A Song’s Purpose: For Me

Emily Langlois

Credit: Emily Langlois

Music is my method of telling time. (Don‰’t worry, I still know how clocks work!)

Time has just always been a very abstract concept to me. I could never fully wrap my head around how sometimes a minute can feel like days, or how days can feel like a minute. Whenever it seemed like I blinked and time had flew by, I hated feeling like I wasn‰’t in control of where it went.

Music, however, has always been a very concrete concept to me. When I hear a song, I can immediately assign it to a certain situation or memory. It‰’s something that can put my memories in a time capsule until I‰’m ready to dig them back up again.

The first time I listened to “Coming of Age‰” by Foster the People, I knew it would be the perfect song to listen to when I was scared about the future. Surely enough, it was the only thing that could calm me down when I was sobbing in my car around the time of college applications.

No matter how bored I am, as long as I have the capability of listening to “Tainted Love‰” by Soft Cell, I can turn the idle time into dancing.

If I want to go back to a certain time, I play music. It feels like I‰’m revisiting old friends.

I live through what I listen to, and I thrive knowing that it‰’s completely under my control.

I hate it sometimes, though, I really do! I hate the way that I can be side-swiped by a wave of emotions and completely caught in my tracks – one minute I‰’m taking a bite of a teriyaki chicken bowl and the next I‰’m tearing up because a song came on that reminded me of the way my ex would twirl my hair between his fingers.

Sometimes the songs I used to play in the darkness come for a visit, and I have to try my very hardest to make sure they don‰’t make themselves at home for too long.

On a lighter note, it‰’s something reminds me to live in the present. I always used to try to “drown the world‰” out with my headphones (cue 2013 Arctic Monkeys angst) until I realized that instead of covering up what‰’s going on in the world music could be used to enhance it.

Think of it like a movie.

We often don‰’t realize when music is playing in the background at movies, we just let whatever song is playing supplement the scene or dialogue as it was meant to. In every opening scene, there‰’s some upbeat song playing as the main characters are introduced in their everyday lives. I started to ask myself: why couldn‰’t I have some theme music going on when I was walking to the grocery store?

When the main character busts through the double doors of the church, ready to proclaim their love for the person at the altar, the violins or sappy love song playing behind them is what really gets the tears going. Sometimes, if we‰’re lucky, our real-world moments are magical enough for us to capture these emotions through music too.

So how do we get there? Take time for music. It will always make time a little easier to manage.

Whenever you catch a special moment, try to catch what‰’s playing around you as well. Keep these pieces of time somewhere and they‰’ll always be there for you to come back to when you need them.

It‰’s fun to have an album of your life.

I mean hey, when an autobiography comes out about your awesome life, you‰’ll already have a good place to start.

Here’s mine: