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In the Before Times...

Updated: Aug 28, 2020


In the Before Times™, almost a year ago, I chose to pursue pure singledom. My senior year of high school bled into my college years, which were congested with a troubling relationship.

Codependent.

Sad.

I kept hanging out with a Music Guy. He had his own grandiose music ventures. And I allowed his tastes to influence replace my own. I would block my capacity to love music with my heart on my sleeve, without embarrassment. I let my space become occupied by his voice so that I can’t be burdened with the task of believing in my own.

Soon after this long relationship, I zipped right into another long relationship. I was burnt out of romance by that summer-fall. I think of fall 2019 and my period of singledom as an extension of my summer. LA was hot as balls, and suddenly I wasn’t constantly observed. I could lounge around, dance, cry, make some money, cry about not making enough money, decorate my room with postcards, leave motivational messages for myself on the bathroom mirror. It was an eternal summer vacation with myself.

Kind of sad.

Lonely.

Really fun.

Coupledom escorts extreme closeness, and before I could realize, any closeness had become a signal of my previous codependency. I hadn’t acknowledged the pain of that first relationship which had come to overshadow my life. How could I show up and play Good Girlfriend again?

When I moved back to LA, my summer-fall of singledom escorted a new era of music. I was driving around more than ever before, trekking through mid-City with my Corolla speakers all to myself. I would walk around Culver City Park, holding hands with my headphones.

The ones that were on repeat the most, to help me get through my dead-beat barista job:

Fierce, electronic, bass-heavy, beat-heavy, vogue-perfect songs with lyrics saturated with bad bitch attitude.

Doja, Ariana, Nokia, MEGAN, ZebrafknKatz. They caught me again and again. They transported me to the outrage I was burying. I was outraged with myself for letting my needs slip so far away.

The rhythms would loop hypnotically in my head all day. When you fill your background with harder hitting, MEAN jams, you can let that Bad Bitch inside of you exist and breathe for a damn second. After months of listening only to these songs did I start to feel open to change. Any change, with or without a committed relationship attached to it. I was breaking out of my fear of being loud every once in a while.

After Azealia says “I’m so cold I’m dripping icicles” she sings “Feeling it, I’m feeling a change. I’m feeling it, in the air. So let me in!”

-Monica


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