The great part about writing what you’ve learned as you’ve grown older is knowing that there is always someone older than you reading it and rolling their eyes utterly over your shit. This is the kind of thought that both shames from writing and secretly delights me. I’m so over my own shit.
So let me not offer wisdom no one is asking for.
Instead I will let you in on the dirty little secret: as I get older my feelings and emotions have not changed all that much, I’ve just found ways to cope with these things that are more socially acceptable. There is only so much sympathy for a 52 year old person who is into self-mutilation. Cutting is a young person’s self-harm game – browsing Pinterest to bash yourself against your own inability to create perfection is timeless.
I’m getting dangerously close to Mountain Witch levels of wisdom proffering. Let me get to my point: I love crying.
For all the talk about bringing your “authentic self” to work, no one is trying to see you cry at your desk. But sometimes you need to indulge the darkness. That’s why there’s Spotify.
Building a playlist of doom and gloom has been essential to being a grown person at work (externally) while feeding my malcontent inner teen.
I offer up these pearls so that you can internally wail and indulge the emotional toddler that you actually are while maintaining an outward appearance of a grown adult who knows how to people. To paraphrase Liz Taylor as she chucks couple thousand karats of diamonds at some dude-bros, “these have recently brought me despair.”
– Haley Bonar’s “Last War” – this one is great for when you need to emotionally rehash and stay in a destructive mental place about unfinished business.
– Sky Ferreira “Nobody Asked Me (If I Was Okay)” – ahhhh, yes let the butthurt flow. A top-notch self-pity jam complete with breathy, urgent vocals.
– Grant Lee Buffalo “Mockingbirds” – what I like about this one is the continuity of sadness it offers me. The same song I could listen to at 16 to weep in my bedroom is the same one I can use to cry in my car in the parking lot of SuperTarget, or plug my headphones in to desecrate the office shitter with a totally new bodily fluid-my tears.
– Santigold “God from the Machine” – A very lonely pep talk for when your entire work team is letting you down.
– Wye Oak “Civilian” – You probably can’t drink whisky at work but this will scratch that same itch. Excellent marching beat to keep you working as you internally shut down.
– Two Wounded Birds “To Be Young” – You woke up wanting to atomize yourself. It happens. But you’re grown now and you still have a physical form that needs to be dragged through this garbled version of space and time, so you suck it up and get to work. But you don’t have to be happy about it. That’s why this song exists. Let the deceptive jangly guitars feed your inner optimist while the hopeless lyrics lick the wounds of your rapidly diminishing youth.
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