The other day I listened to a playlist for the first time in two years. It’s the playlist I made when I nannied Anju and Ketan, full of songs we would sing to while driving to all of their extracurricular events.
Some are obvious kid’s songs, like all of my favorite Disney ballads. But our real favorites were pop songs that were current at the time, especially Imagine Dragons and Bastille. I still remember turning around in my seat to high-five Ketan when he mastered singing “Flaws” with a British accent.
One of the songs that came up was “Everything Ends” from A Very Potter Senior Year, because yes, I did introduce my pre-teen charges to the amazing world of the sometimes inappropriate, always hilarious college production of Harry Potter musicals. This particular song is from the end of their third musical, and it’s doubly upsetting because it’s about Harry using the resurrection stone to see his dead friends and family one last time AND it’s about the cast acknowledging that Darren Criss’s life has taken him away from Starkid. I’ll put the video here if you want to cry a little.
[Start at 6:08 for the song]
The lyrics hit me, listening to a playlist from my past, thinking about my Dallas life and all the people I’ve said goodbye to, and hello to, in just two years.
Harry: How do I make things go back to how they used to be?
Snape: That’s just it, Harry. You can’t.
Group Singing: You can’t hold on to what’s gone.
Don’t try to fix it, just move on.
Only then, you’ll see the world all brand new.
And I felt…really great. I tend to cling to the past, to hoard memories and wish for things to be as they were. But there’s something so peaceful about saying, “Yes, the past WAS great, but so is the present, and so will the future be.” I don’t get to sing with Anju and Ketan in the car anymore. But this week I got to paint fingernails and watch Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights with women who have been trafficked.
Life isn’t about holding onto things or trying to recapture experiences. You’ve got to move on, and see the world all brand new.