Madison is an OG of the Quarantined, quarantined for 2 weeks before the rest of us after coming back from the Commerce South Korea Trip. Enjoy her post:
When thinking about writing a reflection during this strange time of self-isolation, I’m scrambling to think of something that hasn’t already been said. I feel like every post I’m seeing on Facebook or Instagram has essentially been the same thing: social distancing is necessary! Protect the elderly and immunocompromised! Look how sad Italians are! While these are all good(ish) messages, I hope that this ends up being something refreshing for you, maybe something redirects your attention. Maybe you’ll just enjoy reading it, that’s ideal. This last month has been nothing short of eventful for me- relational changes, a trip to a new continent, watching an outbreak happen first-hand, self-isolating for two weeks, going back to school for two days, then learning that my first two weeks in isolation were only the warmup to the real deal.
Days after I returned from South Korea, I realized that one of my favorite artists, Princess Nokia, had released not one, but two new albums, displayed in this wonderful dichotomy: one album is named “Everything is Beautiful,” and the other, “Everything Sucks.” Disclaimer: Both of these albums, as well as all of her music, contain explicit content; just know that before listening. If you don’t have an issue with that, check her out. If not, I hope you’re still with me.
These albums have almost perfectly captured how this last month has been for all of us, in one way or another. “Everything Sucks” is of course the darker and grungier album of the two, thematically and sonically. The name itself allows me to let myself feel that everything really sucks, but not for too long- the entire album’s runtime is under 30 minutes. The reality of the COVID-19 situation is that it really sucks- virtually each one of us is being rudely disrupted by a pandemic that is literally killing people and closing borders. Nothing is good about that. As someone who’s out of touch with her emotions, it’s rare and valuable when I can find something (or someone) that helps me to identify what I’m feeling, and makes me feel safe enough to let myself feel it. Believe it or not, anger is a tough one. But this album is so good, I can’t be mad when I’m listening to it- I’m usually fired up and feeling maybe a bit too confident, which is why I made sure to time it so that “Harley Quinn” would be playing as I drove to a job interview I had earlier this month. You need new songs for your at-home workout playlist? Look no further.
Princess Nokia, as “disrespectful” and “offensive” as she may be (her words, not mine), reveals an entirely different side of herself in the sister album “Everything is Beautiful.” Sonically, this album contains an entirely different soundscape than its counterparts. In fact, much of the album sounds like what a brisk spring morning feels like. Sunny and uplifted, it’s a stark contrast to “Everything Sucks.” The albums are polar opposites; this is why I respect her so much. Ever heard a Lumineers album? Oh you’ve heard two? You’re not sure? Me either. (No shade to Lumineers fans.) This album has been the go-to album for me and my roommates for the last little while, all self-isolation aside (hey google, play Wavy by Princess Nokia). Lyrics like “I’m still a kid/but kids are fun” and “have you told your parents that you love them lately?” have stuck with me and have been running through my head ever since I heard “Green Eggs and Ham” for the first time. Its lighthearted contents are not to be pushed aside just yet.
So clearly not everything sucks, and not everything is beautiful either. I’m not gonna go on about how we can find beauty in the midst of disappointment and chaos; you already know that. I hope that you can remember things that sucked about this situation and also find thingsthat are beautiful about it. And you’ve all already done that. What I love about the two is how they coexist. Just last night, I was about to lose it on my roommate for burning the popcorn (am I ok???), and today I laughed harder than I have in months because another one of my roomates revealed to me that when she was in grade twelve, she dressed up as the Hobbit for Halloween (she grew out her leg hair and walked around school barefoot all day). Keep laughing folks. Oh, and keep dancing to crazy frog, people! It got you through elementary school, it will get you through this!
Madison St. Louis
Thank You, Madison 🙂 – If there is a way to reply to this post (again, I’m new to this), I would love to hear people respond with small things that they have found that are beautiful in the midst of our current state.