I've been listening to the first Gorillaz album lately. I listened to the Gorillaz a lot in high school. Mainly, I listened to the first album on a loop, over and over again, while I played Neverwinter Nights. I did that for hours and hours and hours. And for a very, very long time after that, listening to that album brought back nothing but vivid images from the game, and a nostalgic sense of the way I felt around that time. Which wasn't great -- it was during the part of my life where I spent most of my free time alone playing video games.[1. NOTE: I don't think spending a lot of time alone playing video games is automatically bad. I'm saying that, for me, it reflected a lot of loneliness.]
I picked it up again because I heard they might be getting together for a third album, and I've been pleasantly surprised -- the experience has changed. It still reminds me of the game, and the way I felt back then, but that's just part of the atmosphere, not the whole thing. I'm enjoying it a lot.
This is good news for me! Both because I like the album a lot and I'm glad I can enjoy it again, and because it seems that I've gotten to a place in my life where I can start revisiting painful chunks of my past and disentangling the actual pain from the experiences that happened to be adjacent. It means I can start enjoying things I used to like again, and possibly make the whole world a generally less scary and unpleasant place by unraveling the mass of cultural references that remind me of how shitty my childhood was.
I don't think I'm quite ready to jump into stuff like unpacking all my embarrassment surrounding my performance in Sweeney Todd, but there are some video games I think I want to play again.