Wow fuck ok I just went and saw Halsey and it ignited in me a whole lot of things that I’d forgotten how to feel.
First of all, her show was AMAZING. Performance wise she is beautiful, her voice is exactly like her records and the effects are all tasteful and effective and way, way cool. I know a lot of people don’t dig her but tbh I have a lot to say on pop icons who the public loves to hate (namely all of my favourite musicians//im the queen of basic music//though am I if everybody tries to call me out for what I listen to??//whilst simultaneously undervaluing the story telling quality of all of their music//which undervalues the way I remember my experiences through music//which tbh undermines my creative autonomy //like I said I have a lot to say). But im going to put that aside for now because I want to talk about myself some more (#surprise).
At the start of her concert, Halsey asked us to call back to when we first started listening to her music.
Badlands was the first album I listened to that made me feel heard as a woman. This was the year that I moved cities in the most tumultuous and whirlwind emotional time of my lil teenage years. There was no way to reconcile who I was with who I had been and I didn’t have the words to explain anything new. Until I heard that album and suddenly I got it. And in a series of months where familiar music literally made me sick to my stomach to here that was a new album that made me feel powerful and brave and sexy and safe. Because it’s an angry album, but it’s still the story of a girl. Someone young and brave and dumb who got fucked up and fucked over and who used that as a way to fight back. Something relatable.
That’s gold to a cold eighteen-year-old at the end of a long winter.
I think I stopped writing because life is good. Today was a happy day and I think when you feel settled its harder to tell the truth. Because why displace your peace right now for a show of vulnerability? I am okay and happy. I don’t want to live anywhere other than this big backwards city. Also sometimes explaining yourself is tiring. I’m sick of misrepresenting myself. The last few months have been testing in new unfamiliar ways. I cut myself off, felt like a stranger in my old streets, became an unwelcome guest in my old home and I didn’t want to explain.
Sometimes you just want people to understand or forgive or love you without having to ask them to.
But anyway I was at this concert, and I was standing in the crowd feeling these things and thinking that maybe the hardest part of growing up is realising that you’re not always who you think you are. You’re not special even if you work hard and fake smile lots and drink eight glasses of water a day. Halsey called us back to the time when you first start to figure this out. When you’re in a new city with new people and you can’t break out of all the bad habits you were sure you’d outgrow. She made me hear everything like I did the first time.
It was cathartic. I cried. And then I came home and wrote this.
And it’s a shitty explanation but it’s still more than I have been able to do recently.
So we’ll call it a start.