Mowtown Never Sounded So Good

Times are tough. Amidst a stressful week of presentations and projects, there have been several little things in life that bring an extra sting to the days.

A meeting with my advisor brought news that my graduation may be postponed another semester, tacking 6 years to the total number. My sister got engaged and asked Ashley to be one of her bridesmaids, but I may have to sit in the audience and watch the girl of my dreams walk down the aisle with another man yet again at my own sister’s wedding. No news has come from about a month of applying for jobs. And despite all the work I put into this semester at school, there is no feeling of progress.

In bleak times, I like to sing to myself, just like so many other people out there. And in the same shade as my previous “optimism” article, I sway back and forth between which light I need to see the situation in to get the most out of it. I firmly believe that any experience, good or bad, that doesn’t result in a furthered understanding is wasted, and singing songs from bands like Less Than Jake provide a familiar vantage point to address the situation. In particular, my favorite song by them is a bittersweet one called “Mowtown Never Sounded So Good.” The story is about the pressures of life and routines when all you can do is give up. The chorus sings “I can’t get enough/I’m not satisfied/I’ve wasted my time with this daily grind/In single file lines/Is this real life?/I keep telling myself sometimes what matters is on the inside.” These lyrics are powerful to me in their blunt, honest remarks. I personally relate last line well with the way that I usually face adversity. While representing a dimly lit point of view, the value of someone else’s words such as these that reflect the feelings I have is far greater than empty hopeful chants that seem so alien at times.

I don’t normally dwell much on dismay, but I don’t pretend that problems don’t exist. My belief is that things will look up; indeed, by remembering past experiences I know this to be true. Everyone should have a good bittersweet song or similar expressive work that they remember to have a guiding hand in their own depressions.

~ by MichaelStaudenmeir on October 29, 2010.

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