Like a Slow Fire Burn

You are what you listen to.

In many ways, my iTunes library is an extension of my identity. This music defines me. These artists represent my values. These songs represent memories and scenes from my life.

My music is who I am.

I bought an iPod Nano the other day for workout purposes, and so I was perusing my iTunes library trying to decide which songs to put on it.

The problem with going through your library song-by-song is that you unavoidably come across its deep, dark secrets. The songs you no longer listen to because of the memories associated with them.

There’s one particular song I always scroll past because it reminds me of a girl I was in love with. Back then, I wasn’t familiar with the artist, but it was one of her favorites, and this particular song was the one I enjoyed the most.

It’s a song I never would have known existed if that relationship had never happened.

And now that the relationship is over, and the song is still here in my library, I find myself in a difficult position. Even looking at the song in my iTunes brings back painful memories. Or perhaps they’re good memories. Or perhaps they were good at the time, and the pain stems from their being lost.

In any case, on this particular day, something persuaded me to listen to that song.

It hurt.

But at the same time, it was a therapeutic pain. As soon as the song started playing, memories came flooding back. Images. Faces. Feelings. All of which were wonderful at the time, and all of which now hurt like hell.

But for some sick reason, I forced myself to sit through that song. And as I endured that chorus and let those memories punch me in the gut over and over again, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to cry over what I lost or smile about what I had.

The funny thing is, I played it again. And again, and again, and again.

And every time I played it, I felt a little bit better. And I felt a little less like crying and a little more like smiling. Because just because I lost it doesn’t mean it’s gone. The memories are mine, and they’re still here. The fact that they hurt only confirms that it was real. And that makes me smile.

It is a good song.

Life remains amazing.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

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