Soundtracking My Life

Posted March 15, 2014 by Stormy in Uncategorized / 12 Comments

soundtracking my life

In a glimpse into my non-bookish life, I thought I would share with everyone something I’ve done for a really long time. I call it “soundtracking” my life, but it’s almost more like scrapbooking my life through songs. I love music, and I, like most music lovers, enjoy making playlists and music mixes. I have all different kinds of playlists. I make playlists for novels, playlists that remind me of fictional characters, playlists that speak to a certain kind of mood.

But my favorite to make are my personal playlists. At the end of the month(or sometimes at the middle), I make a playlist of my favorite songs of the month or the songs that REALLY get to how I feel at the time. And I know hardly anyone uses mixed CDs anymore, but for some reason I really love burning these playlists onto a CD(I normally listen to them in my car). I don’t usually even keep the playlist on my iTunes, to be honest. The CD is sort of the point for me.

I don’t do this every month, but I do it quite often. Generally each CD has between fifteen and twenty songs on it. At first, it was just a way for me to listen to my favorite songs of the moment wherever I wanted, but over time it’s become important to me because I realize how in many ways, it’s become a musical road map of my life.

I don’t remember specific things that happen each month, unless they’re HUGE life events. But these CDs are a way for me to remember how I was feeling. I’ve been doing this since January 2009, so that’s quite a lot of months, even skipping some( I’ve noticed I hardly ever make one for October or December, for some reason). I don’t remember exactly what happened in January 2009, but I can pick up themes whenever I re-listen to that CD. I know that was a bit of a rough month–the music’s shown me. And I know that March 2011 was awesome(seriously, all upbeat songs), even though there wasn’t a big life event I remember that makes it so.

It’s also quite interesting(and sometimes embarrassing), to realize how much my musical taste have changed. My August 2009 CD is full of country. . . which is a genre I haven’t listened to in years. Mostly, I’m glad my seventeen-year-old self started making these CDs on a whim. They really have become the soundtrack of my life over the past few years.

Soundtracking your Life:

Am I alone in doing this? I feel like I know more people who have started making monthly playlists, so maybe I’m not alone! Do you make certain mixes based on your mood? Or do you do anything else to sort of “scrapbook”(other than actually scrapbooking) your life?


12 responses to “Soundtracking My Life

  1. numinousnnp

    I’ve never done anything like that – I don’t come across enough new music that I like in a month to build something of the sort. But I love the idea of it! That has to be so cool to be able to put a CD in and capture that moment in your life. very cool.

    I get most of my new music from tv shows, so when I go through my iTunes on random I can tell you which tv show I got the song from and what the scene was. It’s not the same thing (or nearly as cool) but it’s the closest I come 🙂

  2. Cait

    I listen to different Disney CDs in the car…but I don’t think that’s quite the same thing. 😉 I guess I don’t soundtrack my life particularly, but I do it for my books. Certain songs make me think of certain things I’ve written. It’s inspiring. 🙂

    • Stormy

      Ha, I do love my Disney CDs too! I make bookish playlist too. When I was writing the first draft of the manuscript I’m revising now, I made a playlist and listened to pretty much nothing else for the entire month and a half.

  3. Honestly, I thought I was the only one that did something like this! I have playlists that span over a few months that capture whatever I was feeling in that period of my life. It’s not really intentional, it’s more like you said, whatever your favorites are at the time. For me, all music has meaning and I can’t just listen to it without applying it to my life, so there’s always some sort of theme or sound to each playlist. Like you, I can’t always remember exact things that happened, but whenever I listen to these playlists, all the feelings I had at the time come back and I love that, especially when I’m feeling nostalgic.

    • Stormy

      Yes! I love being able to “look back” with music. And I definitely get to also see how much my musical taste has changed. It feels weird to play one from early 2009 when I was in high school and hear mostly country music!

  4. Sounds like a great idea and a fun away to remember different periods in your life. I know I always tend to remember events by songs that were popular at the time. I make lots of playlists on my phone to listen to while walking, or in the gym so I usually have one to suit whatever mood I’m in. But I just put them together ad-hoc. I love how you are so consistent about it and that you burn them to a cd too.

    • Stormy

      I do that too! Certain songs will always remind me of high school or college just because they were popular at the time. I’m definitely not always as consistent as I would like to be, but I try! I have CDs going back to January 2009 and sometimes it’s great to put one in my car as I drive to work and just remember how I was feeling at the time and what the “big events” in my life were. I also see the taste of my musical progression–there’s definitely more country music in the 2009 playlist than there would ever be now!

  5. I love this idea so much! I definitely get how music can reflect your mood during a certain time period and creating playlists is always so much fun. Alas, being in Canada and not being able to access Spotify is a bit of a turn off so I haven’t made playlists in so long. I worked with getting a Chrome extension that blocks my IP address but that was just so inconvenient and annoying so I got rid of that and Spotify. Fingers crossed they allow access to Canada one day! But regardless, I think this is a really good idea and it’s always interesting to look back and see how your taste has changed!

    • Stormy

      I always forget Spotify doesn’t work in Canada! Since I burn most of my monthly playlist to discs, I usually use iTunes, but I definitely use spotify a lot too!

  6. This is such an awesome idea! I used to make playlists for the car when I was in high school, but it was almost upbeat stuff to get us all in the mood as we drove to the latest party. I was the uncertified DJ of my friends, so they always looked to me for the best party mixes. I’d be interested to see if I could find any…haha

    I thought I would share with everyone someone I’ve done for a really long time.


    • Stormy

      OOPS. Hahaha! Fixing that now. . .
      I was the uncertified DJ of my friends too!–Mostly because I was the only one who would actually take the time to put a good mix together. I had so many “driving” playlists! I’m from such a small town that we often had to take longer trips–30 or 45 minutes–to get anywhere worth being!

      • Me too!! The closest movie theatre was like 40 minutes away, and most of my friends lived in the country, so to go to their house was easily a half hour cruise. We also did a lot of loser laps – there wasn’t much to do in our small town, except drive! Haha

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