The Soundtrack of My Life

You ARE what you listen to.

Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash

I was tagged by my friend Iva a few days ago to write out the soundtrack of my life, and at first, I thought, oh, that will be so hard, there are so many songs that I would want to put on the soundtrack, how can I possibly narrow it down to nine?

Well, I couldn’t.

Music means so much to me, and all of the songs here have a special place in my heart and are connected to a particular time in my life.

I’ve ordered them not chronologically, but how I feel they best fit with each other in a playlist, which I’ve made on YouTube for you all to listen to if you are so inclined.

Without further ado, I’ll let the music speak (mostly) for itself.

The Boys of Summer — Don Henley

This is my number one radio jam. I misinterpreted these lyrics for most of my life and thought he was saying “I CAN’T tell you my love for you will still be strong after the boys of summer are gone.” But I was wrong. He was saying I CAN tell you. And one day, that changed everything for me.

Just Like Heaven — The Cure

2002: I am with my ex, speeding through back roads after just seeing David Bowie perform at Mohegan Sun Arena, and we are blasting this song over and over again and singing at the top of our lungs. That night will always be in my mind, and this song will always be in my heart.

Hallelujah — Jeff Buckley

In 2003, one of my friends put a gun to his head and ended his life while on duty with the Navy. This is the song my friends and I listened to on repeat as we wept on the way to and from his funeral. I can’t listen to this beautiful song without thinking of him, and that’s okay.

Hurt (Quiet) — Nine Inch Nails

This one song is essentially the complete soundtrack of my depression. I listen to it when I’m down low to remind myself to keep fighting, I listen to it when I’m up high to remind myself that I can get down low. It grounds me.

The District Sleeps Alone Tonight — The Postal Service

If I could, I would put the entire album by The Postal Service on here, because it’s one of those albums that I feel like is completely perfect from beginning to end. I listened to it over and over again in the years when I was a total drunk and slept with way too many people who were bad for me, so it holds a lot of memories.

Your Ex-Lover is Dead — Stars

Sometimes I wish my ex-lover was dead. Live through this and you won’t look back.

The Heart Remains a Child — Everything But the Girl

But because my ex-lovers aren’t dead, and I am not over them all yet, there is this song, which I used to listen to on repeat nodding along. The mind may grow wise, but the heart just sulks and it whines and remains a child.

A Letter To Elise — The Cure

Two songs by The Cure? Well, that’s because they’re one of my all time favorite bands. This song, though, this is the one I named my daughter after. Her name is Elise.

Pur — Cocteau Twins

The Cocteau Twins are another one of my favorite bands and it was really hard for me to pick one song of theirs to put on this soundtrack, but I chose this one because it’s easy to understand the lyrics, and because it’s the one I used to whisper-sing to my daughter when she was little.

Manchester — Kishi Bashi

This song is sort of new to my life, but it’s about writing and being a writer, and it has consistently been added to my playlists for the last two or three years because I just can’t get enough of the music and the words. I listen to it over and over and never get sick of it.

Song to the Siren — This Mortal Coil

Please play it at my funeral. If you know me, you won’t have to wonder why.


If you’d like, you can listen to this whole playlist on Youtube by clicking right here.

Thanks for going on this musical journey with me! Who wants to join me? Stefani Vader, Nupoor Raj, Elle Fredine, Frank McKinley, George J. Ziogas, Sam H Arnold, Kyrie Gray, Jessica Archuleta, Jun Wu, Jenny White