Thursday, May 30, 2013

Inspired by a conversation about Savage Garden

Six years ago, I moved out of state for a new job and bought a new car (which I still drive). It was the first new car I ever owned, and it ended a 17-month period when I didn't own a vehicle. The car smelled brand-new and was fun to drive. Also, its radio had an intact faceplate, which was an upgrade over my previous truck.

During my earliest cruises, I noticed that I would jam even to songs I didn't care about before. After that, I'd always love those particular songs. Years later, I went through a period of overwhelming stress and dread that magnified during my commute — and I didn't want to play even my favorite songs.

I don't know if it's a universal experience, but I find time, place and circumstance make all the difference in how (or if) I enjoy a song. More often than not, my first impression of a song matters most.

(Example: In 7th grade, I wanted to make a joke: "(Blank band) is so bad that if you put their CD in your stereo, the stereo says, 'no disc.'" (Stop not laughing.) Because I couldn't think of a bad band, I asked a friend for one. He offered up the Black Crowes, whom I'd never heard of. When I finally heard them, I couldn't admit that I liked them; my friend's passing reference meant that much. I got over it, but it took a while.)

Fortunately, that first impression can be rewritten if necessary. (Saints montages in particular are capable of magic. Potentially terrible magic in the wrong hands.)

Even more fortunately, this is true of pretty much everything. Yesterday was one of those days where I wanted to snipe at everything and everyone, where even an Internet pop-up ad pissed me off based on its content. I'm glad every day isn't like that, because I like to enjoy things. Mood has so much to do with how we perceive things, including life in general. It's just a matter of getting into the right mood, which is often easier said than done, then everything can be beautiful.

We can't hibernate through the worst times, so it's worth it to figure out how to do that.

Or, even better, how to live life so that you never want to hibernate.

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