I’m thinking a lot about music these days. The other day I discovered that if I have to spend hours wading through spreadsheets, then I can deal with it a lot better if I do it while listening to classic 80s pop. I hate spreadsheets.
There was a time when music meant a lot more to me than it does now. The songs I cherished the most were the ones I found I could relate to. They made what I was feeling more real. It meant that I wasn’t just some emotional nut job full of feelings. Someone else had been there before. That was a mistake. Because it also meant that I would twist my emotions or the situation around until they could relate to something. Maybe I didn’t believe that on my own I was real or valid enough. My experience would follow theirs. If I didn’t, I had to make it follow theirs.
The problem with locking yourself into someone else’s story is that you lose sight of your own. You misread, misinterpret other people. It look me far too long to realise that.
There’s nothing wrong with finding a song that you can relate to. But it is wrong to take it for more than just a tune. It’s wrong to not try to move forward to the next song. Songs don’t offer solutions. They dwell. Total Eclipse of the Heart doesn’t end with Bonnie Tyler realising that this is destructive relationship that will never make her happy. 9 to 5 is about complaining and hoping for better times, not quitting the job your hate, starting your own business or vamping up your CV and moving on.
So pick two songs.
Pick the one that expresses where you are now.
Then pick the one that expresses where you want to be.
Then decide what you need to do to get from Song No. 1 to Song No. 2.
Or roll them both into one. But unless you have magical ice powers, you still need the plan.