I love soundtracks. The majority of the CD's I bought growing up were soundtracks from movies. I became fully immersed in scenes where the music was a character in itself - allowing us to feel emotions in perfect synch with the story. The right song is like a spell. Rather than telling you what to feel, it creates the feeling in and of itself, and it's one of my favorite things. I loved it so much that I went to school to try to become the person behind the scenes choosing the songs.
My path has taken a turn since then, and though I did spend some time exploring the opportunity in New York post graduation, the job isn't for me. Still, I get swept away when music and life collide in a perfect moment.
I'm also a big fan of musicals. If you couldn't guess.
Just as a specific song can fit so perfectly into a movie or scene, there are a few that fit just as well into my own life. The ones that take you back to a moment in time - and suddenly you're feeling all the things that you felt then. I used to imagine my life as a movie - music playing in the background, the perfect soundtrack to my life...and I realized in all my years of turning to music in time of sadness, anger, hope, and love, I'd been creating my own soundtrack all along.
I tried an exercise for fun a few years ago. The task was to build a playlist of my life soundtrack in under 16 or so songs, or the length of a CD...umm...with bonus tracks. (Yeah, I had a hard time with that number.)
It took me hours. I was up late into the night, scrolling through my iTunes, batching songs from significant times in my life (high school graduation, off to college, moving to New York, break-ups, finding my way, falling in love), and trying to narrow them down. I experienced the ups and downs of my own life as I played snippets of the songs, sorting out where they belonged. I felt like I was watching the time pass and living within a vivid memory at the same time.
I put the songs in chronological order of my life up to that moment and listened to it the next day.
Every single song, I loved. Every single moment, I felt thankful for. It reminded me of all that I'd lived through and all that was still to come. Whenever I feel distant from myself, I put on this playlist to remember the girl that I never want to leave behind.
Get our your old iPods, unbox the records, dig out playlists - and see if you can't find yourself there, too.
PS - My life, so far, in music: