As we know, Valentine’s day was this week. For some it’s been a time of excited expectancy, for others it’s another reminder of our solitude. As artists no matter which direction you’re leaning, it’s a time of big feelings. And big feelings means big art! At our very first webinar, we explored the art of songwriting, with panellists; Bien-Aimee Baraza, Vallerie Muthoni, Bensoul and Lisa-Oduor Noah. And a question that we considered and explored was, what is the genesis of a good song… and the answer was a “feeling”. It starts with feeling. We all know that love (and the lack thereof) is arguably one of the strongest feelings out there, it has inspired great art, great acts, and great stupidity. Fortunately or unfortunately during this season of love, we have more than enough of those feelings tumbling around.
Today I want to share some of my own. These are feelings that have spawned some of the best songs I’ve ever written. These are feelings, of anticipation, of angst. A time when I could not possibly comprehend moving on with myself. A time when the only thing that mattered was how he saw me. This is a raw, practically unedited glimpse into the mind of a 21 year old girl processing young love. I hope you can find some inspiration for your own art in my pain… maybe put it to some good use.
. . .
I’m starting to think, maybe just maybe I might be prone to some self-destructive behaviour. At this point, it’s like I don’t want to be happy. I have a crush again. Inherently that wouldn’t be bad at all. A crush was honestly welcome – even invited – up until recently. You know the feeling, butterflies, sweaty palms, knobby knees. In theory, or according to my memories these all seem much more fun than they actually are.
A crush feels exactly like what the word implies. I feel crushed under the weight of his essence, because even though he isn’t physically present, his presence is so strong. I sit up in panic as his scent envelops me from all sides, having lingered in the walls long after his body left. My heart competes with my mind for who will win the race to stress me out the most. I close my eyes and all I can see are his locked with mine, jaw set with arms outstretched ready to pull me in. I open my eyes and I see the seat in which he sat, nothing special but it’s knowing that he was there that’s enough to send my heart spinning.
It’s been so long since I felt this way. Four years since I wondered what a man ate for breakfast. Four years since I checked my phone 5 times in 5 minutes. Four years since I so desperately cared about what someone thought of me. This whole thing has me acting irrationally, perpetuating every single female stereotype in the book. I keep coming back to the thought; “How could he possibly like me back?”. I’m never one to put myself down, but he has me questioning everything I’ve ever said in his presence. What did I do, that got him thinking I was a good idea. I mean ladies and gentlemen, he knows me. It is quite possible that this is the red flag itself. I mean he has to be out of his mind, no?
Now some might think that this is the best possible scenario. Two young people, both attractive, both interested in seeing where this goes, why not just date and go all the way? I’ve been trying to answer this question for 6 months. I mean, I know we have certain ideals that vary and worldviews that don’t always align, but I want to know him better, I want to explore companionship and experience a relationship with him. Would I ever tell him this? NO. (But deep down if I’m putting it in a blog post, I must want him to know right?)
Sorry, if you came here for answers. But I’m all out. For now let us commiserate pseudo-relationships, friendzones and unrequited emotion. Let us wallow in our indecision and pray for signs of what to do. Let us create, and explore these feelings in music, in lyrics and art. Maybe that way we won’t lose our sanity.
Now dear Afreative, we want to challenge you. Share your best love/heartbreak song on Instagram with the hashtag #AfreLoveChallenge. We’ll be sharing our favourites, so make sure to tag @afreative. We want to hear all the feelings that birthed your best works.
Afreative – Social Media Manager