Songs I Needed At The Time

I was watching a Vlogbrothers video in which John answers a question – “What have been the most important songs to you?” And he says that’s a good question because the most important songs are not always the best songs, or your favourite songs.

And finally something that I think about way too often for some reason was put into words. I never know what to say when people ask what my favourite song is, because I feel like that answer changes all the time. My favourite song of the moment is probably something that came out within the last few months, or maybe an old one that I’ve ascribed new meaning to. Songs that I absolutely adored 10 years ago are still incredibly important to me, but not ones I actually listen to very frequently anymore.

So, here’s a list of some of those songs, the ones with specific stories attached.

(There’s…a lot of Taylor Swift and Marianas Trench.)


Abuse is Abuse

Here’s a story I haven’t told before. Or at least, I haven’t told this version of it before.

Usually, I tell a story of two teenagers in love who were tragically pulled apart by their terribly cruel friends. He cut himself; she tried to save him. His family was dysfunctional; she tried to save him. He was struggling under the pressures of popularity; she tried to save him.

All of that is true.

But what is also true is that meanwhile, she was constantly losing friends and almost never made new ones, and her confidence in herself was growing weaker by the day. And he did nothing to save her.

For the first two years of our friendship, we were adorable. We wanted the best for each other. We could tell each other things that no one else seemed to understand. It’s no surprise that we fell in love.

But once we did, he used my love for him to manipulate me in subtle ways. It took me FOREVER to realize it because we were once so pure and great together, and he had so many of his own troubles that I ended up giving him a pass on a lot of stuff. Even if I was initially mad about something, he’d find a way to get me to apologize to him instead because I was adding to his problems.

Here’s the thing – did he know what he was doing? In the early days, probably not. Did he feel bad about it? Absolutely. He took his self-hatred out on himself in the form of slashes into his skin.

But did it all still happen? Did it all still hurt me just the same?


Twinning With Taylor Swift (In The Worst Possible Way)

Taylor Swift and I both broke up with our boyfriends recently.

You may be thinking, “Wait, you had a boyfriend?”

And I don’t blame you, because the relationship was so short that I didn’t have time to tell a whole lot of people about it.

I keep trying to write about my feelings on the situation so I can heal but for some reason the words just aren’t coming out. I think this is because there is one version of this story that I am comfortable talking about, the one in which I believe whatever I need to in order to feel okay about things – the one in which I believe whatever he says – but there is another version that I could barely even think about until now.

That’s the version in which I realize that I still do not have the full story, and the full story probably isn’t going to make me feel okay about anything. The full story is probably full of half truths and lies of omission and someone who doesn’t care even half as much as I thought he did (which was already only about half as much as I do).


There are layers to the pain I’ve collected over the years.

Sometimes people make it sound like you go through hard things, and then you get over them, and then you go through new hard things. So you’re only ever dealing with one thing at once.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never fully gotten over anything.

The freshest pain hurts the most of course, but that doesn’t mean the old things don’t hurt too.

People talk the same way about love – you fall in love with one person, you fall out of love, you break up, and then you fall in love with someone new.

Me though, I carry everything around with me always. Partially because that’s just the way I am and partially because I choose to – everything I’ve been through and everyone I’ve ever loved is so important to me that I don’t want to let them go.

Fuck No Hard Feelings

If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s people who make fun of others for caring about stuff. People who are emotionally detached from everything except the few things they deem acceptable (usually school, work, and family) because they’re too cool for feelings.

These were the people I was friends with in high school. When I fell in love with one of our friends it was, “You’d better not date him, you’ll start drama,” and when we broke up it was, “Well, what did you think would happen? We told you.” When I felt like I was being teased too much, it was, “Learn how to take a joke,” and, “You’re being dramatic,” and, my personal favourite, “Stop being so emo.” No one was there for me when I struggled because everyone thought I brought it on myself and I deserved it.

Fast-forward 10 years and the number 1 rule of relationships is still “don’t get attached”. Smart people don’t get attached. Smart people know that anyone could leave at any point. If you’re smart enough, you can avoid getting hurt. You can cheat the system. If you’re smart enough, you are better than other people. You have an advantage.

I don’t agree with any of the above, but it’s sort of true. Whether I like it or not, “smart people” can manipulate others into thinking what they want them to think at any given time, and I tend to be the person that gets manipulated. I am trusting and I take everything anyone says or does at face value. I am genuine and I mean everything I say and so I often forget that not everyone else does.

6 AM

I didn’t want to fall asleep or wake up without him, so I decided to just never sleep, so that it would never have to happen.

We broke up after what seemed like both 5 days and 5 years of dating, when in reality it was 2 months. 5 days because I was still so excited about everything, and 5 years because I stopped being able to easily picture my life from before without him in it.

We met at work, but got to know each other because I had a brief moment of spontaneity and extroversion and invited him to my New Year’s party. I never thought that someone like him (read: older and cute) would like someone like me (no explanation necessary), but he did and he stayed all night, even though we ended up going somewhere else, even though he had somewhere else to be (not that he told me that until the end), and even when I disappeared into the bathroom because my roommate got sick.

And given that the last time he saw me that night I was sitting on the bathroom floor holding Melissa’s hair back, I didn’t think I’d hear from him again. But he messaged me at like 3 in the morning when he got home to say that he had a good time and that I was “pretty great”. We chatted online for a few days and he asked me out.

The Fear

When I was 13, in the eighth grade, my best friend got a boyfriend. Out of all of us, she was probably the last one you would have expected to start dating first. She was ‘too smart’ for that and kept to herself.

I was super invested in their relationship because this was basically the most exciting thing that had ever happened to me (I know). After this, I became even more obsessed with getting a boyfriend. Now that she had one, it was only a matter of time.

But according to her boyfriend, it wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be.

He said that in a way, once you get a boyfriend or girlfriend, it’s kind of all downhill from there, because from then on you’ll be gripped by the fear of losing them. So basically, being single is better because then you don’t have a care in the world.


I try not to look at the pictures.

I try not to, but they’re there. I have four of them.

I don’t look at them, but I get upset when they fall down – which is often, because I have a cat. I go over and gingerly pick them up, focusing my vision on something in my periphery, so that I don’t really see the image.

I put it back and I walk away, still without looking at it, and I feel like everything is in its place again.

It’s important to me that they’re there. They’re not meant to be seen; they’re meant as a kind of knowledge – a knowledge that by doing this, I am respecting the past.

Most ex-girlfriends don’t do this. Most ex-girlfriends burn everything.