Hi, My Name is Julie and I'm a Pandora User.


I am convinced that Pandora knows

me too well.

As I browse the list of prospective

 genres, artists, and songs,

my mind analyzes and reiterates the generic

stereotypes that are associated with each potential station.

Calculating if these melodic variables could

possibly fit within the equation of my growing playlist,

 I wonder if “70’s Rock” will feel like the awkward, off beat, and dry humored kid entering the foreign lunchroom. 

Will “Adult Alternative” laugh at me for believing that it could get along with

“Lauryn Hill Radio”?

 What could John Mayer offer a seventeen year old girl-woman who

is the process of making many somewhat monumental life decisions?

Then again, what couldn’t he offer me?


When I finally decide what I want to listen to

and that  I am at least 75% satisfied with my  music selection 

(this satisfaction only lasting for five minutes or so),

I look at the screen on my laptop and see something surprising:

a simple yet very detail expression of myself through the music

I have selected.


I enter a process of making easy decisions that

in the end

make up a music sandwich of

 my history, hobbies, and even my views on society.


My indecisiveness morphs itself into an

evil monster before my eyes and

holds up a body length mirror.

I gradually begin to resent myself and my judgment.


Am I that person that enjoys 90’s R&B, Chris Brown, and Positive Hip Hop?


My reflections, just like my indecisiveness, manifests into the

degrading villain of the average teenager:

unfair comparisons.


Why can’t I be that person who likes Indie/ Hipster music?

Or Reggae?

Or John Mayer!?


And just before my thoughts are

 quickly puréed into a

mushy half-solid feeling of

 who I am,

Pandora advises me to try the “Aaliyah Radio”.

 Will I ever win?


That question quickly turns into:

Will I ever be satisfied with life?

That is the underlying question that is engulfed with agreeing to be

 a Pandora User.


Maybe I skipped that portion within the Terms and Agreements

….along with the rest of the terms and agreements.


I make decisions in life,

remake some decisions,

judge others, and after it all,

I am found wanting more.

Making myself want to be someone that I know I’m not,

yet too afraid to actually come to terms with the type of person I am.


When a person wakes up in a puddle of their own vomit,

finds a half dressed midget making a pot of coffee in their kitchen,

and sees the many empty bottles of

  discount  liquor spread across

their living room floor,

 such a person must conclude that they have a problem with

their consumption of  alcohol.

They’d be advised by their loving, sweater wearing parents and their

 perfect older sibling who graduated from law school, to

attend AA Meetings.

Grudgingly deciding to sit in an abstract circle

with other alcohol abusers,

they’d have to come to terms with their pass, confront their problems,

and not only hope for, but recognize their upcoming


After standing and joining hands,

the AA attendee would shout some unifying chant and then

leave the meeting to write and edit the next chapter in their life.


I see a need for myself to attend a Pandora Users Anonymous meeting (PUA).

 Just like AA meetings, PUA would force the users to accept

 themselves and to find reasonable places in their life for


These meetings would emphasize that

John Mayer

isn’t for everyone,

 that listening to cheesy, 90’s R&B songs is completely normal,

and that one shouldn’t be disheartened if they aren’t interested in

“Aaliyah Radio”.


It seems like such an easy feat to conquer;

accepting the person you are and your

imperfections, but

it isn’t.

My thoughts are constantly re-navigating, trying to find a

 different road to reach Point B, and

Pandora is in the passenger seat, recapping every t

urn I make.

I shouldn’t be ashamed of the person I am,

the good turns I make,

and the stations I listen to.

Always making room for enhancement and

uplifting change,

I accept myself and my life

 … but that John Mayer Station is starting to look

pretty good.


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