The Song That Broke Your Heart

You all know what I’m talking about. For whatever reason, there’s that one song in your daily arsenal that, for lack of a better phrase, kicks your ass. Whether it’s the direct message being spelled out lyrically, your own interpretation of the lyrics, or maybe it’s a place those lyrics bring you to. For whatever reason it may be, this song entirely breaks you down.

How did you get to this headspace? Why are you reflecting on songs that break your heart, Taylor?

Music is a weird thing. It brings people from different backgrounds, different walks of life, different stressors together. It can explain a feeling when words fail to accurately depict one’s emotional stance. Then there’s the aspect of the whole music thing that can take you out of your current situation and bring you to a different mental state; a different place; a better time.

Right now, for me, that song is “Kansas City”. I’d tell you what it’s about, but I’ll do one better and let you figure it out on your own by listening above (oh, and you’re welcome in advance).

This song was released 3 days after I got back from the perfect birthday trip to the beautifully humbling mountains of Colorado. For me, there’s something about the mountains. This wasn’t my first time there, either. I grew up going to Lake Tahoe and Colorado later on in life, and have always enjoyed my time there, but there was something different about this trip.

It’s not just the fact that we didn’t run into any bumps; the people of the town we stayed in were warm, welcoming and accommodating. The weather was perfect for skiing; we got 4 inches of fresh powder as a birthday gift to yours truly. I mean, yeah, of course I had a great time, and anyone is sad to leave vacation.

But this was more than just a vacation. It was more than just a good time. It brought back a feeling I haven’t possessed in over a year; one of freedom and pure joy. One of purpose and light. I felt rejuvenated and understood.

Since being back, I’ve felt none of those things, but I’ve surely felt pain and anxiety with their absence. I’ve felt lost, unmotivated; overall lacking something that I clearly need to do more than merely exist in the world day in and day out.

Let’s not forget about “Kansas City” and it’s role, here. As I mentioned, this song dropped 3 days after getting back from Colorado. The 2 days leading up to this release, I didn’t talk to many people. I went to work, plugged in headphones and got after it. Then Friday came. The Mowglis, in my honest and sincere opinion, are incapable of making a bad song. They just can’t do it.

That Friday, I got in my car to head to work, opened Spotify and immediately searched “Kansas City”. There’s no better time to listen to new music than on your morning commute, just trust me on this one. Colin, a member of the band, had been hyping of the song for weeks, tweeting about what it meant to him, how emotional he got playing it live at shows. Knowing that, I knew this was going to be a little different from the typical Mowgs I’m used to.

The song plays on, and my connection with it grows as each second passes. Then the pre-chorus hit, and it hit hard.

“Been in a new town, got the same issues to work through. Turns out when you move, you just take it all with you”

Did going to the mountains validate my desire to move out there someday in the near future? Yeah, of course. That’s something that’s kept me going every day. So when I heard these lines, my first reaction was ok, Taylor, whatever you’re struggling with now; it’s not going to magically go away because you’re in the mountains. It’s still going to be there underneath the surface. Then I thought about it more, and there’s nothing I feel I’m trying to run away from; there’s no obstacle directly in my way that I feel moving cities and states would resolve, even temporarily.

Throughout the day, the words in the pre-chorus echoed in my head. The problem is I didn’t have time to really delve into the thought behind it. I had a job to do, and if it wasn’t the weekend, there was no time for fun. No time for conversation. No reason to smile. No point in doing anything besides working and sleeping.

That’s when I realized, “OK. This is more than the typical post-vacation slump”.  What was it, then? To be honest, I still haven’t quite figured that out, but I’m trying to. Writing this out, up to this point, was step one. I’ve realized a lot throughout the course of the day today, mainly being that without a sense of purpose, without something driving you to utilize your skillset in it’s most viable way possible; you’ve got nothing. The fire goes out.

Is it solely up to me to relight that fire? I’m going to take a stand here and say no, but hear me out. Do I think we are, as individuals, in control of our lives and our own emotions? For sake of rounding up, we’ll say yes, sure. You have the choice to think positively or negatively in the eyes of a storm. For sure. But, as a people, as a workforce, I think we’ve got to do better. People don’t exist to neglect one another. Society has to change. We need to welcome leadership advice from unexpected sources, we need to scope out the positive qualities others bring to the table, and utilize their minds and perspectives to create things that haven’t yet been created; whatever that may be.

Does this mean I think you should base your happiness on another human being? Nope. If that’s what you’ve gotten out of this thus far, I’m either wildly misspoken, or you may want to reread through a different lens.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the purposes behind jobs, and my views are mixed. They’re necessary to give you a sense of purpose and the ability to survive in a more pleasant way. But on the other hand, I don’t agree with the idea of working just to work. I’m a firm believer that there’s a job out there for everyone that they can pursue with passion on a daily basis. That your talents, your expertise can be used for the good of a company, and the good of your mental wellbeing and soul.

I think that jobs have the ability to redefine a person’s point of view on various subject matters depending on how they’re perceived at their place of work, and if they feel they’re able to, without scrutiny or backfire,  perform the duties they were brought on board to do. I think false advertisement when it comes to job duties sets a business up for high turnover rates.

People get on millennials for not accepting the work place norms of the past, but I don’t see that as something problematic. I see it as a necessity. If you refuse to adapt to the ways of those rising up in the world socially and economically, you’re going to find yourself pushed out of business due to a competitor actually caring about culture, purpose, leadership and drive.

To tie that tangent all together, every aspect of your life affects your headspace, which in turn affects your ability to be a productive and fulfilled member of society. The mountains reminded me there is purpose out there, you just might have to look for it in unforeseeable places. Right now, I can’t see it. I haven’t figured out what my soul found in the mountains, but when i do, I’m sure I’ll be that much closer to finding that sense of purpose again.

#____lives matter

I don’t know if its ignorance, lack of perspective, etc.; but I’m sick of hearing anything about “ _____lives matter”. Does this mean I don’t think they do? No. Black lives matter equally as much as Muslim lives matter equally as much as Hispanic lives matter, equally as much as white lives matter, and etc. But why are we segregating ourselves? Why are we acting with hate about hate?

I get it. I’m white, and I should get no say about the oppression of any minority, because I’ve never been oppressed due to my skin color. However, does this make it OK to hate me for being born white? No. Is it OK for me to hate anyone for being born the skin color they are? No. Why does this matter? Why are we shuffling the blame on different races and different world perspectives, all the while spreading hate?

This is madness.
This is a twisted form of insanity derived from hate.

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Huh…Interesting thought there, isn’t it?

President Obama gets a lot of hate about anything and everything every single day. However, President Obama was one of the only humans to perfectly sum up a major issue that we’ve created amongst ourselves out of fear. Out of hate.

A few days ago, the President (perfectly) addressed the nation regarding recent events, stating,

“When incidents like this occur, there’s a big chunk of our fellow citizenry that feels as if because of the color of their skin they are not being treated the same,” the President continued,  “that hurts and that should trouble all of us. . .This is not just a black issue. . .This is not just a Hispanic issue. This is an American issue that we should all care about. It’s incumbent on all of us to say we can do better than this. We are better than this.”

And you thought the prospective presidential candidates continually talking about gun control, reform and peace would initiate the emergence of drastic change within the boundaries of this country? Good one.

You can’t fight stupid with stupid, fire with fire, and hate with hate. Do you know where that gets you? Well…I’ll show you:

Look around. There have been 2 (publicized) acts of hate within a month, 3 acts of police brutality in a week, and now the entire country is standing on their soapboxes preaching peace and equality, yet continuing on with their lives and refusing to have the conversation.

Posting an inspirational quote is bullshit, and I hope you know that. I hope everyone knows that. Throwing flowers at a fire doesn’t put the fire out, does it? Of course not. It does nothing to the fire; it gets completely engulfed and drowned out by the flames.

After reading column after column from countless perspectives, I like to think I have a slight grasp on the issues blacks have with anyone saying, “all lives matter”. Yes, all lives do matter. However, are all lives being discriminated upon? Are all lives being oppressed and gunned down by those whose sole job is to protect them? No. Not even slightly. It’s likely that I’ll never get pulled over for being white. I’ll never get thrown to the ground for having a wallet in my pocket and shot for telling whoever has me pinned down that I couldn’t breathe. Those are situations that have a .01% likelihood of happening to me.

Through this, I like to think I have a meek understanding as to why it’s offensive to those who have been oppressed when someone says, “all lives matter”. Right now, all lives aren’t experiencing what blacks in America are. But does that mean we need to rally in distinguished groups based on race? I’ll say it: I don’t think so—not even remotely. Yes. There are corrupt police officers who are clearly racist and not just harassing, but killing, innocent people because of the color of their skin. But here’s what I’m saying: does protesting saying, “black lives matter”, or “all lives matter” put any change into place? Does it create a call to action? Does it open up the floor for conversation? Is it providing the footwork for the emergence of real solutions to these real problems? No. It pins people against each other. It segregates us. I understand (as much as I can)  the purpose behind the slogan. I get that it’s a cry to be treated the same as their fellow man; that like everyone else, they deserve protection because they’re human beings—as is everyone within the country and around the world. And of course they do. What’s going on is completely and totally maddening. It’s sickening. It’s ridiculous. It’s insane. It’s backtracking.

The real thing I’m getting at here is that preaching anything—regardless of what it is—doesn’t make it change. Yes, it unifies people together under a greater cause. But what else is it doing? We get it. All lives matter. Black lives matter. Everyone deserves the same thing, and everyone isn’t getting it.

A reddit user broke down the problem with saying, “all lives matter”, stating that,

“…the phrase ‘black lives matter’ also has an implicit ‘too’ at the end: it’s saying that black lives should also matter. But responding to this by saying ‘all lives matter’ is willfully going back to ignoring the problem. It’s a way of dismissing the statement by falsely suggesting that it means ‘only black lives matter,’ when that is obviously not the case. And so saying ‘all lives matter’ as a direct response to ‘black lives matter’ is essentially saying that we should just go back to ignoring the problem.”

True. This is all entirely valid. But something regarding all the preaching leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Something about calling out for “love” and “prayers” for our “black brothers and sisters” irritates me beyond what any combination of words can begin to express. I know this is a bold statement that’ll probably be taken the wrong way, but hear me out:

It’s not that I’m inconsiderate, soulless, or hateful. It isn’t that I don’t agree with these statements and the intention behind them. It’s just that…when I see politicians and every human with a computer/tablet/phone using tragedies such as this as a way to get ahead in the polls; as a way to promote their campaign, what they intend to implement to stop the violence, and to not be the only one that’s not commenting about being “deeply saddened” about the events and sending “prayers to all involved and affected”.

Get over yourself, and get a soul. Get over being politically correct. Get over the status quo. Get over preaching peace on social media, only to carry on with your meaningless conversations about your boyfriend not getting you the right flowers or Dwayne Wade leaving the Heat. Pardon the language but who fucking cares? How can you NOT talk about what’s happening? I can’t not think about it, I won’t stop wanting to talk about it, talk about the next step, talk about my anger and frustration with the corruption within our own country that we see yet do nothing about. How are we not holding each other accountable? How are we NOT having the conversations? How are we letting our “brothers and sisters” comment about how “sad and heartbreaking” these acts of hate are, just to put it at bay to rest, as to not kill the vibe. Fuck the vibe. I don’t care to make someone feel comfortable by not talking about what’s happening. It should make you uncomfortable. It should make you sick and rock every emotion within your heart; even ones you didn’t know you could feel.

I don’t care if someone’s black, white, Hispanic, Muslim, Asian, Chinese, Indian, gay, straight. I care about people. I care about the human race. I care about educating others and myself about the root of this evil we’ve found ourselves in the midst of, and figuring out how to unify everyone from every race, every sexual preference, every walk of life.

Get the fuck off that soap-box and submerge yourself in the real world with real people wanting to spark real change. It takes one match to start a fire. The match has been dropped, and it’s in our hands to decide whether to fight the fire, or let it relentlessly burn everything and everyone to the ground.

Please understand I am a lover of mankind. I don’t discriminate because discrimination has no truth in my life. It has no part of it, and I will continue my life being a lover—not a hater or a fighter. I will forever vocalize my opinion in an intentional way that calls for change. I don’t mind having the conversations that people are afraid to have. I will never stop educating myself on all angles of all things. I will not, however, stand back and watch as this country divides itself. I will not just watch a war erupt in my own backyard due to lack of perspective on oppression. I will call people out for preaching the phrase, “black/all lives matter”, and ending the conversation there. That’s not where the conversation ends; It’s where it begins. It’s where change derives from. It’s where innovation is born. It’s where people come together for the better good of mankind. We as a nation (or the government) are striving for peace and acceptance in other countries, yet we cannot attain it within our own borders. This moment, this exact moment: this is the beginning of a massive public shift. Whether it’s for good or bad is in our own hands.

The future is up to us, and I will do everything I can to rally for the better good of mankind. I will fight against this war with intention, respect and love.

Will you?