And I remember thinking more than once during that period that I would never take my finger off the trendsetters' pulse.
But sometime between 30 and 40, I became a relic. I retreated into my familiar musical cocoon and wrapped myself in Gershwin, REM, Elvis Costello, club music of the late 80s and early 90s, Bryan Ferry, The Smiths, Queen, 10,000 Maniacs, Clint Black, The Eagles, The Cure, Johnny Cash, Pearl Jam, and Beethoven.
I mean, that's all still cool, right? But it's just not new-and-cool.
Without even perceiving the shift, it seems that one day I suddenly didn't care what the latest hit was. I wanted what was comfortable and familiar.
Perhaps it's because I didn't need the music to illustrate my present sense condition like when I was younger. When I was younger, songs would work through me helping me process emotions, situations, frustrations, love.
But now and for the past decade or so, the music, instead, has been there to conjure up ghosts. It reminds me of many happy times. And oddly, even though songs in their moment helped me through sadness and heartbreak, none of them draw forth the melancholy today. (Or maybe I just don't listen to the sad songs anymore....)
So today, when I listen to Left of Center by Suzanne Vega, I don't feel like she's talking about my life anymore. I just remember that when I listened to that song, memorized it, and made it my own, I was the girl who wanted to be Molly Ringwold in Pretty in Pink, and I did my small town East Texas best to dress the part. And that memory makes me smile.
Reminiscing is okay, right? And allowing yourself to mellow? And my 20-year-old (or more) music is still awesome music. So maybe even if I'm not out on the edge (or even in the popular crowd) anymore, my music's still cool and still talking to me in ways nothing else can. It helps me remember. And that's still cool, right?
Sixteenth Birthday, I think.....