Despite the grey hues of November, there are the rare days when the sun will come out and its light creates an almost hazy gleam over the frosted ground. It is these days that make the damp weather of this month worth it. The smell of the cold air combined with the warm sun will always make me feel nostalgic for the favorite eras of my own life.
It was a sunny morning walk a couple of weeks ago that made me think about my college years. When I returned home from my stroll, I took a box of my old CDs out of the closet. I decided to have a listen to one of the mixes. It was like going back in time to my very own personal soundtrack. I thought back to the good old days when I’d unwrap the plastic of a brand new disc, pop it into my computer and drag my favorite eighteen tracks for my new music mix (yes, there was usually only enough room for eighteen!). Are compact discs now considered vintage? I can’t remember the last time I burnt a CD. What I do remember, is that when I would burn a CD, the songs I would select for the mix were usually representative of my life at that moment.
The first mix I ever created was all the way back in the fall of my first year at college. While I could have had any artist, band or pop star for the limited number of tracks available, I chose my favorite new-found band of the time: Stereophonics. I was still a teenager then and yet I felt like such an adult. I had worked every day that summer and was able to buy myself a sophisticated fall wardrobe for my first term at school. I was able to make my own schedule and pick the courses that I wanted to take. And yes, I was also in love. Well, in retrospect, my affections were just a crush. It was the type of crush where I just wanted to be around the guy. The affections did not need to turn into dates or a relationship; it was enough to just have that crush on someone.
It was that memorable fall of crushes and independence that led me to create my first burnt CD. A mix that was completely reflective of how I felt at the time. The uplifting guitar riff of Just Looking is still on rotation on my fall music mix to this day. Though I no longer have a portable CD player to listen to my tunes, certain songs will always bring out memories associated to the various chapters of my life. This band brings me back to that wonderful time between youth and adulthood. That time where life feels like it is just beginning and the adventure of it all is both overwhelming but amazing; like taking in a deep breath of that cold fall air.