Julia Hamilton

Big Changes, Sad Songs

Julia Hamilton
Big Changes, Sad Songs

I really love sad songs, y'all. I wallow in them.

While I do have a playlist called "Sad and Slow" that really hits the spot when I'm staring out of a rainy car window, certain situations tend to drive me to specific songs that I'll just play on repeat while I sulk. Obviously "Hallelujah" is a classic--any of the versions, really--and I wept softly to it while sitting on the toilet at 5:45 AM after the election, until I saw With God on Our Side on Facebook, which took over from there. Last semester, on a sleep-deprived day during a period of acute romantic frustration, I memorized the lyrics of Lying to You within a couple hours straight of listening to that song only and then continued to sing it to myself whenever I couldn't put in earbuds. Then this last week, as my three remaining housemates and I tried not to get overwhelmed cleaning and moving out of our house, it's been this version of Lua. I sang along with it four times while I was clearing out our basement, trying to follow along with the 3-part harmony and succeeding maybe 70% of the time. I really dove right in there when they went for that It was so simple in the moonlight, now it's so complicated line, but my welled-up eyes made it tougher to dodge the dust and spiders.

There's been a lot of that going on over the last three weeks, with graduation, loved ones moving away, the end of the Ruka Fellowship, and this whole moving-out process. My sad song stock can barely keep up with the upheaval, the uncertainty, the downright unpleasantness of big changes. Thankfully, I've had just enough down time lately to actually process some of these emotions, but graduation week itself was so jam-packed that I pushed it all aside and then dissolved the moment things slowed down. The Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday following the ceremony, the tears just kept on coming at varying intensities depending on how well I was able to distract myself. One day, when helping a friend move out of his room, I held myself together until the moment he left me alone to go to the restroom. He came back to find me collapsed cross-legged, sobbing, bent over fists of crumpled toilet paper, with absolutely no warning. It was a surprise attack. I saw terror in his eyes.

So, clearly, handling change gracefully is not one of my strengths. It's not that I want anything to be different about this situation, except maybe losing important people in my day-to-day life, but I definitely do not want to go back to being a college student, I'm excited to return to France, and in the meantime I'm doing this weird summer program that's supposed to teach me to be an entrepreneur. I'm going places, I've got prospects, and things are looking up, but that doesn't make this whole ordeal any less sad or scary. So what I'm going to do is just try not to drag my feet too much as the future comes to get me, keep a tissue or two in my back pocket, and pump in those simple melodies with all their unnecessarily sad lyrics. I'm also going to write about it here under the foolish, narcissistic assumption that the internet cares about me, or that anyone will read this at all. We'll just see how it goes.

Thanks for checking in, y'all.