GramMixxed: Memory Lame

Reflecting back on moments, instances and specific time periods of your life has its pros and cons. On one hand it’s nostalgic to stroll down memory lane and remember the good times and sometimes simpler times. On the other hand, if you stroll down memory lane lame for too long you start to dwell on the past and the mistakes you made that you start to think, “if only I knew then what I know now.” Take a stroll with me as I take you on a musical journey of my life from 2009-2019 [see reference post: New Chapter, Same Old Plot Device]

01. Fireflies || Owl City || 2009
Perfect way to start off a mix to the soundtrack of my life for a specific period of time. The track is by a local artist, it’s light, quirky and slightly lullaby-ish, which is even more perfect since it was released after the birth of my son. I was a first-time mother and hoping for a baby boy, because I had no idea what to do with a baby girl (and still don’t at times). This was the first and unfortunately the last time I hoped for something and it actually came to be.

02. Window Seat || Erykah Badu || 2010

I didn’t realize this until after composing this mix that Ms. Badu was the ONLY woman representing amongst my testosterone-filled playlist, which was actually surprising to me. Rightfully earned, as this song describes me just wanting to enjoy the view of my life by just sitting by the window and watching (the best seat on any form of public transportation by the way). My life was somewhat good or so I thought and I just wanted to watch it from the sidelines before it became a mere memory.

03. Paradise || Coldplay || 2011
I listened to this song nonstop. I felt like Chris Martin was singing specifically about me. I was definitely the girl dreaming of paradise every time I closed my eyes or something more, something better. I wasn’t happy with the various directions things were going in every aspect of my life. I was off the path I had originally created for myself, which is why I chose to go back to college in the summer of 2010. In 2011 all I did was work and study and dream of the paradise I felt I deserved to have once I received my degree. I needed to feel like I accomplished something.

04. Music To Walk Home By || Tame Impala || 2012

This song reminds me of the California sun and I’ve never been a California type of girl (I always looked at New York as my home away from home.) I finally received my Bachelor’s this year and I was intent on leaving everything (except for my son) behind and moving there to finally follow my dreams. I didn’t go through with it though so all I have is this song to constantly remind me.

05. Sweater Weather || The Neighbourhood || 2013
I can’t think of a better song to transition into. It’s like a music block of California dreamin’ vibes. Maybe the universe was trying to tell me something and I just refused to take action. The universe was also forcing me to get in tune with my feminine side by causing me to birth a daughter. I traded in my notebook and number 2 pencil (temporarily) for tea parties, baby dolls and Disney princesses.

06. Apparently || J. Cole || 2014

“I like to write alone. Me in my zone.” Song is raw and full of so much emotion. You can hear it in the sound of his voice. “I want my dreams to carry me,” don’t we all, Jermaine? For a long time my dreams or what I imagined my life to be like was what was carrying me until those dreams finally decided to burst right in my face. Mercury was in retrograde that entire year for me (so overpowering it even leaked into 2015) and I came out of it emotionless.

07. No Scratches || Lupe Fiasco || 2015
Lupe summed this year all up for me… “at first I had patience and then that patience turned to waiting and then that waiting turned to wasting my time, my time, my time and then that wasting turned to hating and that hating got to racing all around my mind, my mind, my mind.” If there is anything in this world that I hate more than wasting my time is someone else wasting my time for me. The other shoe had finally dropped. I had one foot inside and one foot outside that townhouse door until I could endure no more.

08. Father Stretch My Hands || Kanye West || 2016

Nothing screamed freedom more to me than this song pre-MAGA hat wearing Kanye. I felt free, liberated…mind, body and spirit. I’m not a deeply religious person but the chorus and instrumentation had me feeling something spiritual (even though the actual lyrics are scoopity poop) and it still does whenever I give it a listen. Kanye’s Sunday Church Service version is on that level. I was in a good place, things were finally coming together for me in my favor… or so I thought.

09. Slide || Frank Ocean & Migos || 2017
Had this song been released in 2014 I would have had the sounds of San Diego, Santa Monica and Los Angeles… a California trifecta. No matter how many signs flashed in my face I still stayed in my hometown. Guess I prefer icicles and snow angels over sandcastles and popsicles. This was a whirlwind of a year that had me humbling every part of myself.

10. Live in the Moment || Craig David || 2018

Not that I was necessarily living in the moment, but I wasn’t dwelling in the past nor dreaming about the future either. I was just here… stagnant. I relinquished control, mentally tore up the plan I had for my younger self and finally gave in to that fact that most things are just beyond my control… and I had veered so far away from that plan that there was no way to get back to it. So I was resigned to taking each day as it came. If anything, I was glad to hear Craig David back doing music (he was the physical inspiration for a character I created named Charles Brown, see: The Upside of Down or The Downside of Up coming soon).

11. ? || ? || 2019
I got nothing! It’s been a grab bag of music, emotions and experiences thus far. The only thing I’m sure of is the renewed interest I have in my creativity. Check back at the end of the year and hopefully I’ll have the right song for this particular year of my life.

This mix was somewhat difficult to pull together. There were so many songs and having to choose just one that set the tone for a certain point of time in my life was challenging, but I love a challenge. Also, this mix is unique because it required 11 songs as opposed to the typical 7 song mix that I usually compose.