I'm home alone on New Year's Eve. My brother's gone to a party and my parents are driving my aunt back to the airport. I hate to say it, but I'm glad to see her go. The last time she visited two years ago, she brought her son (my cousin), and his brattiness drove us all insane. This time she left him behind, yet I still found myself sorely missing my precious solitude (well, the bastardized version of it I have at home). When she wasn't on her phone watching videos about the stock market, she asked me and my brother stupid questions, which I assume were attempts at conversation, but they were all conversational non-starters and only succeeded in getting on my nerves. (We're not kids anymore! Don't tell me to put on socks because you think my feet are cold.) I doubt she's changed much, so maybe it's me that's grown more prickly over the years. Whatever it is, I will not be paying her a visit next year when I'm on the West coast. She's made me look forward to spending New Year's Eve alone in my room, which is no small feat. I just want my family to leave me alone; is that too much to ask?
I was at a boba shop this week when I heard this song playing and struggled to hold back tears. I found the song post-breakup and was amazed at how hauntingly accurate the lyrics were, and hearing it again brought me right back to April. It is one of the best songs I discovered this year, and I'd listen to it more if it weren't so damn painful to do so. That said, hearing it set me spiraling down the rabbit hole, and I've spent the days since listening to all sorts of sad Chinese songs. I usually try to steer clear of songs that evoke intense emotions, but now that the floodgates are open all I want to do is wallow in the rain.
As much as I try to run way from my mother tongue, songs in Mandarin never fail to remind me what my first language was. I can barely understand what they're saying most of the time, but the bits I can comprehend don't get translated in my head the same way Spanish does—they go straight to the heart. More often than not, they manage to pick the lock and leave me in tears. I've been singing along to some of these songs since I was a kid spinning my mom's CDs on the car, and it feels so weird finally looking up the lyrics to see what they actually mean. I might've done the same back then out of curiosity, but I couldn't possibly feel the pain in the same way I do now.
The songs that informed this post:
- Jeff Chang - 別怕我傷心
- Stefanie Sun - 遇見
- Michael Wong - 童话
- Wakin Chau - 愛相隨
- Andy Lau - 忘情水
- 龙飞龙泽 - 对不起,我爱你
- 那英 - 梦一场
- Crowd Lu - 刻在我心底的名字
I apologize in advance for the very odd lyric videos (is it that hard to make a video with no extraneous images?) and for any Mandarin gaffes on my part. Writing all this was difficult, and not just because of my awful Mandarin, but cathartic! After listening to all those songs and writing them down here I can finally put them in a box and go back to trying to be a functional adult.