I wrote this love letter at the end of my freshman year. That year was a parade of dorm room windows, traveling to concerts, Alabama backroads, strangers turning into friends, and friends turning into strangers. I love that I have this letter, from the end of the year, when I emerged scraped and bruised and beaming and (as you can tell in the tone of this letter) profoundly awestruck by the world that had sprung up so far from home.
It’s funny to compare Freshman Lane and Senior Lane: how they said goodbye and what they were saying goodbye to. The end of my senior year (and beginning of an entirely new adventure) warrants its own goodbye, but I think the first one puts the last one in context. Plus, this one comes with its very own downloadable mix-CD circa 2011!
Freshman year is over and I’m woozy with nostalgia. I’m remembering how I dug my roots deep into the Auburn soil and how beautifully my life here has blossomed over the past nine months. Looking back makes my heart simmer with affection and I’ve finally managed to pin down the source: this is a love letter to music.
When music pulled me to Atlanta with my best friend, when it nudged us into conversations with strangers, when it picked me up and dropped me into the middle of a reveling crowd — it occurred to me that music has become a more powerful force than I ever expected.
Music led me into the lives of those I love most and to places I’d never been before — and may have never seen. My most beautiful moments of the year have that same golden thread running through them: cold winter nights were spent with coffee and crackling vinyls and crossword puzzles, warm evenings we dashed down dark country roads with the windows down and music blasting.
And it wasn’t just that music accompanied me in a routine of madness, and misadventures. Music was the reason I was there — like I’d uncovered a compass pointing me to the people and places and passion hiding all over this tiny city. It put me on rooftops and fire escapes. Music pulled me deep into underground tunnels and up onto bright stages. It set me down on one hundred back porches. Music shuttled me from town to town and across state lines. It coaxed me through hard conversations; it spurred straight-talk about souls. It propelled me down endless ribbons of highway. Music introduced me to some of the weirdest folks I know, and some of the most wonderful.
My year was colored, charted, and marked by music and I loved that. Share in my awe and gratitude with this playlist: a soundtrack for your countless adventures. Summer starts now!
Download: Summer Starts Now Mixtape – Mediafire