Oh if only she had known

On January 26th 2020 I wrote:

I am now finally home, and (mostly) ready to start school again. It took me 5 weeks to wash away the stress from last semester and recover, but I think now is a good time or else I’ll never want to go to school again. I shall also mention that since Januray 1st, I spent a total of 10 days in my hometown. That is insane.

2020, you are crazy. »

If only I had known. Known that I would not stop there and go to Venice, Italy the next month. Known the chaos that would ensue. « I’ll never want to go to school again ». I chuckle, oh babe, you don’t know yet. But a part of me knew it already. And I was right in a way, 2020 was crazy.

Soundtrack of my life #2

(Yes I’m aware that this is the most dramatic title I could find)

A while back, I can’t believe it’s already been his long, I did a recap of my musical discoveries of 2018. It was really fun to lay down all the tunes that had kept me company during long commutes in the winter and late homework sessions. Let’s look back roughly at my songs.

Begining of 2019, I listened to Florence + The Machine (I’d even say almost excusively). High as Hope, Ceremonials and How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful; all shuffled together.

End of 2019 I remember crafting a playlist of songs to listen to at 5:40am in the RER to go to a special facility for my lab practicals in the south suburbs of Paris. It was full of lowkey depressing songs like Talia (King Princess), Aurore (Elia), The End of Love (Florence + The Machine) or Black Bird (Shake Shake Go) to cite a few.

Begining of 2020, right before the world ended, I remember re-discovering Mr. Brightside (The Killers) which became my religion for the next 6 months, Fast Car (Tracy Chapman),  People I’ve been Sad (Christine and the Queens) and Would That I (Hozier). Those 4 songs basically got me through the first months of 2020 and the lockdown.

The summer commute to my internship was accompanied by In the Name of Love (Bebe Rexha & Martin Garrix), Mr. Brightside again, RAIN (Ben Platt) and When It Rains (Paramore).

In autumn of 2020, I got Deezer Premium and it made me rediscover music to a whole new level: I started crafting playlists and listening to whole albums. I haven’t stopped yet, and that is why I thought I would share the music that got me through (I know it’s getting redundant but really, it helped) two other lockdowns, finals, burn out and slumps.

Without further ado, here are the albums I listened to:

  • Wasteland, baby!, the album by Hozier
  • Transmissions by Starset (go listen to Halo)
  • Noël, Josh Groban’s Christmas songs album (worth putting here because of my grandma’s precious reaction to hearing the songs)
  • i,i by Bon Iver
  • Birhtplace by Novo Amor, and Bathing Beach (I call those dupes to Bon Iver because I can barely tell which song is by who and I listen to them in a string of indsrupted music, meaning I don’t know any title to any song)
  • Build a Problem by dodie (this is here as honorable mention, I listened to it in one sitting and then never replayed any song but I love dodie)
  • La Vita Nuova by Chris(tine and the Queens), and Ungodly hours by Chloe x Halle, to pass time during that one 12h bus ride
  • Tickets to my downfall, by Machine Gun Kelly, which is the album that probably had the most impact on me this year. I love about 90% of the songs (which is super rare for me to listen to whole albums) and it launch my emo punk rock revival era or something, anyway
  • SURVIVOR GUILT: THE MIXTAPE// by KennyHoopla and Travis Barker (this is also some punk rock revival shit but it slaps)
  • Inside (The Songs), by Bo Burnham (these are the songs from the comedy special Inside that Bo Burnham created during the lockdown). I think this special broke a piece of my soul, in a good but painful way. Please watch it (if you’re mentally okay) and cry with me when All Eyes On Me starts (I’m listening to it as I’m writing this)

And that is it for the albums (that’s already more than usual though). I won’t go into details for each songs because I listen to very miscellaneous stuff – January and February were mostly movie soundtracks and anime openings for example!

Hope you enjoyed this mid-year musical update 🙂


Something about crafting content and spaces

Lately I’ve been neck-deep in a podcast project I started at school. I edit the audio, publish the podcast on Anchor, link each episode to the small website I made via Carrd, promote it on my Instagram account. Bref, I do maybe 80% of the work by myself (we are a team of 6). And while this unbalance really pisses me off, it opened my eyes on something.

I enjoy making content.

Not all types of content, though. I like creating spaces and pages to express myself: this blog, my (rather tailored I should say) Instagram page, my Deezer playlists, my (abandoned) Pinterest page and maybe most importantly, my bedroom. I don’t particularly enjoy content containing my face, voice, body in general. I don’t even think I’ve ever considered my body to be representative of myself (that is a totally different topic, which I am still not entirely comfortable writing about). Once, a singer I really like said « Everyone is just a collage of their favourite parts of other people » I think that the real Me deep down, is just a collage of all these spaces I curated over the years, with (or even without) care, love and methodology. And so I consider each of these examples as representations of specific parts of myself.

But mostly what I think I enjoy, in fact, is the process of building these spaces. I like the process of setting up pages, modifying them until every tiny detail suits the mental image I have of it. Of putting out into the world a piece of me, like an author writes a book or a musician writes a song. Of course it is not always very deep and meaningful: I handle the school cat Instagram page, our stuffed dog Instagram page and a parody Carrd about the Ever Given ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal.

It is also very comforting, to know that most of the pieces of myself living out there, in the open world, are carefully crafted. It is a form of reassurance, but also of protection: I know that people will only be able to see the parts of myself that are not messy, the parts that are flattering and under control. Crafting these spaces allows to put some sense and order in the internal chaos living inside me.

Coming back to my bedroom, this space is the perfect example of being a representation of my inner world. An entire wall is covered by pictures, art, post cards, tickets and random papers, each reminding me of a time of my life. I collect trinkets and art. Most of it is cheap art, pieces in which I saw beauty when no one else would. All this, intertwined in memories, forms a web of life. It is a projection of a fraction of what lives inside my head. For a long time I disliked the way my room looked, too cramped, too full, far from the minimalist ideals I ad back then. But I’ve come to realise, I am not the type to keep a minimalist space out to make room for the inside. It is the inside that spills out in an unruly manner, in an attempt at some kind of reverse osmosis. It is me, and I should embrace it.

I have described myself as creative and artistic in the past. Not that I can actually draw, or sing, or play an instrument, or dance (I can, but only to some extents). But I create « stuff ». I  don’t exactly know what it is, or if it’s any good, but I do. And I wish I did more.

What my last braincells have been doing lately

Yes! I am still alive and kicking!

It’s been a really weird and eventful start of the year (at least emotionally speaking) and I’m not going to go into details about it, but know that I had time to reflect and recover before starting uni again. Speaking of! I am doing my semester in a danish university and I’m liking it so far! I never thought I’d get a culture shock with a European country while still being in France but I kinda did! (I’m having a double culture shock actually because my home uni doesn’t work on the « real university » model so I’m experiencing university for the first time as well).

Aside from that I’ve been working on a project with my school club/association to participate to a contest called Ingénieuses 2021, which is about promoting diversity in engineering (yay!!). It’s really stressful but I’m learning so much. Basically we will be making podcast interviews of women in engineering, under the name Women’gineer (badum-tss). Here’s the link to our (French) website (which I made myself using Carrd) if you want to know more (I know you do, please click): https://womengineer.carrd.co/

And because I cannot be serious for more than a day, I also made a parody Carrd about the whole Suez Canal – Ever given mess because I find it hilarious, here’s the link: https://suez.carrd.co/

Thank you for sticking with me, sending love.