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Born Free?

More than anything I just want to be free.

Free me

Free from pain

Free from scars

Free to explore

Free to conquer

Free to love

Free to fail

Free to forgive

Free to do nothing and just be for a minute

Free not to feel alone

Free to be with someone and feel a oneness

Free to live

Free to be

Sweet Middle

Unplugged but not off the grid

In love but not attached

Curious but not confused

Lost but found

High but down to earth

Alone but not lonely

Consume but not be consumed

Sad but happy

Indulge but not self-indulgent

Thoughtless but not empty-headed

Sure of himself but nothing is certain

Dead to self but more than alive

Restrained but not hesitant

Forgiving but not fooled

Spirit yet flesh

Music but a single note

A fortress yet a meadow

Travel the world but still never leave home

Surrendered but not captive

Why Do I Still Enjoy Sad/Depressing Music?

Pictured: Lil Tracy (left), Phem (right)

I often find myself going back to songs I heavily enjoyed when I was seriously depressed.

For those who don’t know, I was clinically depressed for years and also diagnosed with social anxiety disorder.

This made it hard to leave the house and even get up out of bed some mornings.

Alone in my bedroom I gravitated towards songs that matched the energy I felt at the time. Artists like Lil Peep, Lil Tracy, Lil NARNIA and Lil Lotus. A whole array of Lil’s and other various artists.

What all these artists have in common is their songs have lyrics with bleak undertones about relationships, break-ups, love itself and even death. And some millenial struggles like not getting a text back or simply not getting any likes on your social media page made it all oddly relatable.

In many of Lil Peep’s songs he talks about his own death over and over to the point where you become desensitized to it. Now looking back in retrospect, it’s sort of haunting.

In a moment where suicidal thoughts plagued my mind constantly, I would take refuge among the many artists who sang about these very internal struggles I was dealing with.

My fanaticism for “emo rap” even led me to attend a concert in November of 2018. Finally getting me outside of my comfort zone and interacting with strangers. I found that once you had a common ground, conversation flowed naturally. That was my first sort of epiphany where I realized social anxiety did not have to hold me back. That if I wanted to, I could overcome it. If only for the time being.

That night I had also made a major decision that would change the course of my life.

Fast forward to now and I have a job where I deal with tons of people day in and day out and I sometimes go out and have fun of my own volition. You can say I’ve sort of mastered socializing. And my depression seems to be a thing of the past. I even stopped listening to some of my favorite artists because their music was too dark for me.

But still I go back sometimes and listen to these songs. Why is that? Is it just for nostalgic reasons specifically? Is it to feed my ego? Or can I just relate to the music on a non-superficial level because I’ve been there and done that?

Anytime I hear someone sing or rap about something that’s real and raw with emotion, I can’t help but to listen. You don’t find that in the vast majority of today’s music. If you listen to popular music, everything is fine and we are here to have a good time. But not with “emo” music. Everything is not fine and they are adamant about that. Sometimes even wearing their sadness as a badge of honor like some sort of identity. It’s just different from a lot of what’s out there.

Sometimes it’s refreshing just to hear someone say “I’m not fine, everything is not fine,” for a change. We all wear masks in this society, very few are true to who they are.

That’s why I will never forget these artists for their contribution. They weren’t afraid to be raw and vulnerable with their emotions.

I hope to put this same type of vulnerability and honesty into my own music and hope someday someone will listen. Truly listen.

Guilt

Guilt is an emotion typically seen as negative. It’s like a flame that grows and grows when fanned. If left unchecked it can consume the host like an unwelcome parasite.

But can guilt be healthy too? Sometimes guilt tells us when we’ve F’d up or crossed a line. We feel guilty so we find that person and apologize to them. But if we’re only sorry because we feel guilt, are we really sorry at all?

Is guilt necessary? When we feel guilty and are under a lot of pressure, guilt is almost like that strict parent that won’t tolerate you not toeing the line. In that case we are like a small child that just wants to receive love from its parent but can’t right now because the parent is disapproving of them.

Guilt can be a destructive emotion and I know that first hand. I used many things to help cope with my guilt. While I don’t self-medicate anymore I still feel guilt for things that I do from time to time.

That’s why I’m writing this post.

If it was a learning experience then what do I have to feel sorry for? That was then and this is now. I’m not the same person I was a few minutes ago. We are constantly changing and morphing. Why still do I beat myself up about this? Is guilt something inherent in humans or is it taught to us? I believe I feel guilt because I’ve proposed a certain standard for myself. A bar I have to reach. When I fall short of that I criticize myself as if that is going to help me do better next time. I’m being the parent in the scenario while simultaneously being the child. It just doesn’t make sense.

If I simply brought compassion and understanding into the equation, the guilt would be absolved. Why do we make it so hard to love ourselves?

If you saw someone struggling, I mean truly struggling, with no help and it’s not their fault what they’re going through… Would you judge them?

Why then do we judge ourselves constantly for the things that we do?

Why can’t we just accept that we are flawed and all have shortcomings?

This stems from a deeper societal problem but I fear going into a tangent.

I made this post so I could release the guilt I was feeling somehow and come back to my real self. I hope someone takes away at least something from this post, you never know if they are the exact words someone needed to read.

By the River~

There was something enchanting about the river…

As I strolled along I found myself in a state of near bliss as I was accompanied by a gentle breeze and a magnificent sun.

The autumn weather is setting in and it is starting to get cool.

After a long day of stress being heaped upon me, I take solace in my companion, the river.

What it would be like to enjoy this brief retreat with a flesh and blood companion?

Something I can’t quite imagine. I continue on with companionship found in the trees, the weather and mighty long river. They are all mine and they fill me with light and tranquility.

God, I’d like to stay in this state forever but sadly I can’t. There are things that call to my attention from the man-made world.

I wonder what it would be like to be in nature all the time and live off the land.

I recall the post I made about us being inheritors of the Earth. It couldn’t ring more true than now. A paradise a stroll from home. My own personal paradise.