My music awakening began in the backseat of my mom's minivan listening to Gwen Stefani's "Rich Girl." I had to be as young as four or five, but when her iconic songs rang through my ears, I couldn't help but mumble along to the lyrics and shake to the beat. When I was at least 7, every morning before Elementary school I would find myself sitting on my parents' bedroom floor intensely watching the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown. During the show's prime, I remember dancing along to music videos from the Pussycat Dolls, Justin Timberlake, P!nk, Green Day, and Alicia Keys and just being completely enthralled with what I was watching and listening to. And as long as I can remember, whenever my dad would pick my sister and me up from daycare, U2, the Beastie Boys, or the Red Hot Chili Peppers would be loud enough to hear a block away.
When I became old enough to attend concerts with my sister or friends, I would scavenge the internet for the cheapest tickets I could find and persistently beg my parents for permission. Growing up in Columbus, Ohio actually proved to be extremely helpful in going to concerts and meeting my favorite bands. It might seem shocking because it is Ohio, but Columbus was a huge stop for many tours and was a lot of musicians' favorite places to perform due to its diverse population, loyal fans, and overall energetic vibes. I've lost track of the number of concerts I've attended, but I will never forget how each one made me feel; there's something magical about seeing your favorite band or singer perform your favorite songs in person rather than listening to them over the radio or through earbuds. Despite not having the opportunity to see all of my favorite bands/singers play live as much as I want (Tallahassee isn't much of a hot spot for concerts), it's nice holding those memories close.
Since I've started college, I've realized how important music is in maintaining an overall healthy and happy mindset. Whenever I feel anxious I immediately have a go-to playlist full of Hozier-sounding songs and melodies that I play on repeat, and when I need a boost of energy I blast the 1975's newest album "A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships." Knowing that I can listen to whatever I want with a click of a button is a truly eye-opening experience; music has a way of captivating my senses and instantly bringing a sense of comfort over me. I am so thankful music has been a part of my life because, without it, I don't know who I would be.