Alex’s Something of the Week [4]

Alexander Baughman
Alexander Baughman

But first– check the link to some of my previous posts to get an idea of what I do in this series.

Without further ado, here’s something that made me feel something this week:

“Give It Up” By KC and The Sunshine Band! What a bop! Though this blog post will be multidimensional, it won’t cover any sort of lyrical analysis. To whoever undertakes that one: enjoy.

This song represents two contrasting feelings from this past weekend. I’ll discuss chronologically:

My partner and I had to drive for a couple hours to a friend’s Disco Murder Mystery party. One of our jobs on the way was compiling the disco-themed playlist, and boy did we bond over excessive seat-dancing in interminable I-95 traffic. This was one of the songs that made us dance and sing the most (we replayed it just about every 30 minutes), and it was so fun to act silly in the middle of a bunch of glum traffic-sitters.
I felt really happy.

Dressed in our impressionistic 70’s garb, we finally arrived at the party. I met a number of new people whom my partner knew for years, and saw a few whom I met once. As food and drinks were served and as the playlist proceeded, I found myself by a wall, alone with my food as everyone else was talking and joking some feet away. Despite my usual social comfort and willingness to make conversation with people, I felt really ill at ease and self-conscious: I felt like an outsider. In the space of what may have only lasted a minute or two, it was as if I was transported back to discomfited high school me.

It wasn’t great.

Luckily, I think my partner sensed something and came over to join me; soon, we were all enjoying a Disco Murder Mystery party full of laughter and flamboyance, and I felt connected to everyone there.

So what can I do about all that?

The answer here is a little more complex. My first reflection led me to think that a lot of my feelings were contingent upon my partner’s presence: we had fun in the car, and she came to a sort of rescue at the party. While that is accurate, I have to keep my rules: I still need to find actions that give me personal agency. 

For one thing, I can keep surrounding myself with people who support me–people who are on my team. Even if that sounds obvious, I know I have spent far too much time in my life with toxic individuals in unhealthy settings. Relationships established on the principle of care can be game-changers in unexpected ways. They can lead to the most fun of car rides as well as a helping hand at a social event.

Also, in future moments of discomfort, I can ask myself if I’m really being ostracized; it was a super friendly party, and we all played an essential part in making it that way. Upon reflection, it was probably just a moment where I found myself separated from the group by chance, not by enmity. I’m prone to the anxieties of overthinking, so I can make a positively significant impact on my mental health by reinterpreting and reframing those moments in the future.

In conclusion, “Give It Up” is a jam.

What was a feeling you felt this week? What made you feel that way? What is something you can do about it?