Monday, August 31, 2015

It's Never "Just Music" For Me.

"It's just music" is a phrase that has never made sense to me. I never really find myself able to relate when people don't really care about music or don't get anything out of it. When I meet someone who cares zero about music and rarely to never spends time listening to anything, I feel confusion mote often than not. People that say it's "just music" don't usually understand why a song or lyrics or a piece of beautiful instrumental noise leaves me feeling anywhere from elated to heavy-hearted and everywhere in between.

To me, music is more to me than noise I hear with my ears. I love music. I'd rather listen to music or play something over watching TV. I'm passionate about music. I feel it with every fiber of my being. I get lost in it. It fills my ears and head and I let my mind and soul absorb it. It's beautiful, it's sad, it's life, it's love, it's calming, it's adrenaline pumping.

Music is soothing.

Music is passion.

Music is emotion.

Music is escape.

Music is poetry.

Music is therapeutic.

Music is life.

There is very little I love more than going to a live show and feeling the music physically shake me to my core as the words sink into my soul. Or if there are no words, letting the music wash over me, engaging my senses.

A drum solo gets my heart pounding and my blood moving. I feel so alive. I feel like I could run up a wall. I bounce on the balls of my feet as it builds and feel like I might burst at the seams with energy as it hits the finishing point.

The beauty in hearing classical piano or violin calms me when I'm feeling everything but calm. It can soothe anxiety, calm stress, help me relax, send rest, push the noise out and bring contentment.

A guitar solo can be exhilarating and make me feel like I can conquer anything. Or it can give me an outlet and work like a sieve, filtering out anger and angst and things I need to push out.

Loud rock music is often so therapeutic for me. Loud guitars, heavy drums, words screaming out at me that make me feel comfort and bring me out of my own head.

Music is love, happiness, sadness, anger, contentment, joy, angst, passion, loss, betrayal, comforting, exciting, calming and so many other things.

Music makes me react physically, emotionally and mentally.

It fills my ears and perforates my mind.

It invades my thoughts, attaches to memories, creates feelings, collides with emotions already present.

Music recognizes the thoughts and emotions that I can't find the words to express.

It's an escape when I need it to be and offers clarity at times.

It makes me feel things.

It makes me stop feeling things.

It's overwhelming and just enough.

It's a lot of things to me but it's definitely never just music.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Happy Things- Revisited

I found a list I made of 40 things that make me happy from several years ago. I decided to revisit that list and add commentary to it to see if anything has changed a whole bunch of years later. 

40 Things That Make Me Happy - Revisited.
  • Hockey. (Some days it makes me feel murderrageface but I still love it.)  -DUH YES OF COURSE.
  • Warm showers. -YES.
  • Hugs. -YES.
  • Long walks. -Meh. Texas is hot, yo.
  • Trips to the art museum. -YES. Probably always will. 
  • Text messages. -I don't text much lately but that's not because I dislike texting.
  • Dancing. -Yes, in my house, especially while I'm cleaning or whenever I feel like it. Clubs, no thank you, done with that noise.
  • Ice cream. -YES. LOVE. ALWAYS. MMM.
  • Sketching. -I stopped doing this for a while but my therapist has me sketching and doing art things again recently for different reasons but it's reminded me it's something I enjoy a lot.
  • Sunshine and cool breezes. -YES. 
  • Books. -YES. ALWAYS AND FOREVER. I don't even know what I'd do with downtime if I didn't have books to keep me amused.
  • Paintball. -I still think it's fun once in a while but I don't dedicate much time to it and don't own equipment anymore. 
  • Comic books/graphic novels. -YES. And recently discovered a few more really awesome comic book stores in my area. :D
  • Racing go-karts. -Indifference, hello.
  • Batman anything. -FOREVER.
  • Sleeping in. -My body doesn't allow me to do this anymore. 
  • Cooking and baking. -YES AND YES.
  • Writing. -Yes but as I've talked about recently here, it's not something I've been doing a lot of though that's slowly changing. Huzzah.
  • Laying in bed watching movies all day. -All day, no. Watching a movie or two is a good way to have a lazy night at home, though.
  • Thunderstorms. -YES. Thunderstorms make me so happy. Or just rainy days. I love gloomy weather.
  • Baseball. -YES. 
  • Going to concerts. -YES ALL THE MUSIC PLEASE.
  • Lazy Sundays. -Sometimes but they rarely happen. I always find things to do and prefer feeling productive.
  • Puppies. -YES YES YES. 
  • Watching my little brother play hockey. - YES. HOCKEY <3 font="">
  • Hanging out with my siblings. -Yes. And I realize how lucky I am that as adults, we get along and enjoy spending time together when I know so many people that are always at odds or indifferent to their own.
  • Doctor Who. -YES.
  • Bubbles. -YES.
  • Going to the driving range. -YES. I love golf and hitting some golf balls is fun for me. And yes, I get grief about loving golf and no I don't care. ;)
  • Coffee. -YES. I drink it much less than I used to. Which isn't a bad thing except when it is. 
  • Long conversations with lots of laughing. -Duh. This will always make me happy.
  • Forehead kisses. -Yes please. 
  • Disney movies. (Aladdin is my favorite, in case you were curious. ;)) -YES and Aladdin is still my #1. 
  • Ice skating. -YES although I do it much less now that my best friend lives 1,300 miles away.
  • Shoulder & back massages. -Another thing that will probably always make me happy.
  • Pixar movies. -YES.  I will watch just about anything animated. 
  • Swimming. -YES. WATER. LOVE.
  • Playing board games. -Pretty sure I'll always love this. And now I know a handful of people that share this love so I can actually have board game parties now. Yes, it's as fucking rad as it sounds, thanks. :D
  • Sunday brunch with friends. -Another thing I rarely do anymore but should probably do again once in a while because I like brunch. And friends. And brunch. Food. Yay.

That was an easy list to revisit, haha. Also a good reminder for a few things I should start doing again. 

Also, while we're on the subject of things that make me happy (doing good things makes me happy): it's Walk To End Alzheimer's time. Check out my story here and if you feel in the giving spirit, a donation to help me reach my goal by walk day would be pretty rad. Even $5 helps towards Alzheimer's  care, support and research. 

Happy Friday. 

Monday, August 10, 2015


I've blogged about therapy twice in recent weeks. One a long post with lots of details and the other a shorter piece with lots of talk about feelings and things of a deeply personal nature.

Yet I didn't post either of them. They're both saved as drafts but I'm not sure I'll ever post either of them. If I don't hit publish, then I essentially just wrote something as if it were in a pen and paper journal. No one will see it but it's still there and as long as it's sits in draft mode, I can go back and read it whenever I want. I think sometimes, I just need to write things out for myself. And there's something comforting knowing I can go back and read over my thoughts again knowing that they're out of my head but still my own privately.

The thing I've always loved most about writing is that I never police myself here. In this space, it's easy for me to say the things that I might struggle to get passed my lips. I know if I hit publish, some people are going to read it. Even some people I know in my real life are going to read it. It doesn't bother me, though. I'm not sitting in front of them as they're reading it. I'm not engaged in a dialog via text message telling someone these things, waiting for a reply. I'm relaying my thoughts and feelings to people but it's not a direct form of communication so I don't get that same vulnerable feeling that I hate. It's not judgment I fear from others because that I can deal with. Making myself feel vulnerable in front of another person, I struggle with that and like to try to avoid it as much as humanly possible. Which is something I'm working on being better about but I'm not there yet.

Writing things out here doesn't erase all the vulnerability, though. At times, when I'm writing about things that are deeply personal, I still feel a little vulnerable because I think it's near impossible to not feel some slight sense of vulnerability when you're writing about something deeply personal. When it's something that's hard for you, something that's hurt you or caused you grief, it's hard to write about those experiences without feeling raw about it. 

When I write specifically about my mental health or my friend's suicide or my grandfather's death (as a few examples), sometimes I want to erase things I've put down because they feel too personal. I rarely actually do that, though. As much as I hate feeling vulnerable, sometimes it feels really liberating to let go of whatever is making me feel that way. Even if I just letting go through words on a screen.