An Exercise in Self Loathing

I’m not one to dwell on the past. Hard to imagine, right? I mean, I was a cute fuckin’ kid. But still, there’s something kinda sad about spending all of your time thinking about the past. I don’t mean in a “live in the now” kinda way. In fact, the only thing I hate more than the “stop and smell the roses” people are the douche bags who say “live in the now.” I dunno, maybe it has something to do with growing up in upper-middle class, predominantly white suburbia and being “different.” (Tip to the young ones, that’s probably just your guidance counselors code word for “homo” but he doesn’t wanna say it for fear of having a potential lawsuit on his hands) Or maybe it has something to do with being a little chunk monster. (Don’t ask for photo evidence, I made sure I destroyed all traces of my fat kid days)

But even though things are going so swimmingly now, what with the unemployment and the never-ending tedium of grad school, I like to reflect on my humble beginnings. How do I do this? Well, since I destroyed most photographic evidence of having a childhood, it’s a little harder than it is for most people. My preferred method? I like to look back on the music that’s played a part in my life.

Believe it or not, I still keep track of a lot of my old playlists. It’s less about the sentimentality and more about the amount of effort that it takes to go through all my playlists and decide which ones to keep. Besides, who knows when I’m gonna wanna go back and listen to 90s favorite, Creed?

This is where the self-loathing part comes in… every so often, when I feel myself getting a bit of an ego and I need to cool off a little, I simply pop on one of my old playlists. Nothing beats down an ever-expanding ego like looking back at the music you used to like. Seriously, my first mix CD of all time features Destiny’s Child. No matter how many times I wish it to be so, that kind of damage just can’t be undone.

And so, there you have it; my method of keeping myself in check is mix CDs. No exception. It’s gotta be a full mix CD. We’re talkin’ all 70 minutes of bitter nostalgia. Usually by song three, I find myself suddenly understanding Vincent Van Gogh’s desire to cut his ear off. It was because he had “Hit Me Baby One More Time” on three mix CDs, right? Look, I’m not here to debate historical facts, I’m just sayin’, I get where the guy was coming from.

But regardless of his motivation for doing it, at least my motivation is clear. Like I said, nothing bruises the ego quite like seeing where you came from. And when your childhood is decorated with 90s pop divas (Seriously, how I didn’t know I was gay until high school is totally beyond me…) and douche bag 90s Top 40 staples like Scott Stapp, it’s hard not to be thankful that you’ve left those days behind you.


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