It was an evening in late September when I knew we were losing each other.
I knew we were forgetting. So I wrote. I wrote it all, I described every memory I had with him, laced with the most magical details. The nights we talked on the phone until sunrise, the secret promises we made in the drive-thru line, the summer days he carried me across the parking lot to get ice cream. I combed through my journal entries hoping I could find the moment — the moment it all started fading. As a hopeless romantic, a firm believer in fairytales and happy endings, I didn’t understand how the stars had become so scattered and desperately clung to the hope that I could put them back in line.
Despite attempts to recall every chapter we wrote together, our story inevitably came to an end. Now faced with the repercussions of a naive and broken heart, my only choice was to do what I’ve always done: write. The words we exchanged at 2 AM became choruses. The dreams we shared became melodies. We became songs.
As time passed, my naive and broken heart grew careful and whole again. I didn’t find myself writing about us anymore. Instead, I found happiness that was not contingent on the heart of another. He and I were just another scene in my highlight reel and as a young dreamer with the world at her feet, I planned to make a million more on my own.
One of those scenes came on a Friday night when my heart raced as I slipped on a little black dress, opened the latches on my guitar case, and prepared to take a stage I had only ever dreamed about. I know my eyes must have been particularly starry that evening as I stood where some of my favorite storytellers once had. I sang songs about fading memories … People who mean the most to me … Magical moments.
As I looked into the eyes of a room of strangers, I realized something extraordinary: Forever Is Real.
I realized the people you’ve lost, the experiences you’ve had, are never truly gone. The best friend you had before she moved away, the love that broke your heart, even the car ride you had with your mother yesterday, aren’t gone at all. They become chapters in a story you can reread as many times as you’d like. When I’m on stage, guitar on my lap, heart on my sleeve, I relive cherished memories, I share them with an audience who have their own cherished memories, their own wonderful stories. Nothing has ever felt more magical, even those summer days when a boy I used to know carried me across the parking lot to get ice cream.
Since then, my story has taken unexpected twists and turns, in the absolute best way. I know now more than ever how beautiful it is to document every moment, what a gift it is to carry memories, what a gift it is to tell our stories. Every time I hear a song, see a painting, a photograph …When I curl up in the blanket my great-grandmother made or read a book … I relish in the realization that the inspiration behind creation is everlasting — that forever is real.
“For it is up to you and me
to take solace
in nostalgia’s arms
and our ability
from fleeting moments.”
― Sanober Khan, A Touch, A Tear A Tempest
“I’ve always loved writing. I was quite shy growing up and my notebook and a pen became like best friends to me. As soon as I realized I wanted to share my stories through music, my journal entries turned into lyrics, I picked up a guitar, and never looked back.” Hayley Solano is a 23-year-old singer-songwriter from Southern California. Her music is often described as personal and relatable, receiving praise for her strong, heartfelt lyrics – she strives to share stories from the most genuine place she can. When she’s not playing music you’ll find her baking in the kitchen – cupcakes with rainbow sprinkles are her favorite! hayleysolano.com // @hayleysolano