I like smiling with you – “Velvet Elvis” by Alex Winston


And then it’s raining all of a sudden. I didn’t think that it would, but I can’t help smiling because I’m listening to this song and it’s boosting my mood. The rain is feeling so good and I am smiling because I’m thinking of you. I’ve slept on your couch, we’ve gone to a concert, we’ve watched baseball or we’ve drank one too many. I’ve hugged you and seen your eyes shine with the lights of the street illuminating the night. I’m so happy I came to the city because now I know you. I can’t help but raise in my hands in the air as I walk and let the song fill my heart. I’m so happy I leapt over here to the east because you’re now part of my story.

You don’t need to dig the pit. – “Do You Feel It?” by Chaos Chaos


Most of you who watch the utter perfection that is Rick and Morty know this song from that moment. I won’t spoil it, but this song comes at an incredibly dark moment in the show – darker than what most fans were expecting.

The song works perfectly for the scene because of the song itself.

The deep chords are contrasted by the falsetto vocals. They’re mixed with the echoey, double-tracked percussion to give a sense of intense melancholy. The kind of music that Rob Gordon would probably, if not like, at least appreciate.

I listened to this song for the first time last month in the wake of my housing woes. It was a hard month because I was physically and emotionally working to get over that chaos. I needed something to distract me from the intensity of moving and settling; this song would help me let it out from time to time.

When things are changing and unexpected and sometimes beyond your control, ah, what a comfort brooding is. It’s a pit that’s very easy to climb down into and stay. The darkness from the shade of your negative thoughts keep the light at bay. You start to get lonely, though, sitting in the dark alone, so you try to bring people to your special sad place. This doesn’t tend to work too well, considering people have jobs and lives and friends and relationships, too. You find that you sit in the dirt by yourself for a long time.

It’s a feeling that is very prevalent in a lot of post-grad twentysomethings – even when things are going well. Maybe you don’t have a job. Maybe you do, but it’s not what you want. Maybe you do and it is what you want, but you’re worried about fucking things up since so many people look up to you. Maybe it’s school or relationships or friends or trying to move to a city and not knowing where the fuck you’re going to live or what you’re going to do. It’s sad, though, that despite the fact that so many of us are climbing down into our respective pits, we’re alone in them. Then again, if we were all were in the same, big, mud pit, it wouldn’t be so bad. We could have mud fights.

Some people didn’t dig their own pit – the pit was already there to begin with and they know how to climb up. Some people don’t know how to climb up still and you cannot blame them for that. Some people created their own pit with every doubtful musing, every self-pity, every body-shaming thought. Some of these pit-diggers think that the pit is a bit of a refuge, that they can climb down and back up any time.

“Stop doing that to yourself,” their loved ones will say. “Do you really want to be down there?”

I admit, I’m a pit-digger. Sometimes I like feeling sad for the sake of feeling sad. There’s a great Doctor Who line about that: “Sad is happy for deep people.” And, with the sort of self-inflated/ self-deprecating flip-flop mindset that I have, I sometimes make difficult – but not always bad – situations more dramatic than they need to be.

Change is a hard time. It’s hard if it’s a good or bad change. Change is this set of monkey bars that you like to climb on the playground, but the bars are greased this time around and your hands slip away from them. Instead of knowing where you’re going to land, you wonder if it’s going to be soft grass or mulch.

It’s important for us pit-diggers to not be tempted to go down there. We know our own strength and our own abilities. We also know that it’s hard to keep an upbeat attitude all of the time and it’s nice to sometimes get away from that positivity. To believe things aren’t worth it. It’s easier.

But the problem arises if things actually aren’t okay. Do you want to be sitting in a pit when things are?

Every time you have your friend tell you to knock it off or your sister try to change the conversation, listen to them. Every time you’re tempted to sit and put off calling the doctor for a mole you’re scared to get checked, call the damn doctor. This cycle of worry and immobility isn’t very fun.

You don’t need to keep digging this pit. You do, though, need to figure out a way to keep yourself from getting like this. It’s healthy to feel sad and to recognize your emotions in response to things in your life. But exaggerating the scary parts is only going to make it harder for you. Make it easier for you, you deserve it.

How do you stop digging? Well, I’m not too sure myself. I need to figure out what works for me. But, something I do know is that everyone is different. Whether it’s learning how to allocate your focus or making a lifestyle change, any sort of progress is a step forward. Any time you put down the shovel and walk away from the hole in the ground, you’re doing yourself a huge favor. That small act is so big and important. Here’s the best part: it can be a small act. It can be easy. Remember that sketch you told yourself you were going to draw today? Do that instead of refreshing your Twitter to see what mindless notifications you receive. Didn’t you tell me that you wanted to learn how to code? Maybe save listening to that sad song from an animated show on Adult Swim for later and open up AppCoda.

You can’t control everything and don’t tell yourself that you have to make it perfect, but see what you can do. See what influence you have on your day. See if you can make someone laugh, even if the joke is really stupid.

And then, in those moments when you’re stressed and you do need to cry, listen to that song from that show and move on with your day. By then, it’s just a release. You don’t even own a shovel at this point.