I would say that music means the world to me, but it means more. Ever since I can remember, I've always relied on music to match my energy, to emphasize my mood. Without it life feels stale, flatlined. I walk down the street, earbuds plugged in and immediately I'm tuned in.
Maybe that's sad. Maybe that paints me as a removed, isolated person. I'd like to think otherwise.
It's not that the sounds of nature are necessarily bad. The whistle of wind, the chirping of birds, it's all pleasant. But there's something about a melodic story that I crave. It's not only me, you may experience the same thing. Most people I know relate to this craving, this desire for sweet harmony.
The dependency can get frustrating at times as well. I could tire a song out nearly twenty times, playing it on an endless loop like a broken record and be left feeling satisfied and content. But soon enough, the song doesn't do it for me anymore. It's old, repetitive, senseless. And without any new music with that feeling, I find myself shuffling through songs, angry and bored.
The feeling. It's something like an addiction. You could listen to that damn song, a simple four minute tune, over and over until your tolerance builds and you need a higher dose, that new desire, that new 'high' once again.
Why do so many of us rely on music to get through the day? Maybe 'get through' is the wrong way to phrase it. It enhances our every day experiences. But what makes it superior to the organic ambience of cars passing by a street, or the chattering of people in a café. Could we be so numbed by mundane experiences we're all looking to just feel something new?
It's deeper than that. Music literally affects our physical bodies. In the brain, dopamine is released when we listen to songs we like. Now on the contrary, if we hear a song that we loathe, the opposite effect can take hold. In addition it sparks creative thought. Discovering a song with lyrics can create fresh associations in the brain. Each note has a specific effect resulting in certain areas in the brain to light up like a bright light bulb. According to some studies music can actually help relieve pain in cases.
Bottom line is, we should acknowledge the absolute power that music has over us. Even with people who don't find themselves listening to music voluntarily, or claim they have a tin ear, don't understand the emotional and physical changes that occur in their body when undergoing this.
Even as I write this I'm listening to music. Headphones on, song on repeat, words flowing through a continuous tapping of each letter on the keyboard. Compared to my writing rate without a good tune in the background, you'd think I'd be suffering from writer's block.
I think I'll always cherish music and hold it close for the remainder of my life. I encourage you to develop a closer relationship to music if you haven't already. Find a genre, an artist, a song, and experience the benefits as well as the fantastic journey it guides you through.