Twenty-Five Days of Feelings: Day Eighteen

This year I’m undergoing a bit of an experiment: Thirty straight days of doing/watching/listening to/reading something that makes me feel – however fleetingly – like an actual human being, in the hopes that this will thaw a layer of ice off my frozen shriveled little heart, and allow me to not be such a buzzkill this year. So let’s get to it.

Day Eighteen: Continuum – John Mayer

First off, I skipped yesterday. It just seemed futile to blog about ways to make myself feel better when such a devastating thing as Newtown, CT had happened. As a teacher (more or less), I found this especially upsetting, and just needed to process.

So, between missing yesterday and another day a week or so ago, I’ve decided to shorten my list to twenty-five days, rather than trying to catch up with two-a-days or finishing after Christmas.

Anyway, today’s entry is Continuum by John Mayer – by far my favorite album of his, and one of my favorite albums ever. Before this album, John Mayer was really just a fun, pop kind of artist. “Bigger Than My Body,” “Your Body Is a Wonderland,” and “No Such Thing” are all good songs, but there really isn’t a ton there. It wasn’t until I heard “Daughters” that I realized this guy might be capable of more.

Continuum is a pretty significant shift from his previous two albums. While it’s still a little poppy – mostly just “Waiting on the World to Change” – it’s really a jazz/blues album. It’s less a collection of love songs like the previous two, and it’s not just a breakup album like Battle Studies. More than anything, it’s about growing up, and the fear associated with that. Yes, it’s got songs about girls, and breakups, but there’s some definite fear behind it. And as a 25-year old, I think I can understand that.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the age I’m at. I am better-looking, healthier – both mentally and physically, and infinitely more confident than I ever was in high school or college. I’m not pursuing a major I don’t care about, and I’m not desperately searching for my place in life like so many college kids are. I am happy. But there definitely is that voice in the back of my head saying things like “Well you said you wanted kids before you were 30, and that’s only five years to meet someone, date, be engaged, get married, have some alone time with them, and then have a child,” or “You’re 25 and you still live at home and don’t have a full-time job.” Anyway John, I get it.

And now, a story. This summer I went to Scotland for a wedding. Over the course of these ten days, I stayed up late, and got up early. I walked. SO MUCH. Up mountains and around cities. I lost almost five pounds, despite eating extremely well. Over my last three days, I got roughly eight hours of sleep. I spent a night trying to sleep in an airport but couldn’t because of some extremely loud Nigerians. And on my five-hour train ride from Scotland to London, I tried to listen to Continuum. And it took every ounce of self-control to not cry. And by “cry” I mean full-blown sobbing. If I had allowed a single tear to fall from my incredibly full eyes, I would have been gasping for air, sobbing the words “I don’t even…” again and again, until I felt nauseous. That kind of crying. Yes, it was mostly because I was tired, but I guarantee Coldplay wasn’t bringing that level of emotion to the surface.

Maybe it was thinking about my parents getting old (“Stop This Train”). Maybe it was thinking about past breakups (“Slow Dancing in a Burning Room,” “Dreaming With a Broken Heart”). Maybe it’s just the beauty of “Gravity.” I don’t know what it was. But the album is beautiful. It’s soulful. It’s sad. It’s jazzy and a little sweet. In a word, it’s pretty much perfect.


And on a different note, did you know that the Westboro Baptist Church is planning on picketing the funerals of the victims of the Newtown massacre? To “sing the praises of God” for executing his divine plan? Did you know that since we don’t hold the power to directly send them straight to the hell they deserve, we can at least petition the government to label them a hate group? Here’s a link to the petition, if you feel like doing that.


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