Everyone knows what it’s like to have a shitty first car.
Or at least to have driven one. The brakes squeal, you have to hold the window straight just to roll it up (which also hisses whenever you get past 20mph), your shifter (if you drive manual like I do) grinds and groans just as you do every time the damn clutch locks up…again.
You get the idea.
When you think about it, the aspects of a shitty first car are a lot like life. Things break, grind, squeal, and fail, but in the end, as long as the engine is still running, you keep moving (because you kind of have to, right?)
Take my car for example – A ’97 Honda Civic with well past 200,000 miles on it, still kicking and ready to go. Granted, I’m not really talking about the car…I’m talking about me.
There’s always been one thing that I’ve been able to hold onto to get past the squealing, the hissing, the grinding, the every rigid aspect of my car (*cough* of my life, really).
That one thing is music.
Regardless of only half the speakers working in my little Honda, the instant I crank up a song to max volume, every rigid sound produced by my vehicle, my life, vanishes – I’m brought into an entirely new world. And this world doesn’t grind or squeal.
This world validates every thought and feeling that rages through my mind within each moment of the day.
It paints my life and heart through sound, wraps me in arms of melodies, and fuels my happiness, my anger, my sadness, my motivation, my passion, my desire, my will to drive forward.
I know that last part may sound a little melodramatic (have you met me in real life?), but it’s the truth – I don’t know where I’d be if music wasn’t in my life.
Music can either take you hundreds of steps away from reality, or bring you closer to it than ever before.
That’s the beauty of it. You can escape into the clouds or become grounded in your exact moment of existence.
As I sit here, typing this, I listen to music. The notes wrap around my shoulders like an embrace…they comfort me in my sadness and encourage me to focus and keep my artistic hands moving. These notes offer me a level of comfort that is far past what any individual could offer me. They offer the most genuine and compassionate friendship I’ve every experienced in my life, and the melodies will never fade away.
My music is the only thing that knows me as well as I do.
It’s the one thing that continually keeps teaching me about myself and how I think. It is an extension of who I am (that being said, if I openly share music with you, I’m actually letting you in on some of the deeper and darker sides of my mind. Listen with caution). I can feel the music in my chest when I listen, beating with my heart. It scatters across my skin, causing chill bumps to rise on my arms and legs. I’m always attuned to it.
I think since I’m more introverted that music has an even greater impact on my well-being as a person, because of how much it validates my constant inner dialogue. I’m sure plenty of you can relate.
Music allows me to touch every creative cavern in my brain, which is vital for both an artist and a writer.
The sound puts a veil over my eyes and a new reality is presented to me within the reality I live in. New waves of color and imagery stream across what is real as my mind begins to stitch together my ideas, and the melodies supplement my thoughts. Sometimes, I’ll find myself closing my eyes to allow the imagery to play behind my eyelids. In one moment, I can be myself, but the next, I slip into the mind of an antagonist from a story of mine. A sneer dances across my lips, and I allow the melody to turn me into someone else for a while. Whether that someone is a terrifying murderer, or a girl out to save the world is another story entirely (I typically get a healthy helping of both depending on what I listen to).
Music allows me to relish in my darkness, just as it allows me to cherish my light.
Whether that darkness or light is within myself, or the worlds or people I’m creating, I can shift smoothly between realities.
I can shift with no grinding, or squealing, or hissing. I just cruise on the waves of melodies and let my mind go astray.
Deeper within myself, or far, far away.
What kind of music do you like to listen to? How does music impact your life? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
I know I didn’t mention my taste in music above, so here’s some of my favorite genres and artists if you’re interested in exploring.
Favorite Genres: Cinematic Orchestral/Instrumental compositions (like the epic stuff you hear in movies. It’s great for writing.), alternative rock, classic rock, piano compositions, EDM/electronica/techno, 99% of the music from my favorite video games (which is a mix of a bunch of different instrumental music, typically), ambiance, some metal/harder rock, neo soul, art pop, indie rock, indie pop, southern gothic, pop punk…etc. (I could go on for days with what genres I like…typically if it has a strong beat and/or relatable lyrics, I like it.)
Favorite Artists: (To be honest, I don’t really have a ‘favorite’ artist. I more often pick and choose from a bunch of random artists that tracks I like, and that’s about it. But here’s some of the artists that I have a good chunk of music from):- Shinedown, Icon for Hire, Florence + The Machine, Twenty One Pilots, The Glitch Mob, Daft Punk, Enya, Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco, David Nevue (Piano), George Winston (Piano), Halsey, Hans Zimmer, Imagine Dragons, Instrumental Core, Linkin Park, Muse, Oh Wonder, Sixx: A.M., Toby Fox (I’m obsessed with the Undertale soundtrack, don’t judge me), The Used, Waterflame (Youtube Artist), Woodkid, and plenty more.
Again, the artists I listed barely touch even a third of my library because of how many random pieces of music I have. If you’re interested in any of the music I listen to, feel free to send me a message/comment if you’d like!