Too Good At Goodbyes

I remember driving home one night, I opted for the radio and not my aux cord, and this song came on. The serene beginning was refreshing from the fast-paced tunes currently trending. It caught my attention and ears without a question. The soft and subtle piano keys playing in the background of the song reminded me of a Spoken Word night and when I listened to the lyrics, I was hit with how much the lines resonated with me. Sam Smith must have read my mind and now I demand some song writing credit. Kidding, of course, but I’m comforted by the notion that we aren’t all perfect and sometimes lose what is good for us, and sometimes we lose what was once right in front of us.

Sam Smith is an English singer and songwriter. Born in May of 1992, this 25-year-old is known for songs such as, “Stay With Me”, “Latch”, and “Omen”. As of right now, he has 4 Grammy’s, one Golden Globe award, and many more. In 2014, he publicly came out as gay and in October, he revealed that he is gender fluid. A talented vocalist to say the least and his lyrics in this particular song will be the topic of this post. So, thank you Sam, for your voice and writing.

Now, let’s break down the lyrics and I will reveal to you as to why this song spoke to me so well.

I’m never gonna let you close to me / Even though you mean the most to me

I have an insecurity of letting people in and allowing them to see how less “perfect” of a person I am. I like people to know that I’m funny or a light-hearted person but I fear that the moment they catch a glimpse of how serious I am and how seriously hurt I was – I fear my true self will be what ruins my bonds with others. When I say I have baggage, I mean that I have an endless amount of demons I carry inside. I am enduring a never-ending battle and I cannot allow you to see how much darkness there is within me. You seeing me for who I truly am… is a risk I am not willing to take. I’m sorry that even when we are face to face… there will always be a locked gate between us.

‘Cause every time I open up, it hurts

I am no stranger to a painful past. Emotional scars are scattered all over my mind and body and I can tell a story for each and every inch of me. Talking about my past is never easy because I have to revisit all the moments I was broken, unearthing what I’m trying to bury, and then relive the past during the present. There is never a day that goes by where I wish I wasn’t someone else. I hate my past more than anything else and frankly, no one hates me more than I hate myself. It hurts because I haven’t healed. It hurts because I am still working on making sense of everything and how I can move on. It hurts because I don’t know how and I don’t have all the answers.

But every time you hurt me, the less that I cry

Pain is something I’ve accepted to be the norm. I have been hurt so many times that I’ve learned to protect myself – perhaps too well – so whenever something terrible happens, I am not shocked. Luckily, I take each disaster as a lesson: to be smarter and stronger. I almost become jaded, learning to wear other people’s disappointment like jewelry I’ve owned for ages, but at what cost? I noticed myself trying to predict future failures, envisioning the evil of people that has not yet appeared, and attempting to protect myself from mishaps that may never happen.

I know you’re thinking I’m heartless / I know you’re thinking I’m cold / I’m just protecting my innocence / I’m just protecting my soul

Stuck up. A bitch. Rude. Angry. These are just a few words that I’ve heard others describe me, more to my face than I’d like to hear, but we cannot choose what others say about us. But, I can choose what I can say about myself. And, right now, I will let you know that I care, maybe too much, about what others say about me. The fact of the matter is that I do care about the truth versus what is not. Am I stuck up? Am I a bitch? Am I always angry? Yes, perhaps not all the time, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t rude and unfriendly at times when I meet strangers or see former friends. Despite being 23, I very much feel that I am 10 and still retain that inner child who I am trying to protect at this older age. Call me repetitive and redundant, but what happened when I was younger makes me reluctant to pursue any personal relationships in fear of history repeating itself. Not everyone is evil, but I’ve met and experienced enough evil to always keep my guard up.

Baby, we don’t stand a chance, it’s sad but it’s true, I’m way too good at goodbyes

I’m a firm believer and spokesperson for not giving people second chances. Actually, no, I am an ambassador of self-destructive habits. In 2017 and years before, I’ve made countless goodbyes, some deserved and some I regret, but I’m not comfortable with being so ‘good at goodbyes’. I pushed people away before we prospered in friendship and love. I carried scissors secretly to cut ties with people I had not yet properly embraced. And if I wasn’t destructive enough, I lived to see the embers of bridges I had burned but couldn’t muster the strength to stride through the ashen layers of memories I scorched. How much longer will I let go of people before I am alone with only myself? This cannot be my anthem forever or for much longer, so I am seeking a new melody now. In 2018, I am saying, “Hello.”

 

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Let’s Listen: Never Be Like You

Flume is an electronic music artist who recently played at Coachella. One of his well-known remixes is his remix of Lorde’s tune, Tennis Court. I actually caught part of his set during Coachella and he is indeed the definition of serenity. When I first caught ear of this song, I paid attention to the lyrics and felt aligned with the words I heard. Despite the fact that I didn’t stay long enough to hear him drop this song, I listen to this daily on my way to school or work.

During my commute to either my internship or class, the more I let the lyrics go through my ears and brain, the more I feel like this song defines me to the T. Here, I’ll break down the lyrics as to how certain lines reflect me.

/ What I would do to take away this fear of being loved /
I have a great fear of good things happening to me. It’s not due to the fact that good things never occur in my life, it’s just that I’ve had a history of those ‘good things’ become twisted and not so good, after all. What this line also means to me is that I wish I didn’t have these insanely high walls and that I could just trust people. No matter how close I am to someone, in the back of my head, I know that I could never trust them fully. With that said, I wish I could banish these fears and be fearless.

/ Allegiance to the pain /
I’m no masochist but I’ve been through enough trials and tribulations that I feel as if pain is a regular bump in the road that I often encounter. I expect to be hurt by people, never saved by them and I’m always disappointed by the people I let in my life. I know that life is never a smooth path, but sometimes I just feel like I’ve been struck specifically with bad luck and bad people. This emotional boot camp I often find myself in has taught me that pain is the incognito instructor of hidden lessons. Disappointment hurts because I honestly did have hope for these people. Failed friendships remind me that not everything lasts forever, even if it felt like it could. Broken trust makes the fear of being hurt that much greater. But the beauty within the cracked mirror is that I can still see my reflection, so I can still see myself with the opportunity to seal the cracks and mend the wounds of the past. Anything crumbled can be recreated and rebuilt to be resilient.

/ I would give anything to change this fickle-minded heart /
I’m indecisive so I never know how I feel about someone or something until it’s too late. My wishy-washiness not only clouds the perception of feelings I have but it delays what could happen in my life. Not knowing my true passions in life makes it tough to know where I should go and what direction to follow. Not knowing my sincere feelings for people makes my personal life essentially scarce or nonexistent. It seems as if all I know is that I don’t know anything about how I feel. It’s virtually impossible to find answers if I don’t even know what my questions are in the first place.

/ I’m only human, can’t you see /
I never strive for perfection, only progression. If I can be better than who I was yesterday, then I’m just one step closer to being the better woman I hope to become one day. It’s challenging because when problems occur, I feel like I’ve been taken 5 steps back on this path where it’s so strenuous to take even just one step forward. Backtracking is frustrating, but it happens, and it just means I have to work twice as hard to get back to where I once was. Going from level 15 back to level 5 feels like all my accomplishments disappeared and my confidence diminishes. As I look up to my role models, I wonder, “Will I ever be like them?”

 

 

Let’s Listen: Novacane

If anyone knows me, then they know that I love Frank Ocean. If anyone lives with me, then they know that this is my ringtone as of right now. Alongside “Pyramids”, Novacane is undeniably one of my favorite ballads from Frank.

One of the reasons why I simply adore Frank Ocean so much is because his songs are more than just catchy and easy-to-listen-to songs, they’re songs that dive deeper into the capabilities of music. They tell stories. They make you think. In this piece, Frank explained, in a BBC Sound of Music interview, that he was trying to articulate the feeling of someone trying to love you but you can’t feel it.

“Wanting to feel something that you can’t feel.” – Frank Ocean

We could work somewhere where we don’t really want to work – and end up hating it. Forcing yourself to love something or someone is wrong. We could try to pursue passions that people say we should, but only we know what are our true passions. Friends can assume we like something but they aren’t the ones who know if we feel the way they think we feel. Even if everything seems perfect, if it doesn’t feel right, then it’s not meant to be. There will come a time where it seems like the perfect person or opportunity comes along but something seems off – and then there’s this pressure to pursue it – but forcing love is never true love. Reciprocation is best when there’s two paths that meet together. No reciprocation on both ends means it’s a dead end from the start.

Let’s Listen: Real Friends

Kanye West is rapper that I have been listening to since high school. If someone asked me to make a list of rappers whose music that I enjoy, Mr. West definitely makes the list.

Although he’s not playing at Coachella this year, I would love to see him live in concert. I saw this song on SoundCloud and instantly liked it. It speaks to everyone, how many real friends do we really have? What’s the definition of a real friend? Am I a good, real friend? Do I have real friends? Yes, I do, but it took a few bad ones who realize who the good ones are and who are the people you want to keep in your life.

However, I’m not saying that I’ve always been a good friend, I had to lose some friends to realize that if I want good friends, I must be a good friend myself.

If anyone knows me, I love lyrics and I love lyrics that are substantial and meaningful. While I do enjoy catchy songs, I love deep songs that have various interpretations because who knows what the artists really meant, but what matters is what the lyrics mean to us. We can only guess at who the artist is writing about but when I listen to this song, it makes me think of my own friends, my real friends.

As I get older, I’ve realized that value of genuine and satisfying friendships means a lot more. Friendship is essentially a valuable treasure to me and because of this, I’m taking friendship much more seriously. X marks the spot and there are no shortcuts to produce fruitful friendships. It takes time, trust, and sometimes, tears.

Let’s Listen: New Americana

When the Coachella 2016 lineup came out, I was stoked to see which artists I currently adore were playing and of course, check out some new artists as well. Last year, Coachella 2015, was my first ever Coachella! And, I loved it, terribly loved it so much. This year, for 2016, I vowed that I wouldn’t see as much EDM artists as I did last year. I think I stayed in the Sahara tent too long. My roommate, Vivian, talked about Halsey and how she wanted to see her. Trusting her music taste, I listened to Halsey on YouTube and now, Halsey is someone I cannot miss at Coachella. As someone who loves catchy, up-beat, super fast paced music, Halsey is not someone I would generally listen to but hey, we’ve all got to broaden our horizons sooner or later.

But without a moment to waste, here’s her awesome tune! This is “New Americana”, which is one of her more catchier tunes on her album, in my opinion, but her album has a pleasant mixture of upbeat and slow sonic sounds.

Besides this song, I can’t wait to hear her play “Ghost” and “Colors”!