Some people are not a big fan of downbeat, introspective, dark shoegazing music. I.E, sissy and whinny. Music does affect people’s mood. For this reason, there are plenty of people claiming a depressed person should avoid listening to these sissy sad music; some goes further, dissing these bands/musicians altogether. “Look,” they say, “stop locking yourself up in your bedroom and play that silly music all the time. Come out and enjoy the weather. Listen to some happy music. That will cheer you up for sure.”
It’s not entirely untrue; but looking back my life, that didn’t hold true for me.
I might look like a normal geeky kid with no trouble record, decent grade and alright relationship with people, but I was so lonely in highschool. After experiencing some tough incidence in my junior high, I knew that anyone can possibly backstab me and I’d better be careful. I also knew that small community of girls can be very tiring – all that gossiping and making a big deal out of nothing. I don’t know whether it was because of my INTJ man-scanning instinct or experience, but either way I am not all-out open person when I first meet someone. My high school was a big, elite-club, cliquish bubble community. Everyone knew each other – even teachers and students, since the school had preschools to high school. Think of J-Crew catalogues. Imagine Gossip Girl and Desperate Housewives: now move the setting to small, wealthy Midwestern town. If you still can’t imagine, watch this:
Now you have the idea – I almost had goosebumps when I first saw this video, because it was so like my high school.
I turned for Korean student community. After all, I wanted to try what it is like, and was excited to see that many Koreans in my school. I thought I would have no problem, because I’m Korean. Soon I started to see my expectation was wrong. I could never understand why Korean kids always have to do everything together, even if you have to sit with someone you really don’t like during lunch. If they spot you hanging out with some white kids or bail out of some kind of group activity because of your schedule, all of sudden the whole Korean community started to bash on you and deem you as some sort of traitor.
I still don’t understand why Koreans are so obsessed with “proper treatment of senior classmen” even when they are no longer in Korean school. If you fail to use honorifics Korean or fail to call your (Korean) senior classmen with sunbae nim, again you just turned the entire Korean student community to your enemy. I still don’t understand why Korean students HAVE to go to Korean church, when there are hundreds of other churches or religious community. Lastly, I still do not see why the seniors expect you to do whatever they tell you to, and get flipped if you don’t, even with a proper explanation and excuse (they believe you are simply lying). No wonder why so-called Global Club was consisted entirely of Koreans. After my first year with Korean Student club Global Club, I quitted. That was also the last time I ever joined any kind of Korean club.
I hung out of some Korean girls, mostly out of social appropriation and not making any enemy. I couldn’t really be a full member of that group – after our school vacation, they would always bring some Korean pop CD and magazine to share. While all of them are giggling about this new Korean actress and drama, I was really not interested (I tried). For some reason, they were able to distinguish this actress from that actress while they were in States; I couldn’t. I tried to listen my favorite Japanese pop album, then a plenty of them flat refused my suggestion, saying they don’t like to listen to a singing in foreign language.
By nature I enjoy being alone and capable of doing many things on my own (example: I can totally eat alone in the big restaurant). However I was lonely and felt there was no one to turn to. Until I find two of my good friends (bless their souls), all that whinny, sissy music was the only thing I can turn to. I tried some happy pops, but I couldn’t really fall for it. The words were about some distant world that I’m not a part of.
That was my blowhole. Listening to these musics in my bed, doing nothing, with open window, cold winter breeze and sometimes snow, I could let all the things I wanted to say out – the things that no one quiet understood at the time. That’s probably why I can’t let go of them, no matter how these bands fell into mannerism/plagiarism/bad music/breakup, etc. They are part of me. If they were not there, I really don’t know what would have become of me. And I’m glad I was able to reach out for the music.