Memories, Music, and Moving On

I still have my old ipod Classic.

Though made redundant by smart phones, once upon a time this dense device was the pride of my early adulthood. I bought it my senior year of high school, with the earnings from my first job. I filled that thing with as much music as I could find, and entertained myself for hours on end by creating specific playlists of varying themes. Wherever I went, I brought my ipod with me. I was the DJ, creating a soundtrack for my life.

Now its a record of my memories.

I assigned specific songs to specific people and experiences, even then. Now, a decade later- I still see those memories when the music plays. I remember hanging out with the band at football games, driving down desert highways, and watching movies in the basement. I remember friends I’ve lost to death or distance, dreams I once cherished and revised, and loves I held and let go. When I hear those songs, I remember.

Nostalgia is a potent drug

Like many people, the nostalgia is both bitter and sweet- made precious by passing time and changing circumstances. Those songs, some fresh and new upon the first download, are now familiar and comforting. The music itself became a character in my story. The melodies became as real and dear to me as the friends of my past. Now, I why our parents cling so desperately for the music of their day, and why “Dad Rock” is suck a common obsession with Generation X. Music reminds us of who we once were, who we loved, and who we once hoped to be.

Should I Let it Go?

I don’t hold on to many things. I move frequently, so I’ve always practiced the “easy come, easy go” approach to ownership. But, I have still held onto my ipod for all this time. Now, with limitless streaming services for music, I could easily transfer my music and playlists to a more convenient device. I could rid myself of a useless device, that serves no purpose, takes up space, and has been broken for years- but I don’t. But that doesn’t mean I am stuck in the past.

Moving on doesn’t always mean letting go.

My lift has completely changed. I am not the girl I was, and I am not the woman I thought I would become. My love life, career, home, and family aren’t the same as they were then, or what I thought they would be- and I’m happy about that. In many ways, I have grown and matured in ways I never would have imagined. I truly moved on, and moved forward, but I didn’t let go. I held onto the memories and the lessons I learned, and used that to grow and reflect on myself.

So I still have my ipod classic.

It’s old, dented, scratched and broken. It has been dead for years, and I can’t even charge it’s battery anymore. It’s bulky and awkward, and doesn’t even play music anymore. It is as useless as a paperweight in all ways but one; it no longer plays music, but when I look at it- my mind plays through my memories.

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