When you're the only one awake, every song is just for you.

I'm very busy. I've got freelance work, teaching, language learning, business running, life living... it's too much.

I'm overwhelmed, and it's not a great time for that: the holidays are in full swing, my lease is up in three months, and I have no clear sense of direction for my future. I've stumbled through the last six months, and while there have been joyful moments, this has been an incredibly chaotic period.

Occasionally, I pull something close to an all-nighter: I spend much of the afternoon and evening intermittently working, then I get into the zone when the clock strikes midnight (or one or two).

In the early morning hours, it feels like the world slows down. There are fewer people rushing around; there's less noise, and less urgency. I can focus.

Because I'm learning Romanian, I'll occassionally listen to Romanian radio stations. Radio stations have a different energy than more modern audio-focused mediums, like podcasts. Even when the program is pre-recorded, I can't help but feel that I'm participating in a shared experience, that there are other people listening along with me.

In the early morning hours, though, when no one is awake, the shared experience is between just me and the presenter; we are in our own little world, outside of time, and every song is given additional weight, as if a hidden gem is being revealed to me specifically.

Last night—or this morning?—Mă mai ia by Juno and Jo was one of those hidden gems because it got stuck in my head on the first listen, I played it on repeat, looked up the lyrics to learn new words, and found more songs by Jo that also got stuck in my head, like Fără tine and... okay, maybe just that one because they've both been on loop so much.

I've realised that much of the Romanian music I gravitate toward is quite sad. Hmmm....

I also heard Gimme Hope Jo'anna by Eddy Grant later in the day, and that was very fitting for the current moment; maybe that's why they played it. I can't be too sure, though, because I'm not able keep up with fast-talking foreign newcasters just yet.