The first time I listened to Justin Bieber was in sixth grade. I was at a middle-school dance when the DJ played “Baby.”
I immediately liked it and started dancing (or, more accurately, started jumping up and down with my hands in the air and screaming).
That was the day that I was infected with Bieber Fever. From that point on, I was a self-proclaimed Belieber.
I listened to every song on the My World and My World 2.0 albums at least a hundred times.
I watched all the “Never Say Never” movie trailers and previews. When the movie finally came out on Feb. 11, 2011, I was one of the first to see it. In fact, I was so excited about it that I didn’t even realize I was one of the only people in the theater who wasn’t under 10 (or a mom) until my friend pointed it out.
A year later I entered high school, yet my Fever persisted. The day the Believe album was released, I bought it all on iTunes, only to buy the CD version a week later so that I could ogle the pictures on the album cover.
I would play my favorites (“Boyfriend,” “As Long As You Love Me” and “Thought of You”) over and over and over and over. It came to the point where I was banned from choosing the music in the Cave because everyone knew it would be Bieber.
Despite all of this, I have been cured over the last year or so.
My cure began with a new obsession: One Direction. That obsession lasted for months (and, I’ll admit, on a less intense level continues to this day) and was similar to my Bieber sick days.
I listened incessantly to all the 1D songs, watched all the YouTube videos about them and put up posters of Harry Styles (one of the five members of the boy band) in my room. I was once again banned from music in the Cave.
While many of my friends considered this new obsession even worse than the first, it did have a positive effect—my Bieber Fever was cured.
I haven’t listened to all of a Bieber song in over a year (unless, of course, it’s to make fun of it). And when his newer songs play on the radio, I don’t even recognize that they’re his until the DJ tells me.
For a while I attempted to hold onto my diagnosis as a Bieber-lover although I knew it wasn’t true. I defended his misdemeanors (yes, even the Brazilian prostitutes) in a fruitless effort to hold on to my past.
Eventually, I realized my defense was ridiculous, and I gave up entirely. Now, my Belieber days are no more than memory (thank God!)
Nonetheless, I still obsess over music (and everything else, for that matter) in the same way. When I first heard Sarah Chang’s performance of Vitali’s “Chaconne in G minor,” it was all I listened to for a week.
Then came Lana days, when all I could think about was “Dark Paradise” or “Radio.”
There was even a period of darkness that consisted of non-stop “Wrecking Ball” and “We Can’t Stop” (both Miley Cyrus songs, for those of you who still have your musical integrity).
My approach to music is strange to say the least, but it has great perks. When I become interested in an artist, I don’t just become familiar with their hits—I listen to their music to the point where it’s a surprise if I find a song I don’t know by heart.
That gets really annoying near the end of a phase, but later on, it’s really nice. I can recognize most of the songs of an artist I love, and I always have their melodies somewhere in the back of my head.
I even enjoy my past infection of Bieber Fever. While I’m no longer compelled to listen to “Love Me” time and time again, I know it well enough to remember how happy it made me feel.
That happiness works its way into the present whenever I think of that song (or any song I ever loved), making my life one endless melody. And that’s what makes all the Justin Bieber Google searches worthwhile.