Through My Eyes

Timing was everything.

How music has shaped my most significant relationships

with 2 comments

Part I:

In the fall of 2001, I was a freshman living on the co-ed, 7th floor of a UCSB dorm called San Nicholas (aka San Nic).  I was majoring in Psychology and loving every minute of what dorm life had to offer.  Coming from a small town where Friday night football games were the climax of your weekends, this was the ultimate, young adult’s paradise.  (Little did I know that the next four years would encompass more freedom than any ordinary young adult could handle.)

I met my college boyfriend through some of the guys we hung out with whom lived on the floor below us.  Unbeknownst to me, he was in my Intro to Psych course and was seated a few rows behind me in the discussion group we attended the first day of class that September.  Later, he would reveal that he chuckled when he saw that I was one of the very few students who had to get up and collect parental permission slips in order to attend the course, since the content would cover adult “themes.”  I was not yet 18.

After a few months of bumping into him within the halls of my floor (he was frequently paying visits to “the guys”), seeing him in mutual friends’ rooms during “Century” sessions, listening to him on the balcony next to my room ramble on and on about global politics and complain about how Americans just don’t get it, I started to warm up to him.  He suddenly dropped out of my Psych class, and for about a month, I didn’t see him as often.  One night, I came back from the dining commons with my roomate and another girl friend who lived a few doors down and opened the door to our room to find a label-less cd in a blank case lying on the floor, just past the threshold.  I picked it up and read the small, typed, cut-out label that said,

“For Winnie, We live in a crazy world.”

At first, I was intrigued.  Why would anyone leave something like that for me, unsigned?  Was that creepy?  Did I have some kind of stalker?  Was someone on my floor playing a prank and waiting to see my reaction?

My friend Liana and I sat there and tried to come up with ideas on what this meant.  We threw the cd in my Dell (remember those?) and decided to spend the next hour or so deciphering the songs to figure out who this mystery person could be.  We came up with all sorts of ideas, went off on tangents, analyzed the lyrics of each song, and came up with nothing.  I had no clue.  Neither did she.  We kept pointing our fingers back to one of our friends who lived across the hall from me, Brad.  You could tell from listening to the selection of songs that this person was either very deep, very disturbed, or going through something very emotional/spiritual all by himself (or herself).

Some time later, he revealed himself to me (although I can’t remember whether it was through a 4-page letter he left in my room while I was gone or unabashedly in person).  Regardless, his methods of getting my attention struck a chord.  We went on to be part of a three-year relationship (although on and off), and I have him to thank for introducing me to some of the best underground hip hop music I had ever been exposed to.  Ironically, he was a very American guy from a very American town in Northern California.  You would’ve never guessed from the beats he would play.

Part II:

The relationship I was in almost a year after graduating college was different from any relationship I had ever been in.  I had learned so much after reflecting on the mistakes I made in the past.  I tried to be as open, honest, and giving as I possibly could be.  Most importantly, I tried my best to accept the fact that being in a relationship means you’re going to have to be vulnerable.   At first, I resisted getting into the relationship.  I wasn’t sure I was ready.  I didn’t want to be so close to someone.  I had just moved to the East bay, literally meeting him a few days after having arrived.  We met at Dave & Busters through another mutual friend I went to college with, and I have to be honest, neither of us remember much about that night except for the fact that he got my number before I walked out the door.  We said our farewells, and about a week later, on NYE, I got a text wishing me a Happy New Years.  At the time, I didn’t know who the sender was, but texted back something along the lines of the same sentiments.  I finally figured out who it was a few days later, and thus began our courtship.

At the beginning, when I was most resistant, he gave me a cd he had made.  There was one song on this disk that I could not get out of my head and would eventually become the song that would remind me of him every time it played, even to this day.  I truly believe that it was this one song that opened my eyes and allowed me to open my arms and welcome him into my life for two and a half years.

Finale:

I know what you’re thinking.

It’s not to say that I’m swept off my feet every time someone of the opposite sex hands me a mix.  I just see a pattern where music represents phases of my life, especially in regards to being in relationships.  I’m certain I’m not alone in feeling this way.  I’m certain that you can name particular songs that remind you of particular people or historic moments in your life.  I just find it amusing that music can play such a major role in bringing two people closer to each other.  There are times now, in my current relationship, that I’ll look into this person’s eyes and hear a song playing in my head, and it’s a song reserved for him.  Even the most vivid memories can blur, but like scents that you pick up from a draft through an open door, a chord can bring back the nostalgia of something that was very important to you at a point in time.  Nothing can get in the way of that.

With that said, I hope you hear all different types of music throughout your life.

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Written by winniewongsf

April 8, 2010 at 3:54 am

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. omgoodness. i completely concur with this blogpost! winnie, you are such an incredible writer. my favorite: “Even the most vivid memories can blur, but like scents that you pick up from a draft through an open door, a chord can bring back the nostalgia of something that was very important to you at a point in time.” amazing. 🙂

    Annie

    April 20, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    • Thanks, Annie. Always happy to hear someone can relate. Where would we be without music?

      winniewongsf

      April 21, 2010 at 5:55 pm


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