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Mitski Made Me Realize That I’m Not Responsible for Other’s Happiness

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCD chapter.

When I talk about my love for Mitski’s music, I almost always get this response: “Girl, are you okay?” I can understand the depressive connotations that come with primarily listening to Mitski. She specializes in sad songs that are able to capture specific indescribable feelings. So I get why people are more concerned than inspired when they see my spotify wrapped. Although I originally used Mitski’s music to relate to and work through my traumatic experiences, my attachment to her has turned into an appreciation for her ability to turn scary experiences into beautiful songs.

I’m a big believer in therapy. I think, especially for me, being able to find the root of certain feelings or habits helps with processing those emotions. That’s part of the reason why I have such a meaningful connection to Mitski’s music. She’s able to eloquently describe the feelings that make me feel so lost and alone. For example, listening to “I Want You and “Me and My Husband” made me realize that I was in a toxic relationship. I was relating to them like love songs– and then it suddenly clicked for me that they were not love songs. She was able to teach me what love shouldn’t be through her music, which is more valuable than listening to sad songs just to release tension. But when it came to taking charge of my own happiness, “Francis Forever” woke me up.

Being able to see Mitski put into words the way that prioritizing the happiness of others before my own and people-pleasing makes me realize that I let it affect me too often. I find myself always putting others before myself. The following stanza:

I don’t need the world to see
That I’ve been the best I can be, but
I don’t think I could stand to be
Where you don’t see me

Made me realize that when I fixate on making a singular person happy, I lose all other aspects of my personality. I find myself living to make their lives more ideal. Living for someone else’s approval is such an easy thing to do. It’s easy to live for someone — to want them to see you and desire their approval. It’s such a comforting thing to follow other interests than your own. It’s a safe feeling for those who search for the approval of others, because when you’re living for someone, you automatically have their approval. You’re okay with others judging you because you know that at least one person understands.

Although this is a safe feeling, it’s not healthy. Hearing this feeling be described in “Francis Forever” made me realize this. Sometimes you need to push your boundaries and not be afraid to be judged in order to find yourself. Having one person’s approval is not worth basing your personality around what they might like. After doing this for so long, it took me a second to find myself again. It was tough to be vulnerable, open, and alone, but it was so worth it in the end. Being able to live for me made me find more meaning and happiness in my everyday life.

Ariana, or Aria, is a second year philosophy major and comparative literature minor at UCD. She enjoys fashion, cartoons, spending times with friends, and La Croix.