The term is made to sound progressive, but a coping mechanism doesn't necessarily have to be a good one either.
Mechanism: a system of parts, merely working together in this machine that we call life.
Drinking, smoking, harming yourself in various ways, some explicit, others obscure; patterns of terrible decisions.
You find something to make you feel a little less.
Something to calm your overworked senses.
Or something to physically manifest the invisible pain that you feel inside.
But aside from these destructive mechanisms, there are constructive ones too. The one that I wanted to talk about today was music.
What is music? The exemplifications of the beauty of harmony. A combination of sounds that pull at our hearts. The food of our souls. It does different things for all of us.
I've found that there isn't a second that I'm not listening to music. Whether it's walking to class, showering, eating; hell, sometimes I'll quite literally play myself to sleep.
I truly believe that I would not have made it this far in my life if it weren't for music.
When I'm sad, I let myself sit and wallow in a sad song. Something about the mellow sounds just allows me to purge some of the chaos out of me. In the abyss of my mind, I'm able to reflect, to make sense of some of the madness.
When I'm happy, an elevated beat will multiply my happiness.
The different ways that music affects me, my mood, my sense of self, and just my existence, never fails to amaze me. Addiction is too derogatory of a word for me to use, almost unfair. But is that what it really is? Is it an escape from reality, or is it a way to reflect on underlying feelings?
I woke up one morning and started listening to Frank Sinatra. His music reminds me of walking through the illuminated, but silent streets in the cold of the night, cozying up by a fire, sipping on hot chocolate, wrapped in blankets; and a plethora of other seemingly cheesy, wintry things.
For some reason, I imagine myself to be in love in all of these scenarios, it's something about the strings in the song I think. I absolutely love them; the violin, cello, bass; They're the most beautiful class of instruments in my opinion, with smooth and soft, yet such powerful sounds. And the cold weather becomes the cherry on top to my hopeless romanticism. Maybe it's the desire of warmth that ignites these feelings, whether it be brought on by the presence of another person, or alleviated by something as simple as a fireplace. And interestingly enough, all of these feelings were born from listening to this song.
Music is quite amazing; a simple combination of sounds, and notes, put together in different intervals of time, and we call it a song. But how do you just form associations and feelings with something other than a memory? And it's done subconsciously by just about everyone, but its emotional evocation is always interesting to think about. The association of a smooth baritone with a sense of calm. The congregation of strings coming together to form a happy sound, in which seemingly nothing can go wrong. This is unlike any feeling I can experience in reality, as something can always go wrong there. But there are certain songs that just give me an unfaltering sense of relief as if there's nothing to worry about, and everything will work itself out in the end.
I wonder what it is about music that makes me feel this way.