Naturally an over-thinker, I obsess over rules, methods, and reasons. It’s not the healthiest way to live life but I've accepted it as one of my inherent flaws -- a flaw that every so often I’m able to flip in my favor. Recently, I've been obsessing over the journey and the possibility of being happy for a living by way of making the most of my youth and making music.
I realize now music is youth. It’s what connects us to passed times only without allowing us to grip to the past in an unhealthy way. It does however allow me to be myself. I get to over-think -- but just for the moment. Music is the portal I gladly enter to remember the innermost parts of me. The ones that get lost when they fall through the cracking hands of those who don’t know how to receive me. Whether friends, lovers or life, I understand all transgressions heal with time but not just its passing. Often, the return to it -- to the right time -- does more to soothe. And that’s what both listening to music and making it grant me: the ability to manipulate time -- and hence the ability to manipulate my emotions.
Many would disagree, but I often realize it’s not about communicating what we feel right now but about communicating what we felt. To fix the now I've gotten into the tricky habit of rationalizing the then. With that, my songs are generally a moment frozen in time, however long, then crafted into 3 minutes and 30 seconds. That’s what feels good to me. That’s what feels me to me.
So in trying to understand the joy brought about by music I look back to times I was happiest. I think of my middle school-aged self. A virgin to most milestones of maturity: A virgin to judgement, a virgin to payments, and a virgin to love, worry, and regret. Most importantly I was still a virgin to loss. It brings me back to a time when I had everything to gain, and most everything could still be new. Like a baby unaware of the consequences of fire, most everything still felt safe.
I found safety and happiness in the fact that I could spend time writing music in my room and that I would be interrupted by neither bills nor boys. But also safety in that I could take a single step out of my bedroom into a love that wouldn't collapse. That couldn't collapse. My bedroom door fell smack dab in the middle of a hallway with open doors at either end. One door led to the family room, the other to my parents’ bedroom. In high school, my dad explained that both doors were open symbolically, such that his kids knew the door was always open for us to come to him.
So protected by a fortress of love, I’m able to go back to my most unscathed self and remember what it was I wanted even then -- nothing but to be able to listen to and write music. To connect to others’ experiences through it.
So in Steve Jobs fashion, I've connected the dots of my past and I realize my music dreams aren't just about being who I want to be be, but about remembering who I am.