Firstly, the title is a play on the name of that one movie with Michael Cera in it: Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist, I think. I’ve never seen it, but I’ve heard its good, so maybe I should.

Secondly, I’ve realized lately that my coming here with Global Citizen Year has likely – no, definitely – created a lot of expectations in a lot of people. I’m sure it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that I’m here doing life-changing things and learning more about myself every day and every single moment is nice and sparkles and wow! moments and everything’s fantastic and –

and that’s not true. Well, not all true. I can’t say that everything’s not all sparkles and great things and realizations where I do actually learn more about myself, because moments like that do exist, and they’re incredible. At the same time though, not every moment is amazing – I mean, there’s the times I’ve been way sick, the times I’ve been way homesick, and the times I’ve just been frustrated, for a lotta reasons. And then there’s the moments that aren’t really like, incredible and life-changing, but aren’t unpleasant either – there’s the moments where I sit with my family while we watch WWE and debate whether John Cena will lose this time (only once so far), or when I sit down and talk to my neighbors who own really cute puppies but have been thinking that I was Japanese for the past more-or-less 3 months, or when I walk through Otavalo around nighttime, when the streetlights are on and the light fills the roads, making it bright enough to seem like daytime, if the sky weren’t so black. Sometimes, a little bit of rain is falling – not enough to make me put on my hood, but enough to be noticeable. I’ve got my earphones in, and the combination of the lights, night, rain, and the air feel so pleasant. The music I’m listening to is different than what I usually do – instead of piano-driven sad music about lost love or whatnot (I have a pretty big library of those kinds of songs. I’m quite proud of it), I’m listening to upbeat, super feel-good music.
It’s great. This moment is great. And I’m not exactly learning any life-changing lessons from it, I think.
So yeah – maybe you’re thinking now, “So what is the lesson of this post, Austin? What are you trying to tell us?”
I don’t know. Don’t really think there is a lesson – I can’t just whip up introspection and say something all willy-nilly in order to keep up an image of something untrue. I mean, the lessons – the things that I learn that I think will follow me for the rest of my life – those come when they come, and the moments in between (unless I’m not super sick and in a lot of discomfort) are often the ones where I find myself walking through the streets, listening to music.

(I’m going to post a mixtape of the music I listen to while walking through the streets, too.)

(UPDATE – I WROTE THIS IN NOVEMBER. POSTED IT AT THE END OF JANUARY. I NEVER MADE THE MIX SORRY AND I REALLY DON’T WANT TO ANYMORE SO I’LL JUST POST THIS if you want to know what I’m listening to, you can send me a message or an email!)