16 December 2013

On Feeling Alive


I did not use to be a fan of electronic music. I always thought that it was just noisy, party music whom noisy, party people liked to listen to. Or at least, that was what sad, insecure, past me used to think. It's funny because now, I have come to love this music. For the past months, it's all I can listen to, to tell you honestly. And so it didn't take long before I found myself lining up to see an actual live set by an actual DJ who quickly became one of my favorites.

Of course, as any other favorite songs of ours, we find safe harbors for songs in our hearts because of the things they remind us of. And it wasn't any different in this case. In this case, it was because of Clarity. The first time I heard that song, I was traveling with some of my closest friends. I remember the moment exactly like a photograph. I loved the song instantly. I don't know if I loved the song because I loved the moment, or I loved the moment because I loved the song, but it was definitely one of the two. But the bottom line is that--it left a good memory.


For most of my youth, I had only known one truth--loneliness. I used to be an extremely lonely person. It didn't have anything to do with the kind of life I led; I definitely wasn't living an unfortunate life. In fact, it was never the things around me. I just was. But at that trip, a lot of stuff happened. Between the drinks and dancing, along came many other stuff that will forever be extra special to me. Little lessons about life, happiness, and friendship.

It was that trip I went on that completely changed me. There is always that one trip, they say. And this specific one was mine.

And so during the show, by the first drop of note for Clarity, my heart instantly dropped to my stomach. This is it. I've been looking forward to that moment for months. I looked around to my friend. She had her eyes shut, belting out the lyrics as if it was her life story. I smiled to myself and did the same. I closed my eyes and raised my hands in complete surrender. It was really our story, anyway.



I remember the exact pivotal moment at that trip. I was drowning in remorse inside the shower as I contemplated over something that occurred a few hours ago. The usual killjoy that I was, during our first night there, I sat at a lonesome couch at the corner of the room watching my friends dance the night away. It was the same sappy story the year ago as well, when I first came to that place. I sit and watch. That's who I was. Forever the wallflower.

Why do I do that myself? I thought. It hit me that I only had five short days until I had to go away and back to the city. I was wasting another good summer. Another good trip. I remembered that time after my friend's birthday a year ago. The photos had just come up, and lo and behold, behind all my friends in their dancing shoes and scarlet faces from having had too much to drink, was a girl, uncomfortable in the party clothes she borrowed, and reading a magazine on the couch. And it wasn't just one photo. It was a bunch. I was the butt of all my friends' jokes for a while.

That was it. I don't want to be that lame girl anymore. And so with an reiteration full of purpose, I remember how I finally declared: I don't want to be sad anymore. I am here, and so I want to BE here. And that was the start of everything.



Looking back now, I realize that to change is a conscious decision we make. When you allow the clouds to part, only then will you see the silver lining in the things that surround you. It was a process, but that trip, that decision, was what finally closed the door on that dark past. And so now, every time I hear Clarity, it always brings me back to that place. That time when I first understood what happiness meant.

It was a tornado of feelings during the show. At one point of the song, I turned to my friend—one of my best friends in the entire world—and hugged her while all the good things that happened the past months played back in my mind like a nostalgic video montage. It's one thing to be at a great moment, to be at a turning point, but it's another thing to be sharing it with someone who's shared a lot of other great moments in your life. It makes it even more special.

The best moments of the show for me were when Zedd played Clarity, Spectrum, and Alive. Alive was his finale. I was quite hoping for that, actually, as I have always loved the original track by Empire of the Sun. "Loving every minute 'cos you make me feel so alive." Imagine standing so close to the stand, surrounded by thousands of people all singing in wonderful chorus, blazing lights everywhere, hands shot up in the air, and it suddenly starts raining shiny, silver confetti. It was a glorious moment.

I read a concert review for Zedd's MOC tour before that Alive will really make you feel alive. I couldn't agree more. To be honest I got a bit emotional during that finale simply because never have I felt that well—that alive. Being surrounded by all those jovial spirits singing "alive!" over and over again makes you feel like you are part of something big and wonderful. Like you are never really alone.


Now that I'm no longer living under a haze, everywhere is sunshine. It all sounds pretty funny, I know, and I'm so sorry for being so fucking cheesy for what I have to say, but this is simply the truth—2013 is my clarity.



Full coverage of the show up on When In Manila in which I did the photos (hard to believe, I know).

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