SOTD: ‘The Secret Life of Me’ — Waterparks

I’ve put off writing about this for over a month, though every day I’ve wanted to. I could never find the right words to say. And even now, I’m struggling.

But I’m gonna try anyway.

Just like any human, I go through phases. I was deep into the Waterparks fandom for a while, but ultimate took a break, ironically, right around the time their third album Fandom came out in 2019. Nothing against this trio of guys, but Jimmy Eat World’s Surviving had just come out, and… well, I don’t think I need to explain any further.

Waterparks was on my daily rotation, but slowly, they fell by the wayside until I would go weeks without hearing Awsten Knight’s voice.

Because of this, the announcement of their fourth studio album Greatest Hits didn’t effect me all that much. There wasn’t much anticipation.

Then the weirdest thing happened.

They released their album’s second single, “Snow Globe.” I was bored that night and thought I’d give it a shot. Why not, ya know.

I listened once. I hit replay and listened again. And again, and again.

I couldn’t get it out of my head (I still can’t, tbh). That piano intro. INSANE. The bass line? The lyrics??

Okay, enough. I’m getting distracted. When you’re done with this post, promise me you’ll take a listen and geek out with me later.

I may revisit “Snow Globe” in the future, but today we’re skipping down a couple tracks to a song that took me even more by surprise: “The Secret Life of Me.”

At first, I thought I was listening to the Mario Kart soundtrack, if I’m being totally honest. That’s not a bad thing, but I can definitely picture Toadette speeding around to an instrumental version of this.

Instead, it’s Awsten who comes speeding in with fast-paced lyrics that immediately tug on some misplaced feelings you’ve been harboring inside of you for far too long.

When I fall asleep at night,
I wish my brain could sneak away,
Increase my pace and hop the gate,
And travel to another plane.

I think most of us can relate to the feeling of wanting to run away, escape from the world for a little bit. However, Awsten takes it a step further and addresses the act of detaching and dissociating from his lowest points.

It’s not just about a temporary escape. It’s about that feeling you have that you’re stuck in this one spot and all you want to do is break free, but no matter what you do, you can’t. You’re stuck.

It’s a feeling I know well.

I’ve dealt with depression a lot in my life. I’m good now, but when I was at my lowest, I yearned to be released from whatever it was that was holding me down. It was a constant desire of wanting out. Not necessarily of life, but of my situation.

I’d tell people I felt “stuck.” They’d ask me what I meant. I didn’t know how to describe it. I still don’t.

I tell you what, though, when the chorus hit during that first listen, I felt this strange mix of nostalgia, desire, longing, happiness, sadness, and about 80 other emotions I don’t know how to place. And it all revolves around one line.

Sunbathe,
Looking like a Sunday,
Wishing for a someday,
I could run away like that.

“Wishing for a someday.”

Even though I don’t have as many issues with depression anymore, I still find myself wishing for that someday. In fact, I’ve said nearly the exact same thing to myself a million times over the years. Hearing it from someone else’s perspective hit me a lot harder than I thought it would.

And then he ends the chorus with, “Now I think I need a life or maybe nine, ’cause I’m feeling like I’m running out of time.”

It’s like Awsten peered inside my soul and wrote a song specifically for me.

Of course, he didn’t. Which is sad, because it means he’s felt the same way. And so have many other people.

I think this track can be perfectly summed up by taking a look at the bridge:

I feel like I’m running out of time.
Real life never feels like it’s mine,
So I’ll dissociate until I’m fine.
Until I’m fine.
I keep my eyes wide shut,
Live a secret life for fun,
Away from anyone and everyone.

Dissociating is not a healthy way to deal with your issues, but for many, it feels like the only way they can. I do think there is a positive outlook hidden in the lyrics, though.

“Someday.” We can make it to someday.

Whew. And all of this from a song I once said could soundtrack a game where characters drive cars and slide over bananas in their quest for something called a Mushroom Cup.

It’s that juxtaposition of the happy sounds with the sad lyrics that gets me. To me, the music represents the paradise he sings about, the place he dreams of being in. The place I dream of being in.

When I hit play on “Snow Globe” back in February, I didn’t expect to be drawn back into Waterparks. I didn’t expect to get excited for their album.

I didn’t expect to experience a whirlwind of emotions listening to “The Secret Life of Me.”

Now here I am, once again listening to the boys on the daily. I’m sorry for stepping away, Awsten, Otto, and Geoff. But thanks for always having me, anyway.

Featured image taken from Waterparks – The Secret Life of Me (Official Audio) via Waterparks

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