I decided to shoot for 4am today. Hopefully this won’t destroy me later since I am in no way a morning person. Maybe the fact that the sun isn’t up yet is a positive thing for me.
My recent posts have been pretty depressing, and while I’m not all rainbows and butterflies right now, I’d like to switch things up a little. It’s incredibly early for me right now, but I actually woke up a couple of hours ago and started listening to music. I was in bed in the dark, and I started to think back to the old days. I can’t exactly say “good old days” because (as some of you may know) my past isn’t exactly “happy” by definition.
For those of you who don’t know, I did deal with a lot of abuse as a child. Now isn’t the time to go into details, but I’d like to describe how things felt back then. Of course, fear was there. Isolation and loneliness were also very much there for me. I guess, the easiest way to describe it is darkness. Emotional darkness–a void of sorts. Not exactly sad, or depressed, but empty and never-ending.
Looking back, I never really did have anyone I could trust with how I was feeling, and what I was dealing with. My parents weren’t always around for one reason or another, and split up soon after. My family was under a lot of stress, and there just wasn’t any space for me to insert my internal struggles into their lives. I felt it would just be dead weight to everyone and probably make things worse.
I did live in fear. Days were long, and seemingly endless. My mind was always clouded with confusion over how things were playing out. I was young, and assumed that I was the only one in the world with a backwards life. It would be a couple more years until I realized how widespread pain actually was. It’s a terrible thing to come to learn, but also oddly comforting considering that others can relate to you.
Despite how dark things were for me at the time, there were moments of clarity. There were these brief instances where I would forget everything that was going on, and just be able to smile or enjoy what was happening in front of me. What was able to make me feel that way? Art. Movies, cartoons, books, and especially music.
I am by no means a musician, but music means a lot to me. I remember driving for hours with my father while he played The Beatles. I’ve met a good handful of people my age who dislike The Beatles because “everyone likes The Beatles.” If you want my opinion, I think disliking a band because of its popularity is just as bad as liking a band because of its popularity. Anyway, ranting aside, The Beatles are extremely special to me. It’s not often that I get to explain why, so I guess now is the time to do so. Every time a Beatles song comes on, I’m immediately brought back to that moment, sitting in the car at night driving for hours, far away from any pain and letting the music carry me.
My father would spend a lot of time performing–usually singing. He did provide me with an introduction to guitar, which was cut short after my little brother accidentally sat on it and snapped its neck. Although brief, my dad’s attempt at teaching me to play has always meant a lot to me. In that period of time, I felt like I mattered and that someone actually thought I could be something.
I can’t remember who said this (I believe it was a music teacher) but someone back then once said that music is possibly the most powerful form of art. Now, I am much better at drawing than I am at playing music, so I could throw in a little bit in defense of other forms of art and how they can be equally as impactful as music. I do, however, agree that music is an immensely powerful thing. Being able to just listen to something and feel such a vast array of emotions is incredible. They don’t even always have to something profound. The music just has to be good enough to grab your attention, and to get some response from you–even if that just means tapping your foot.
Of course, it doesn’t stop with The Beatles. There is a whole list of bands that have also been able to drown out the noise for me over the years. On top of that, I’ve met some amazing people because of our shared interest for music. A good amount of my best memories had something to do with music in some way, and I’m sure it’ll continue to be that way until the day I die.
Last thoughts: Give “Ordinary World” by Green Day a listen. That song has been stuck in my head for days.
Have a great weekend.