Most of us have had those moments when life feels like an ocean rushing at you full force, ready to drown you. Then comes the feeling of being overwhelmed and trying to say afloat. When this happens to me, I put my headphones in and the water stops. What was once life rushing at me filled with sadness, anger, and confusion turns into sweet serenity and peace.
Since I could talk, music has been something to help me express myself when I felt like I couldn’t. My earliest memories include me in the back of a red Honda Civic singing Alicia Keys at the top of my lungs. I sang the words to her song No One with such pride, using my hands to mimic a fake microphone. I didn’t know the song was about loving someone so much that you’d never let anyone come in between the two of you. I’d never felt that feeling at that young age, but I felt the instruments, and that was enough to get me singing the song like a married woman.
As I grew up, I realized music played a huge role in helping me gather and understand my emotions. When I listen to music, I feel the beats throughout my body as it bounces to the rhythm effortlessly. I hear the piano and imagine the artist running their fingers on the keys, feeling the coldness of the key collide with the warmth of their fingers to make magic. The guitar strings remind me of heartstrings. Pull them just enough and you’ll make a beautiful song; pull them too much, they’ll break. The harmonies remind me of peace; the feeling of floating in the clouds takes over me with each note. The lyrics remind me of memories, and I wallow in them, feeling the coldness in some and the warmth and light in others.
When I feel like the world is spinning too fast and I’m going too slow and no one can hear me even though I’m shouting my thoughts, I have music. I listen to my favorite song and I suddenly feel a breath. It brings life back into me. While focusing on the instruments, lyrics, and harmonies, or lack thereof, I feel the calmest I’ve ever been.
Before I ever realized it music, helped heal a part of my soul I didn’t even know needed fixing. Sometimes your happy place isn’t a physical place. Mine is right here with me every day, playing notes in my ear. Next time you begin to feel overwhelmed, turn on your favorite song and blast it, feel it, dance to it, and let your mind be free.