I’ve decided. There is here, at the intersection of music and melancholy. This is where nostalgia lives. The music I choose is often bittersweet; it can conjure wistful feelings and spark sadness.
Young & Beautiful
“He’s my sun, he makes me shine like diamonds.”
What a perfect pairing this song is with The Great Gatsby. The glitz, the excess, the recklessness reminds me of youth, when everything is new and shiny and you feel like you will never grow old. It’s a fever dream.
Sometimes, I look back on my youth, and wonder how things would have been different if I had been braver. I didn’t make a lot of choices in high school, I just kind of floated around like a ghost and waited for things to happen to me. At some point, those “things” were mostly boys.
He is like the sun. Without it, I could never truly shine.
I came back to life when I was in lust or in love. There were high points in between, but for the most part, without the sun I felt invisible. The sun made me feel warm. And wanted. And like anything could happen. Being in the sun allowed me to live in that fever dream of youth.
The problem with beautiful dreams is you have to wake up someday, and be crushed that none of it was real. If I had known that, would I have done anything different?
When I’m feeling low (which, let’s face it, is often), I start thinking maybe there really was nothing there, that I was always just a shell of a person and for a while that shell was attractive to some. Now that I’m older, and continually trying to come to terms with all that that means, I wish I could go back and fill that shell with laughter, and experiences, (the kind you remember the next day), and courage. My youth experience was all about avoiding people or following people or devoting myself to a single person while neglecting the rest. There was no balance. Only excess.
I was young and beautiful for a while. I have a hard time accepting that that phase is over, that I had my chance to make the best of it and now those days are gone.
Many people say that if they had the chance to go back, they would not — no regrets. I wish I could say that. But the truth is, if I could go back in time, knowing what I know now, I would. In a heartbeat.
If you could go back in time, what would you change?