Campus Life

processing life through my spotify playlists

“my brain is at my limit, going insane with everything i do!!” -kairiki bear, bug

processing life through my spotify playlists

content warning: brief mentions of ptsd, gender dysphoria, self harm, disassociation

i got spotify premium a few years ago. well, more accurately, my older brother got an account through a family plan between him and his friends, and i’ve been leeching off of it ever since. although it’s under his name, most of the playlists and liked songs and favorite artists are mine.

the oldest playlist i have is called “where’d all the time go?” although i don’t talk to the person i made this playlist with anymore, i can’t bear to get rid of it, a time capsule with memories and feelings i refuse to forget — sleeping on their shoulder during the bus rides back to our high school after a swim meet, the nights spent on discord playing games and watching anime, walking into their chemistry class and nagging them to do their work, among countless other memories.

the cover of the playlist used to be a picture of genshin impact’s zhongli holding a glaze lily, the flower populating the flower bed that his friend died in; truly, it was the perfect testament to the theme of “loss” that i can never shake off. 

now, however, the cover is the mit pumpkin drop. shattered, scattered, lost, as i am most days.

after that, i made dozens of playlists. some of them were happy, like the ones i dedicated to past lovers, but most of them showcase the immense amount of sadness i feel on a day-to-day basis.

playlists include:

it turns out that learning who i am alongside fulfilling all the expectations my family had of me alongside navigating my identity alongside regaining some sort of self-respect is one of the most difficult tasks you could give anybody. 

but that’s just teenage angst! (although i’m probably undermining it.)

breaking up that angst into smaller, more definable boxes made it a whole lot easier to process. this is a tried and true method, as demonstrated by object-oriented programming: there’s the overarching “vi” class that life made for me, the “ptsd,” “genderDysphoria,” and “generalSelfHatred” subclasses that accompany it, and finally a shoddily built “joy” subclass. 

yeah, the devs sure took their time with me. i’m not particularly happy about it either. i hope that those first three subclasses are phased out in future updates. 

no matter how much i request permission, it seems that i have no direct control over my own code, so the only thing i can do is comment on this chaotic, havoc-wreaking, self-destructive code to try and make some sense of it.

years of deconstructing this ever-changing code have led to…

*checks notes*

…more spotify playlists. although therapy does help in the longer healing process, music is better with short-term coping, as venting my recurring and intense thoughts is somewhat impossible when i only see my therapist on a semi-biweekly basis for thirty minutes at a time. 

i’m working on balancing short and long term healing.

but in the meantime, spotify playlists it is! such playlists include:

although these are still pretty depressing, i’ve kept the happy ones for longer than usual! well, the two happy playlists i have. 

i think that means i’m getting closer to healing! maybe the devs will write me classes that aren’t so painful and confusing to understand, and it would be nice if they’d finally update “joy.”

but until that happens, i’ll keep making spotify playlists to cope with it all.