How I learned what it means to be a music fan
Flickr user Nickolai Kashirin
The first time I met with my doula, she asked me about all of my feelings and fears about going into labor, about what was important to me. Much to her surprise, I told her one of those things was music.
But she was supportive. She told me I should make two playlists to help set the mood. One should be soft and mellow, designed to help me relax and calm down. The other should be heavy and fast, with music that would elevate my energy levels.
I thought about those playlists every day in the weeks leading up to my due date. I've always been a playlist connoisseur, starting with mixtapes and moving on to burned CDs before embracing the digital version. They're all important to me, because music has always been a central part of my life. Looking back, I tie different events and experiences to particular albums and sounds. There was the breakup where nothing seemed more appropriate than U2, the death when Pink Floyd helped sustain me, and the intercontinental move as a teenager that was punctuated with punk-rock angst and dissatisfaction. When I hear that music now, I'm not just transported to a different time and place; I also feel the same emotions I felt. I am that person once again.
Brandon Marshall You won't have the X's forever.
I've evolved, and so has my taste -- but that's no surprise. My relationship with music has always been dynamic. Still, I thought certain things about it would always be true. I couldn't imagine a time when I wouldn't voraciously seek out new bands at small and unconventional venues. I believed I'd always care about the playlist.
And my doula and I were talking about a momentous occasion, so I'd clearly have to comb through my music library to ensure that every deserving song was included. There were other concerns: Did I want full albums, or a smorgasbord of tracks? How selective should I be? What would be the soundtrack for the birth of my child?