I have a soundtrack to my life.

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I always have a song stuck in my head. It usually coincides with my mood or with whatever I’m doing at that moment. I like to call it “the soundtrack to my life”, and I am convinced that it is the only way to live.

Songs either remind me of a moment or moments remind me of songs. There is no place in which I live without a piece of music or a lyric playing. This makes it very difficult to not feel overly dramatic while standing in a subway car and listening to some melancholy piece playing round and round in my head while I look out over the diversity of the people all making their way different places to do different things. It makes it very difficult not to be wistful or to cry with abandon when standing at my window, staring out over a snowy Redmond.

It is completely embarrassing that one of the moments that always reminds me of a song comes when Ben and I are fighting. Oh gosh, I cannot believe I’m putting this into words, but the song I hear every single time is by Evanescence. And guys, for the life of me I cannot remember what it sounds like unless Ben and I are actually in an argument. This means I can’t actually tell you what song it is right now. All I know is that it was the song playing when I found out that he had asked another girl “out” freshman year of high school, and ever since then, I will hear it every single time I’m mad at him. Now this makes a ridiculous fight get even worse because I’m already annoyed, then add the song on top of it, and suddenly I’m the queen of theatrical monologues and perfectly timed shows of storming out of the room.

When I hear the song Starlight by Muse, I will always remember laying on the floor of the upstairs game room in my parents’ house next to Ben during Thanksgiving break, trying to do some homework. My sister was sitting at her desk, listening to the song, speeding it up and slowing it down. I was distracted by the bangs I had cut myself just days before. I was a college freshman, and I had been desperate for a bang trim.

When a really good song comes along, like the one I mentioned yesterday “Suspiria” by Thom York, I will listen to it over and over. So, now, it will forever remind me of Sofie dancing in circles around our living room as I have listened to it probably 10 times since then.

“Green Eyes” by Coldplay will remind me of Henry’s birth. “At Last” by Etta James will always remind me of the dress rehearsal of my first dance recital. Blink 182 will remind me of getting my appendix out. “Heathens” by 21 Pilots will jolt me back to standing in our Amsterdam Airbnb doing my hair and makeup in the wardrobe mirror just before meeting up with my sister outside of her fitness studio after she taught class. This doesn’t even cover half of my soundtrack.

Music moves me, and I feel myself move with it. Maybe this makes no sense, so I’ll explain. Music moves me emotionally. It changes the way I see the world in front of me. I could have a reasonably happy day, my wedding day for instance, but be a total wreck just from hearing a piece of music. I feel myself move with music, because the pieces that move me also make me dance and create. Whether I’m dancing in my own head, seeing flashes of imagery in front of me that would be a perfect montage in a movie, or dancing in the kitchen, allowing my body and mind to freely follow the melody and harmony, the mood and the lyrics, music makes me want to run away with it.

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