[DAY 26] Memories Tied to Music

“…hmmm… hmmm… yeah yeah yeah hmmm… hmmm… P-A-R-T-Y”

I’m listening to Party by Girls’ Generation (or SNSD), a Korean music band that were viral just a couple years ago. Now, the “girls” are leaving their glorious 20s behind, each of them taking on a new path. Their contract ended 3 years ago, yet I had no idea because I was busy choosing my own direction. On the threshold of life, I realized that getting all hyped up by a bunch of girls who would never know me was immature.

Nevertheless, right now, I enjoy every bit what I’m listening to, even though all I can understand was nothing, and all I could do was humming nonsensically along their music. It appeared strange to me that I never once questioned what the meanings behind those songs were or what the words tell me about them. After all, I was so indifferent, so naive to say that I was their fan. Or after all, that’s the magic of music – you don’t just listen because you know. You listen because you don’t know and that’s ok.

I remember there were battles between “fandom’s”, and our girls were the least respected among my friends’ idols. I was lonely in my journey with Girls’ Generation, so I listened to 2NE1, Bigbang, Super Junior, and f(x). Other friends looked so cool with their black and white swag, while we had not just pink but all shades of pink. I hoped to find a new community and to blend in, but nothing clicked. Nothing kept me from returning to my girls, to listen to their songs on the endless nights when my introverted self was free to wander.

It was an embarrassment, or so it seemed, to not be the like-minded person someone else was looking for. As I aforementioned, I listened to all the bands whose fans hated my idol, and I loved them all. I couldn’t pick the best songs or the best artists. Despite their uniqueness, they all sounded strangely alike to me. So I stopped listening to the girls. Stopped giving in my emotions to something I cannot control such as the number of views on their videos or the departure of my favorite member. Stopped taking music too seriously, because music was my means to escape reality but never to face it or overcome the challenges life brought forth. And I turned myself to words on the page. To a life everyone is destined to take.

I wonder whether my memory was impaired, or what on my coming-of-age journey that led me to think of the past so differently. All of the sudden, I cherish every bit of my history, recalling them and laughing at them as though without them I’d be no one, or one with no past, no future, floating aimlessly in the air, eventually evaporated. Perhaps, that’s true. I also wonder what will keep my past, because no houses, no neighborhoods, and no objects can tie me, for they themselves were physically limited. Perchance the answer is music, in my case. The songs that when you listen, childhood flooded in like a stream escaping the damn dam.

For tonight, I take refuge in their songs, in the memories of waiting for their new release and the fail attempts to dance the choreography. In the end, it doesn’t matter if I lived up to the title of an authentic fan. I bet Girls’ Generation half-wanted a fan like me, because I loved their products, and when you make a song, maybe that’s all you ever wanted – someone to love it and turn music into a safe shelter.




p/s to my girls: I still remember your birthdays 🙂 It sounds funny, but it’s true.

p/s2: My memory is definitely impaired, because I remember the birthdays that I cannot celebrate (idols’ or elementary school’s friends’), while I constantly forget my best friends’ year after year. Someone helps me please 🙂

p/s3: One time, Jeff repeated a little introductory speech of his song a handful of time, and that drove me crazy. I anticipated him to stop after this one time, and that continued on for ages. Yet, Jeff practiced a song a bazillion times lately, and I wasn’t bothered by it at all. Question: it sounds that songs and speeches have different effect on the mind, but how different? I will add it to my list to research, but it’d be great if someone knows and just tells me 🙂

Published by Thi Le


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