I have to be honest. Taking classes in France while simultaneously running this blog has not been that successful.
I feel terrible when I miss class, or when I don’t post for a while. Like, I feel physically and emotionally terrible. Yes, I am a perfectionist. I always have been. And I’m learning to recognize my boundaries, and not hate myself for sticking to ‘em. But sometimes it just sucks and I don’t do what I want to do or I judge myself for doing what I actually want to do and then I feel bad and then because I feel bad I don’t do what I want to do.
Along with being a perfectionist, I have a stubborn personality. It’s a winning combination that leaves me constantly in stalemates with myself. This past week, I’ve been at a definite impasse. I don’t feel well. Class can be quite boring. I’m tired of this same old city. I feel stuck. And because of all that, I don’t have the energy or willpower to change the situation, and potentially not feel those draining, damaging thoughts.
I’ve been in this exact same impasse before, many, many times. I noticed it only after several of its cycles. Admittedly, I have been noticing it for a long time without doing anything about it. Possibly I could end the standoff this time, or maybe not. As long as I don’t stop trying, I can deal with it.
Sometimes I do stop trying. (I’m trying to make myself realize that this not always a bad thing.) But I don’t want to, not right now.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, maybe this week’s (late) Weekly Playlist To might help. At the end of the day, at least we have these wildly eclectic thirty-minute mixes to rely on.
Find all of the tracks here.
1. The Tide Is High – Blondies Not giving up is literally in the lyrics here. Though this song seems to be about “getting the guy,” I replace “the guy” with all of my hopes, dreams, and goals and it really pumps me up.
The tide is high but I’m holding on
I’m gonna be your number one
I’m not the kind of girl who gives up just like that
2.Bad Self Portraits – Lake Street Dive Sometimes, you gotta get resourceful. My mother always says, “If you can’t change something, change the way you think about it.” The narrator’s camera could’ve easily been a memory, gathering dust, of lost love, but instead she turned it into a tool for furthering her own skills and creativity.
I bought this camera
To take pictures of my love
Now that he’s gone
I don’t have anybody to take pictures of
Along some highway is pretty good subjects
I’m gonna make myself make use of this thing
I’m taking landscapes
I’m taking still lifes
I’m taking bad self portraits
Of a lonely woman
3. Closer – Chic Gamine The more I think about it, the more I think that it’s actually terribly difficult to completely give up. Truly giving up on something you care about requires stripping away so much of what you are. I guess there’s a giving-up-spectrum. Taking a break isn’t giving up; that would fall on one side of spectrum. Forgetting your heart, however—that would fall on the opposite side.
And the moon rise and the sun still sets
But don’t forget your heart here
Don’t forget your heart here
4. One More Time With Feeling – Regina Spektor As someone who often forgets to breathe in moments of great tension, or even just moments of boredom, or happiness, or like at any time really, the idea that breathing is just a rhythm is quite comforting. As readers already know, I’m not all about meditation, but slow, measured breathing is a great way to calm down and get perspective.
One more time with feeling
Try it again
Breathing’s just a rhythm
Say it in your mind
Until you know that the words are right
5. They Can’t Take That Away From Me – Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong I just really love this song. It’s one of those “Forever Favorites,” if you know what I mean. And also, no, they can’t take anything away from me. In fact, screw they.
The way you wear your hat
The way you sip your tea
The memory of all that
No, they can’t take that away from me
The way your smile just beams
The way you sing off key
The way you haunt my dreams
No, no, they can’t take that away from me
6. Don’t Dream It’s Over – Sixpence None The Richer This song displays another case of defiance against the mysterious but oppressive they.
Hey now, hey now
Don’t dream it’s over
Hey now, hey now
When the world comes in
They come, they come
To build a wall between us
We know that they won’t win
7. Everybody Plays the Fool – The Main Ingredient This song has so many practical uses. Failed a test? Everybody plays the fool, sometimes. Heartbroken? Everybody plays the fool, sometimes. Dropped a bottle of Chanel perfume on the floor where it shattered into a million pieces in the middle of a fancy French perfume store? Everybody plays the fool, sometimes.
Everybody plays the fool, sometimes
They use your heart just like a tool
Listen, baby, it may be factual, may be cruel
I ain’t lyin’, everybody plays the fool
8. Put Your Records On – Corinne Bailey Rae This classic speaks for itself.
Girl, put your records on, tell me your favorite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams,
Just go ahead, let your hair down
You’re gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow
9. Extraordinary Machine – Fiona Apple I love the idea of making the most out of utter crap. If only I had been able to think this way in the middle school/high school era.
If there was a better way to go
Then it would find me
I can’t help if the road
Just rolls out behind me
Be kind to me, or treat me mean
I’ll make the most of it
I’m an extraordinary machine
Again, the full mix can be found here for not-giving-up vibes.
Happy hanging in there.