The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday January 22nd

Office DJ: On growing up

UNC sophomore journalism major Parker Brown poses for a portrait while the song "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley swirls around her.
Buy Photos UNC sophomore journalism major Parker Brown poses for a portrait while the song "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley swirls around her.

I don’t think I’m an adult yet. 

I’m 19 years old, I’m in college, I’ve worked several jobs and I live in an apartment with two of my best friends, but none of it feels real. I’m not really sure when I’ll stop seeing myself as a kid.

Part of it could be my nostalgia. Rather than watching new movies or listening to new music, I’ll go back to the comfort of films I’ve seen a million times before, and songs I’ve listened to since I was born. That’s why I made this playlist.

When I think about my childhood, I don’t have a lot of visual memories. There are a few select moments, of course, like making myself ketchup sandwiches (ew) and going to Build-A-Bear Workshop. Most of my memories, though, are songs.

My dad wanted to make sure I ended up with a good taste in music, so he played the songs that he liked. He was ultimately successful, as I believe I have the best music taste on this planet, but that could be the God complex talking. 

The first music I remember listening to was this album titled “Circle Game: Folk Music For Kids.” That’s where the first 12 songs on this playlist come from, but they were sung by kids, which I guess is cool for kids, but I’m sure my parents hated listening to it. A similar album, “All You Need Is Love: Beatles Songs For Kids,” also made a frequent appearance in our Subaru’s CD slot. Instead of kids, though, they’re sung by adults, and badly. I’m not sure what the purpose was there.

I’ve thrown some random songs in there too, like "Moonshadow" by Cat Stevens. I’m not sure if this was part of any particular album, but I remember singing it to myself in the backseat of the car at night, wondering why the moon chose to follow me around. 

The last few songs come from "The Point," an album (and later, a movie) fueled entirely by Harry Nilsson’s acid trip (seriously). If you’ve seen this movie, please contact me, because I’ve only met one other person who’s seen it and I need to talk about it. 

Upon rediscovering these songs in middle school, I cried for hours. Sometimes I still cry listening to them. I miss being a toddler in Cleveland, Ohio (yes, I’m from Cleveland and I love it), when my parents were still together and I had no responsibilities. 

But as I got older, I learned things about my family that I was too young to understand at the time, and realized that I could only remember the good parts, not the bad. I couldn’t remember my parents' divorce or my mom’s efforts to make ends meet as a single parent on a North Carolina teacher’s salary. I lived under the blissful veil of being a kid and not understanding the struggles of adulthood.

Now that I am an “adult,” I see my youth from a different perspective. I can fill in the gaps and realize that I’m much better off now than I ever was then. I’m so thankful for my mom, my brother and my stepdad for their unconditional love.

But sometimes, it’s nice to be blissfully ignorant for a little while. In this case, it’s an hour and 24 minutes.



arts@dailytarheel.com

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