I was driving today and heard a song from the Mumford and Sons Wilder Mind album and was instantly transported back in time to when this album was released the spring of 2015. I’ve always been amazed at how music and albums can catalog events in our life. Wilder Mind came out the year I graduated college and decided to take my first real risk by moving to Charleston on a whim with no job and no clue as to what I actually wanted out of my life.
I listened to this album every time I made the trip from Greenville to Charleston for countless job interviews and apartment searches. I secretly hated this album when it was released because Mumford had replaced their folky tunes for a synthesizer, but I forced myself to listen to it anyway because that’s what you do when you are a fan-girl like me.
Once I moved and started working, I found myself listening to this album with my windows rolled down every time I drove to Folly. I still close my eyes when I think of the smell of salt mixing with swamp, which signaled you were mere miles away from the beach and the feel of the warm sun on your hands as they dangled out the car window. Something about this moment of pure independence and risk made me feel infinite and alive all at the same time. I find myself chasing the moments that bring this part of me out of the depths.
Charleston has become a hot tourist spot in recent years. It’s no longer the hidden gem that I seemed to discover back in college. It slowly transitioned from an established ’30s town to a recent graduates’ town, which was convenient because it affirmed my decision to relocate. It seemed as though everyone had the same idea as I did. Wilder Mind kept me company in this season of transition.
Four years later, I’ve lived in three different corners of Charleston, met countless people that affected me in both good and bad ways, and can honestly say I have never regretted the risk of moving here and taking a chance on life and myself. The odd thing about saying this is that I struggled with this transition for some time. I was immensely proud of myself initially then went through a period of utter regret and have somehow come full circle and realized that I did myself a huge service by following my inner compass.
I regretted things most when life got hard and murky, when there were questions that no longer had easy answers and when I no longer understood what my path was. I finally have reached a place of peace in all this, realizing that these were some of the most important lessons Charleston could have given me. It taught me how to brave the storms of life and find out what I’m really made of. No one can take that away from me, and I find it to be something I am quick to share when mentoring those younger than I am.
Mumford and Sons gave me a huge gift. They categorized that period of my life and gave it a soundtrack and a mantra to live by. I’m able to pick that record up, place it on the record player, and instantly be flooded with memories and emotions. For someone who is scatterbrained and craves organization, I am insanely grateful for the moments where albums encapsulate the seasons of my life and allow me to play the soundtrack back over and over again.
To this day, I still chase the moments that allow for risk and look forward to that drive to Folly where I feel myself come alive through the beauty of nature and the infiniteness of us all. It’s a feeling of pure connection and independence that I wouldn’t trade for the world and still struggle to fully put into words. I simply refer to it as chasing the sunset.
Featured Image by Julia Kouzenkov