Editor’s Note: Song lyrics denoted in bold italics.
You know those songs that come on the radio (or, I guess more like Pandora these days) and you immediately think to yourself, “Man, I forgot just how much I LOVE this song!” So you listen to it — maybe more than once — and find yourself humming it for the rest of the day. Because that song? It’s. Just. That. Good.
For me, that song has always been Anna Nalick’s “Breathe (2 AM)” — the fact that Nalick is some who has seamlessly flown under the radar only cements my choice even more.
Anna Nalick’s “Breathe (2 AM)”
From Wreck of the Day
I first heard this song years ago, in an age where I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea that people actually stayed up past 9 p.m., even if it was the weekend. What could they possibly have to do, I often wondered? What could possibly be accomplished at such ungodly hours of the night?
2 AM and she calls me ’cause I’m still awake,
“Can you help me unravel my latest mistake?,
I don’t love him. Winter just wasn’t my season”
Yeah we walk through the doors, so accusing their eyes
Like they have any right at all to criticize,
Hypocrites. You’re all here for the very same reason
Ahh, yes, those precious dark hours are for the over-analyzing set. How utterly fitting! So that must be why I can now identify with them so much! The late-night hours seem to naturally give way to reflection for some reason. Maybe it’s because our defenses are down and we’re just too tired to fight it anymore, but a certain light shines in the dark of the night, doesn’t it? It’s ironic, I know, that you’d actually be able to see things better and more clearly after the sun goes down, but it’s true. And speaking of truth, it just somehow shines brighter when it’s pitch black.
‘Cause you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable
And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button, girl.
So cradle your head in your hands
And breathe… just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe
Life goes by fast. NASCAR-style fast. Sometimes, it can start to feel like you have zero control over time and how fast that sand is moving through that hourglass. All you can do is sit on the sidelines of that NASCAR race, your eyes getting dizzy from all the spinning laps of those cars, and it takes effort — real and honest effort — to pull yourself back from getting all caught up in it. Calming down has never really been my strong suit, but there is something to be said for the art of learning to breathe and relax. Even if you can only do it for a little bit, heck, that has to be better than nothing, right? I mean, it’s definitely better than risking fainting!
2 AM and I’m still awake, writing a song
If I get it all down on paper, it’s no longer inside of me,
Threatening the life it belongs to
And I feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd
‘Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
And I know that you’ll use them, however you want to
And when I heard the above lines? Well, that’s when it hit me: I do some of my best “processing” after midnight — in the form of writing, naturally. Not sure how this ever came to be, but the words just seem to fall out of me and onto the keyboard. Perhaps getting all my emotions out is my way of “breathing” and taking a step back in life. After all, this thing called writing is a truly cathartic experience, one I’m so grateful to have in my life; as I’ve said a million times, I’m not quite sure what I’d do without it.
And with that, friends, my eyes are getting heavy, so that must mean that slumber is calling my name. Here’s to nights spent pondering and pontificating! xoxo