Listening to good music and watching music videos used to make me really weirdly melancholy. I never knew why some songs could really pull on my heartstrings. I would get this deep longing to live the life being sung about. I didn’t need to understand the lyrics or even know anything about the band — I just envisioned the moment of the song and wanted desperately to inhabit it, to feel it.
And now, having just discovered a new band that I really like (Passion Pit, I know, I’m behind on the times), I think I finally understand what that feeling was about.
It was the opposite of missing your youth, wanting to stay forever young. It was the young longing for adulthood.
I wanted to be an adult, to have the kind of friendships and relationships I imagined the musicians were singing about, to expedite the tedious process of growing up, fucking up and learning from it, the over-emotionality of adolescence.
I’m listening to “Sleepyhead” by Passion Pit and getting more and more obsessed with the song — as I tend to do when I land on something I really like — so I’m looking online and researching the band, its members, their history.
They’re really popular and successful and when I look them up…and they’re not so unlike me. Most of the band members are around 25, they live in Brooklyn. I’m sure they’re not millionaires but they make money doing what they love (and I’m sure they still have to hustle sometimes to make ends meet). I write for a living. I live in Brooklyn with my partner of 2+ years and will turn 25 years old in less than 2 months.
What the eff. How did I arrive here? I’m living in these music videos now. My life isn’t so far off from theirs. My life is the adult one I always envied. And it doesn’t feel so different. Just more independent, more self-sufficient, more stable and predictable than youth. More thoughtful and ambitious. Same ups and downs, same occasional heartbreaks, same dilemmas and disappointments. There continues to be plenty to write (or sing) about.
How did I get here? What will I dream about next? What next phase of life will I want to rush towards? Can I just be here now?