Growing up, I went through a phase where I really loved depressing, “I’m gonna sit in the corner in the fetal position and bawl for hours”, emo music. I started listening to bands like Death Cab for Cutie, Brand New, and Bright Eyes to keep up with the cool kids and to be relevant. I mean, Seth Cohen endorsed all of these bands, and I had to agree with my future husband, right? (Okay, he’s fictional, I know.)
Soon enough, the lyrics written by musical geniuses like Ben Gibbard, Conor Oberst, and others started to invade my brain, and I couldn’t stop it all shuffling and repeating through my thoughts. I loved how you could hear the sheer pain and emotion in the lyrics and in the voices. I was jealous that people could be vulnerable enough and that people would love them for it. I thought that I couldn’t be a real human if I didn’t feel things like how Jesse Lacey felt things, and so as the empath that I am, I opened up my heart to feel all of the depression and the sadness that surrounded me. I can’t even tell you how many times I fell asleep crying to lyrics like Envy on the Coast’s “Starving Your Friends” on repeat and how true I believed it all to be.
One lyric that really resonated with me though back then is Bright Eyes’ “Lua” — What is simple in the moonlight, by the morning never is. My depression and my anxiety went through the roof after a while, and this lyric became more and more of my “life lyric.”
I loved my nights. I loved staying in and having “me time” up until 6am while doing something mindless like reading or binge-watching something on Netflix. I loved the times I used to be drunk or high, and everything seemed easy, because I didn’t have to think. I hated the mornings, because I had to be a functional human being. I had to go to school. I had to go to work. I had to put a smile on my face and speak to people I didn’t want to speak to. People made me uncomfortable, because they expect things out of you, and when you don’t live up to their expectations, they become disappointed. I felt like I was the poster child for Disappointment, and I wanted to hide in the night. The night is easy, and the night loved me. It covered me in darkness and let the world continue on without me.
Years later, the night still exists, and it’s still a place where I find comfort. But I’ve realised that it’s not the same kind of love that I had when I was nineteen. I love the peacefulness and the freedom that my brain has to wander, but sometimes it comes with a regret and an unforgiveness for the things that has happened during the day. That person who cut the queue in front of me at Starbucks made me a few minutes late for an appointment that I had. The bus that didn’t show up for almost an hour and a half, when I was freezing and hungry the whole time. The words that somebody said to me when they were “joking” that killed me inside and confirmed my flaws.
I’ve come to realise that Night is the ex-boyfriend who promises stability and comfort, but you can’t help but to keep on fighting and fighting till you break down and cry. Night is the one who is jealous of the other people in your life, who wants you to be open enough to them to complain about what is going on, but won’t tell you where they are during the day. Night wants you to depend on him, but he doesn’t care enough about you to grow and develop you. Night is abusive, mentally and emotionally, and he is a trap.
But for every trap, there is a rescue. There is the one that changes your life.
Morning is the one who wants to take your hand and go on adventures. Morning is the one that tells you that it’s okay to be sad over what happened the night before, but that it’s also okay to move on and take on a new day. He tells you that you have to rise above your circumstances rather than to hide and settle into your bed underneath your covers. Morning is your new boyfriend who lets you see the glimmer in his eyes when you realise that life can be better and that you can be with somebody who wants you to be the best person you can be rather than dependent on him. He believes that you can do everything you want to do, and he will be here to support you.
My life lyric has turned from “what is simple in the moonlight, by the morning never is” to “there may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Your Love Never Fails)
I have to be honest and say that this transition is still transitioning.
I struggle with Morning sometimes (most of the time). There are times when I find Morning annoying and is too expecting. Sometimes I think Morning’s ambitions are too high. These are the times that I try to go back to Night. Night is easy, and Night will always ask me to come back, but Night is not good for me. Right now, I’m learning (slowly) to love Morning a bit more and Night a bit less. It’s easier said than done, of course.
Sometimes Night seeps in, and I get sad and anxious without realising it. The music I used to listen to starts to make a little bit more sense, and I start to remember the emotion that others feel again. Sometimes it takes me days, weeks, months to tell Night to leave my house, but when I do, I remember and am glad that Morning is always there and that he loves me with such a gracious heart. He doesn’t mind that I’m still adjusting, but he smiles when I try and he celebrates when I make achievements.
Conor Oberst may still be a musical genius, but I think I’m going to stick to Morning.