Sometimes, you just have to let the misery ride out.
My mom has been telling me this one particular metaphor for a long time. I have no idea if she made it up or not. She is sort of the queen of uncommon clichés (which is a bit of an oxymoron in its own right).
When something awful is going on, or you’ve got extensive internal pain about something or other, and whenever the residual icky-ness hits you, as it is wont to do, once or twice or a thousand times a day, it helps to think of the pain as though it’s a wave.
Personally, I am deathly afraid of waves. I live on an island. And I am still very, very afraid of waves. When you’re swimming in the Atlantic, to avoid the little waves crashing against your chest, you have to go fairly far out into the ocean. It seems relatively peaceful out there, where the water is still and blue.
However. Going far out into the water does not allow you to avoid all waves. In fact, it makes you susceptible to the biggest, scariest, most powerful ones. And, it you’re far enough out that you can’t freaking run back to the beach when these awful King Kong waves start building! I hate this! I feel very strongly about it!
Of course, being the wimp that I am, I try running back to the sand anyway. This always just ends up with me tumbling under the water, fearing my life and choking on salt water, until I’m in the shower that night trying to get sand out of deep crevices.
So, according to the metaphor and my own traumatic experiences, running away from the pain wave is not really the best way to deal.
If you’re an experienced ocean swimmer, or just not a coward like me, you know that the best way to get through a huge wave is to literally go through it. Just hold your breath, and dive in. It makes no sense to me, and it really goes against both my fight and my flight instincts. But somehow, you always end up on the other side, breathing just fine.
Is this metaphor a little too obvious? Oh, whatever. Here’s a thirty-minute mix (and, yes, it is very eclectic, as per usual) to get you a little wet and maybe, by letting yourself feel the pain, get through it.
Find the entire playlist here!
1.Where Does the Good Go – Tegan and Sara It's not a secret that life is unfair. That little tidbit of life hasn't exactly been inconspicuous. But man, universe, don't leave us hanging like this. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, or so I've heard in movies. If the misery is here, where's the happiness?
Where do you go with your broken heart in tow
What do you do with the left over you
And how do you know when to let go
Where does the good go
2.Fuck Was I – Jenny Owen Youngs How often is it the case that you know you shouldn't do something, but you do it anyway? Yeah. Me too.
Skillet on the stove
It’s such a temptation
Maybe I’ll be the lucky one that doesn’t get burned
What the fuck was I thinking?
3.Same Changes – The Weepies Bring on the bleak.
And everyone says
This love will change you
Well I ask, does anything ever stay the same
No, no, no
Just same changes
4.Everything Is Embarrassing – Sky Ferreira I really love this artist, named Wayne White. He was the puppeteer for Peewee's Playhouse and did incredible work for a bunch of other things. He's famous for these word paintings he makes, where he paints phrases that come to his wacky and wonderful mind on top of thrift store purchases. One of my favorites: "BEAUTY IS EMBARRASSING." And it's true. I'm embarrassed by so many qualities my mother would brag about to distant relatives.
I’ve been hating everything
Everything that could’ve been
Could have been my anything
Now everything’s embarrassing
5.Both Sides Now – Joni Mitchell This song is what happens when you've tried, you've looked at something from all perspectives, you've hung on for as long as you could, and yet everything still sucks.
But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way
6.Crazy – Patsy Cline I hate feeling "crazy," especially because I'm only ever "crazy" in the eyes of someone else, someone who doesn't have the same stakes as I do. Ugh. Stop calling people crazy, everyone. It is uncool.
I’m crazy for feeling so lonely
I’m crazy for feeling so blue
7.Ain’t That Just The Way – Latricia McNeal Even though all of these songs aren't explicitly uplifting, just the fact that someone else felt the same as you do now is a huge relief.
Ain’t that just the way that life goes down, down, down, down
Moving way too fast or much too slow
Getting up, getting high, getting down
Getting no, no, nowhere
But not getting into someone I should know
8.I Care – Beyoncé This song has gotten me through many an emotional breakdown. Who am I kidding, it's gotten me through breakups, final exams in economics, and my favorite character dying in Buffy. It's multi-purpose. (Thank you, Lady Beyoncé, Duchess of Earth.)
Ain’t nobody tell me this is love
You’re immune to all my pain
I need you to tell me this is love
You don’t care well that’s okay
Well, I care
I know you don’t care too much
But I still care
Again, the mix, in it’s depressing entirety, can be listened to here.