Associate opinions editor Eliza Hernandez spends a lot of time inside her own head, and her emotions can sometimes get the best of her.
At times, she’ll think “I never felt so high.” But the lows can also creep into her thoughts, and “there’s not necessarily a word for the way she’s feeling in that moment.” Like Kacey Musgraves preaches, she’ll be “Happy & Sad” at the same time.
Eliza is the kind of person who’s always “too busy dreaming,” like Mac Miller on “Good News,” even if those dreams are a little cosmic. When Eliza was little, she thought she was going to be the first female pope. Even if she hasn’t been dealt the right cards, it’s not going to stop her from living in the moment. She appreciates the tangible things in life just as much, and she doesn’t take them for granted.
She’s not ashamed to blare the radio and live free, like Lorde does in “Perfect Places.” When she feels headlights on her and feels the pressure in any setting—in the classroom, on the lacrosse turf in high school, or as she sings in the shower—she’s going to give her all to whatever she has to do in the moment.
“Perfect Places” describes this internal phenomenon precisely. Eliza “feel[s] the party” in her bones, but she’s not necessarily trying to find those perfect places. She understands an important thing in life that is beyond her years: “What the f—k are perfect places anyway?”
Whatever the situation is—whatever she’s tasked with—she’ll just choose to rock on.
Whether she’s writing up an assignment for her favorite class, Global Public Health Law, or swinging her groovy hips to The Rolling Stones’ “Beast of Burden” while she whips up quesadillas and Mexican rice with her mom Alice and her pup Dixie, Eliza’s one of the most balanced people you’ll ever meet. Her chameleon-like nature means she can have fun with just about anybody in any setting she chooses to step into.
Eliza’s playlist reflects that balanced nature. After all, she was born on Oct. 3. That’s libra season, for anyone who didn’t already guess it.
While she listens to Jack Johnson’s “If I Had Eyes” and enjoys its soothing guitar riff that lifts her soul up into the clouds, she’s also “always looking out” for more.
Eliza is a seasonal person. The fact that her life has moved from California to Virginia, then back to California, only to wind up in Boston shows her innate adaptability.
Tyler, The Creator’s “November” speaks to Eliza’s rhythm. She’ll be fine with how things are, but she also isn’t afraid to go against the crowd and wear “Hawaiian shirts in the winter.”
When things change in her life, she won’t just say “take me back.” She’ll move on. She’ll move forward.
Like most Californians, Eliza’s a glass-half-full kind of person. She expresses her satisfaction through notes of her past. Los Angeles plays a big role in Eliza’s life and is dear to her heart. HAIM’s “Los Angeles” scripts that sentiment beautifully. The words “hometown of mine” ring through Eliza’s ears. Eliza will “wake up on the other side,” wondering if she was just dreaming about leaving the city for the first time.
Eliza’s final three songs on her playlist, Rihanna’s “Love On the Brain,” Taylor Swift’s “Nothing New,” and The Police’s “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” exemplify her sometimes-carefree personality that guides her through deep connections with other people.
Eliza has dealt with adversity in her life. She’s “run for miles just to get a taste” of some things that are normal for some people. Like Taylor Swift sings in “Nothing New,” she’ll be “soaring through the sky,” and she won’t be the one to “shoot you down.”
But when things are most down for her, it just takes a bit of tune-up from her closest confidants to show her that “every little thing she does is magic.”