It was the spring of 2013, I was fourteen years old. That time is when I had first became struck with Lana Del Rey and her daunting “Born to Die” lyrics. And, that was the time when I was getting bullied in school.
Because of my bullying, I would skip classes. I didn’t want to face the people that called me names, I just wanted to run away. And so I did. Unfortunately, that had created a toxic cycle of escaping responsibilities which is not the most useful thing in today’s world. But I couldn’t help it, I wanted to have a way out.
My parents believed my excuses. I would tell them my asthma made me breathe heavily or that I got a stomachache. It wasn’t their fault, I was such an angel not to be trusted.
I don’t exactly know why I was bullied. In some cliché Mean Girls way, I haven’t done anything to deserve it. I didn’t look bad nor I was making other girls envious with my flashy outfits. I was simply living in the shadows and that was exactly what made me a perfect target to torment.
When they called me fat, I would blush and say nothing as I was scared of giving a silly comeback. When they told me I was boring or weird, I would just keep looking at my notebook hoping that something magical would come and save me.
And in a way, it came. It came with the music.
When I would stay home instead of going to school, I would go to my phone and turn on Lana Del Rey’s tunes. For me, they were so appealing and mesmerizing. At some moments, I would almost believe that I was a part of her lyrics. As if I was living her stories, my daydreaming was so deep.
The words of her songs collect thoughts of the wild lifestyle spent partying, bad boys, Lolitas, the American dream and subtle sexuality.
The world that was written in her lines was where I wanted to be at that time. I wanted to be as cool as Carmen or as fun as Lolita and to have a boyfriend like Bradley Soileau (Del Rey’s fictional boyfriend in “Born to Die” music video).
Her words created a secret passage for my lonely soul, they let me experience the life I craved to live at that moment. I always knew I had a wild side inside me and it was as if Del Rey had unleashed it for me.
Sweet sixteen and we had arrived
Walking down the streets as they whistle, “Hi, hi!”
Stealin’ police cars with the senior guys
Teachers said we’d never make it out alive
— Lyrics from Lana Del Rey’s “This is What Makes Us Girls”
Well, the liberation of my wild soul was later seen in the high school years. I was no longer the weird kid with no life. By senior year I could’ve written my own “Born to Die” with tales that would rarely leave someone feeling indifferent. But that is a story for another day.
I’m sure many people have experienced music this way at some point in their lives. The sweet melodies make us forget the current reality. That is why many people call music a drug because in a way it is exactly that. Music gives us a fix that we so desperately need. The fix that takes us away from reality and for those three or four minutes we are lost in another world. And the best part is that we choose the world we can get ourselves into. We choose the narrative based on our favorite players, our favorite singers.