On “losing”, and gaining

I wrote a song in 2020 and released it out into cyberspace just a few days ago.

Three years ago, it didn’t have a title yet. It was just “Song 15” (yes, I have no idea where I got the energy to do all that either). On the OneNote tab I wrote the song on, 25-year-old me had a little monologue to the right where I blathered on for three paragraphs about what the song was about so I could come up with an appropriate title, because titles are my weak spot.

This is what I wrote:

Okay I feel like to be able to make a good title for this, I need to be able to talk about it and what it's about. For me, this song is about being a kid, looking back at those times as an adult and regretting not making the most of them. Because when you're a kid, you don't know what's in store, you don't know how messed up life is going to be in the future when you grow up – and when you grow up, when you get there, it's… a lot.

Sometimes in my head I stop time and go back to when I was able to laugh without thinking of all the heavy things in adult life. I want to go back to when I don't have to think about wanting to stay alone because you're so scared of trusting other people, because when you open yourself up as an adult, you're so much more vulnerable to getting hurt and losing everything you have. By staying alone, you have much less to lose.

But the last line – “All along I never knew that to be fine I had to lose it all” – to be okay, you have to open yourself up to new experiences and new people. “All the things I wish I could go back to just to lose it all” – there's this realization at the end that EVEN if we do go back, it's going to turn out the same way anyway. Things being open to risk. How the world is so much bigger than we all realize when we're kids and inevitably, we'll let people in, we'll let others in, whether we like it or not and we will, in the end lose it all.

That ended on a more somber note than I would have wanted, so I’m going to add my post-realizations after years of having Losing running around my head and doing cartwheels. This is the big thought that I’m summing up things with:

We need to lose in order to gain.

Or maybe it’s we need to be ready to lose in order to gain.

If we’re so afraid of stepping out of our safe places and comfort zones and shells and rocks, then all we do is stay in (or under) our safe places and comfort zones and shells and rocks. Looking back, there have been so many times I could have taken the safer route, but I never would have gotten to do the things I did if that happened. I never would have met all the people I’ve come to love so much. I never would have gained all these beautiful pictures and videos and memories that are, to quote one of my favorite artists, my first most prized possession.

We also gain the most out of our relationships when we’re aware of the inevitability of losing them. Because someday, eventually, we will. When we comprehend that things are ephemeral, that we have a set period of time with the people in our lives, then that makes our time all the more precious.

The last two lines in Losing go like:

all along i never knew that to be fine, i had to lose it

all the things i wish i could go back to, just to lose it all

Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and spend more of it with the people I’ve already lost. But I can’t. So all I can do now is remember them and honor them and do the best I can to be with the people I have now.

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