hello again / summer actually / why playlists?

a conversational piece on life these days:

hello! it's been months since i've shared anything on this space. there are multiple reasons that play into why i have been web-silent: growing cynical toward the concept of "blogging", growing uncertain about why i have believed _____ for so long, learning how to say goodbye and hello simultaneously, and the discomfort that comes along with all of it... anyway. i am, for the moment, back.

for anyone (anyone?) who keeps up with me here, a brief life update for you: i graduated from Clemson University in December and moved to Nashville in June. i intern at a co-working space called WELD, and sell donuts at Five Daughters Bakery. it all sounds well and great--and my jobs, they really are both wonderful-- but summer has been a bit of an unkind fire. i didn't have any fully-formed expectations about what this time might be like, but this surely wasn't a flame i foresaw.

a thief stole my new bicycle and death stole my dog before i got to say goodbye and friends have been preoccupied and houses to live in have been elusive. and all of these on their own, though difficult and sad, might be relatively manageable. clumped together, amongst other things, in a new city, i haven't really known how to handle it. i don't think i'm supposed to know. i'm not used to this.

before you think this is intended as a complaint or some sort of plea for pity, it isn't. just an honest summary of life lately. there are also good things! like weekly trips to the library, watching airplanes take off in the distance from the airpark, drinks on front porches with friends, iced coffee from eighth and roast (where i am writing this from / sorry @wallet).

not long after i moved, i made a playlist i was proud of. if you know me at all, you know i make playlists like it's my job. most days, i wish it were. i am good at ordering songs conceptually and knowing what to play during this moment or that one. really, i think life's more memorable if it's got a soundtrack that fits. only recently, i've discovered i have this deep recurrent need for control, and my perfectionistic and compulsive playlist-making is one habit i can attribute to that tendency. man. kind of a tough pill to swallow.

well, this playlist, entitled 'for summer days', was really great for awhile. it rang out from the basket on my bike in between trips to the park and the taco place down the street. it was there while i learned i loved to roll my windows down. and then my bike was gone and my friends were gone and i didn't really want to hear these songs alone. i'd intended for them to be shared, after all.

don't get me wrong, i still love those songs, but summer's soundtrack became as unpredictable as the season itself. most of the songs i remember are not the ones i put on that playlist. the songs of summer are beautiful in ways i didn't see coming. they are soft and sad, hopeful and fun, and most of the time, they were songs i didn't handpick. they worked their way into my ears all on their own, at the hands of friends, strangers, Jesus, occasional resurfaced memories.

the point is, i can't control everything. on my best days, i know that. but i will keep at the playlists and here's why: it feels good when what you need shows up without your choosing. it's a reminder we weren't meant to go it alone. we need each other! i want to pick your songs. so these playlists, while still a little bit for me, are mostly for you. they won't all be the thing you need at the exact moment you need it, but maybe, just maybe, one song will. and for me, that is enough.

spread what you believe matters; i'll try to do the same..

..starting now! here's a link to some songs that have been my close friends this summer. i didn't put them in any particular order. but i want you to have them if you want to listen. hitting 'shuffle' is both condoned and encouraged :)

- L

p.s. if you like reading words i write, new is coming. soon!