can lip sync every word from that album).
Back then, I lived on an air force base and ran around with several girls from the neighborhood. We had a club that met in a backyard playhouse and we even had club dues. The last summer we spent together, we vowed (in blood—I’m kidding, it was probably fruit juice or red nail polish) when we turned sixteen, we’d get together and drink “Strawberry Wine”—the best song on the album.
Side note, we were 11. But even now, at the age of 29, listening to that cd makes my face split in two, my grin chasing after my ears.
My oldest daughter just turned ten. She is a year younger than I was that summer. The realization makes me stop for a minute and consider how fast this life moves. Be. Still. My. Heart.
After I found that cd, I continued to rifle through my case.
Confession: I have a slight obsession with music. It fuels me. I listen to it while I get ready in the morning, while I drive (and secretly get annoyed when people want to talk in the car–just let me listen to the music, okay), and mostly when I write. I am a lover of words, which makes me also the person, who tells you, “listen to the lyrics…” and then I will stare you down making sure you are “listening” to the words. I’m insane, okay.
As I flipped page after page filled with pocketed cd’s, I was so overcome with eye glistening nostalgia. Most of the cd’s I own were created, or bought by friends. Some of those friends, a decade and a half later, are still my great friends, some I haven’t seen in years and others, well, the cd living in my case is the only lasting proof of an old friendship long expired.
I was completely swept up in a heap of emotion because these plastic circles are more than cd’s with various music sealed in them; they are memories of my adolescence.
Nearing the end of my case, I was caught off-guard when my eyes landed on a red cd. If I were to pick one cd from that time in my life, that means the most to me, it would be this one.
Linkin Park: [Hybrid Theory] Try to remember your most angst filled moment of your teenage years—this cd encompasses that for me. I was fourteen, the age when you are awkwardly stepping into teenagedom, when this cd was given to me. (I might have even borrowed it from my friend and later refused to give it back.)
At the time, my parents were moving on from their divorce, dating new people and I was lost somewhere in unchartered territory. These songs, loud and angry, connected to what I felt then.
After I found the cd and stared at it for longer than a reasonable amount of time, I raced up to my daughter’s room. I grabbed her Hello Kitty cd player (in the age of iPods and such, it’s the only cd player my family owns) and rushed down to my closet. I locked myself in there, not wanting the beauties listening to semi-mosh pit lyrics, and listened and half-cried, like an emotional lunatic, to a few songs on the album (and later that same day, my brother and his girlfriend came over and I made them listen to it, too).
I cried remembering that time in my life, when I truly felt like life was mean and dark. When I believed that love was all about taking and that people leave–even the ones you thought would stay. It was a time in my life when I felt broken, but these songs, this album in its entirety, gave me an outlet to place my hurt in to. It was cheap therapy.
And I listened to that cd for a solid year. I probably scared my little sister, who shared a room with me.
I couldn’t see it then, like I can now, but I am thankful for the friend, who gave me Hybrid Theory (or loaned and I never gave back…). Sometimes, friendships, whether they survive or end, serve greater purposes–leaving a withstanding impact on you, or just being a solid fixture when life seems so very heavy and scattered.
Reflecting I know, even if it felt incomprehensible at fourteen, that darkness does not last forever. God is gracious and merciful.
And music is a priceless haven, a keeper of recollections both lost and found, a balm to confused, burning wounds, a non-judgmental companion and an eternal friend.