I haven’t done one of these in forever…
So sometimes, when writing, I need to feeeel things. (Bleh) What kinds of things? Well, today I’m talking about songs that bring me back to my teenage years when I was at a high for drama, emotion, and vulnerability.
In each song lies a memory that I’ll never be able to shake- even when I’m old and senile. And while some of these can be horrific to relive, I think recalling these moments and feeeelings helps me to be as real as I can with what I’m writing. Especially if it’s a YA, coming of age story. (I wonder why that is? Lol. Not really)
Let’s get started:
Feels: The first true sparks of hope in love. Song(s): At Wits End (Pirates of the Caribbean, At World’s End Score)- When I was a preteen, this was my jam. (Pathetic, I know). I mean, I’d fall asleep late at night with my MP3 and pretend I was a girl falling for a pirate. It sparked up some pretty interesting brain movies too, at least for that time. Now looking back, it’s still a beautiful piece. It doesn’t spark any genuine lovey dovey, epic romances- but rather reminds me that a preteen knows nothing of romance and their fantasies are way too dramatized and off-base. Sorry young, Ciara. (She’d be so embarrassed right now if you knew! 😝)
Feels: My first “real person” crush. Song(s): Oh gosh, anything with the Jonas Brothers and/or Hannah Montana-
I don’t know if it’s the music that makes me cringe or the reminder that I was so weird and awkward (like psycho level) when dealing with crushes. Either way it all just makes me feel really, really gross. I use these songs to write the cringe worthy-adolescent types who have the head gear, severe acne, are a little chunky, and just don’t know how to deal with life. Almost like I was. (Hahaha. Was. Funny.)😥
Feels: My first “love” (hahahahaha)
Song(s): When I Look At You (Miley Cyrus)-
More like when I barf on you. Ugh. 🤢 Back then this was a song for me that was one of those things where I associated the lyrics to how I felt and then it just became “our song”. Hearing this now, recalls back feelings of vulnerability and misplaced trust. I made my most tragic mistakes as a teen and this was, to me, the real first step in the wrong direction. I was rebelling against my parents and was just very naive and self-centered. And I think, when writing about a teen there has to be those real mistakes that seem insignificant at the time, but can have detrimental consequences in the end.
Feels: Single Forever, Summer Dreams
Song(s): Who Says (Selena Gomez), also the Lemonade Mouth soundtrack-
I remember this summer pretty vividly. I’d sworn off guys, hung out with friends, and ate Chipotle for the first time. (because that’s important to remember) The feeling I had then was empowerment and being a free-spirit. It was a pretty fun, worry-free time for me. Man, to eat Chipotle again…
Feels: The calm before the storm
Song(s): Hurts like Heaven and Paradise (Coldplay), Good Life and Secrets (OneRepublic), Night Visions album (Imagine Dragons), The Host soundtrack-
I think I loved these songs so much back then because they were a distraction from the unknown. In my senior year, I felt like there was all of this pressure to know exactly what I was going to do with my life. I didn’t even know who I was. These songs were a part of my escape from it all. Looking back, I was being a little dramatic, but it’s a hard time for any kid and I think music does help. 🎧
Feels: Wild college parties
Song(s): We Can’t Stop (Miley Cyrus, again?), We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (TSwift), and Story of my Life (One Direction)-
Let me start off by saying that I went to a very strict private college. We couldn’t listen to a whole lot of music or watch movies. So our idea of a “crazy college party” was about two or three of us snacking on some chocolate covered pretzels, watching Inception, and playing Spotify at a really low volume. Hey, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. When I look back on this, I think of my bestie Jessie and the importance of lasting, encouraging friendships. (Click here to watch her latest YouTube video! It’s 👍👍👍)
Feels: Being a total idiot
Song(s) I Knew You Were Trouble (TSwift) and It Will Rain (Bruno Mars)-
This one is for that toxic faux relationship I had in college where the guy was that cliche bad boy that I thought I could change. Spoiler: I was wrong. I like to use these songs as inspiration for raw scenes of emotion and intensity… JUST KIDDING. They’re definitely used for the violence. I won’t say who I’m imagining decapitating or electrocuting… but you get the idea 😉
Feels: Falling in love, for real.
Song(s): Til Kingdom Come (Coldplay) and Begin Again (Tswift)-
This marks the end of my teenagedom. They bring me back to meeting the most handsome man in this here entire world. (Not that looks are everything. He gets me Chipotle. And that’s what’s really important 😂) These songs carried me into the next chapter of my life, where I grew up and fell in love with the man of God that I was meant to be with. So when I hear these songs, I think of new beginnings, second chances, and the greatest love story I could ever ask for. And I do my best to translate that love into the stories I write for myself.
And with that, my Nostalgic Playlist is complete. Man, I feel so old.