[This post is part of the College: Alphabetized by Album series]
Attention! Attention! May I have all your eyes and ears to the front of the room, if only, if only for one second.
So go the opening lines of Almost Here by The Academy Is… This album also made its way into my iTunes library via Carrie, but unlike Paramore, I started listening to this almost right away. Because of the time of year, this album was linked to autumn for me from then on.
Thinking about this album reminds me of the changing seasons while I was working at Starbucks Turkey Creek. I used to park on the other side of a row of trees every day, making these specific trees a symbol of the transition from summer to fall. Come spring time, these same trees would become a symbol of the transition from winter to spring. Being botanically inept, I’m not going to try to guess what these trees were, but they hadn’t been planted too far in the past because Turkey Creek hasn’t been around that long.
Like the trees then, this album is associated with transitions in my mind, which is perhaps apt since the title track “Almost Here” is about transition from touring on the road to finally making it back home. To me at least, Almost Here usually only makes it into my regular listening rotation around this time of year until Thanksgiving, and then not again until the angle of the sunlight changes in March/April.
Something about the visual changes in the afternoon sunlight arouse in me a desire to try new things and to reorganize parts of my life. While summer is ultimately relaxing and I initially love the extra sunlight and warmth, the anticipation of fall seems to have more emotional power to me. Perhaps this is because I would ultimately fall in love and stay that way in October. Perhaps it is because almost every fall for the past eight years has been some kind of transition.
Since 2003, here’s what has been new about each autumn:
- 2003: New state (Florida), new school (Word of Life, freshman year), many new friends
- 2004: New state (New York), new school campus (Schroon Lake), more new friends
- 2005: Old state (Tennessee), new job (working at Starbucks), friends (assumed in the rest of these)
- 2006: Same state, but I had been gone for the summer, and this was the start of my senior year
- 2007: New state (Texas), new school (Dallas Seminary), first time living in an apartment and in a big city
- 2008: Same state, new apartment (on campus housing), new job (full time teaching music lessons), new church
- 2009: Same state, new apartment (off campus housing), new permanent roommate (my wife)
- 2010: Same state, new apartment, final year of seminary, commencement of thesis writing
- 2011: New state (Florida), new house (no more apartments), new job (teaching high school), new church
Perhaps no change is more radical than this current form of autumn, but then again, I have no idea what next year may offer. Regardless, I’ve got my work cut out for me making this transition, but I couldn’t be happier, and at this point, I’m enjoying every minute of it.