The Life-Changing Power of Music
For as long as I can remember, music has been a major part of my life. When you stop and think about it, I think most of you would start to realize that there is some kind of connection between music and some of the most important memories of your life. Music is powerful. It draws emotional reactions from its listeners. Music has the power to make you laugh, to make you cry, to make you happy, to make you sad, to make you angry, to make you relax, to inspire and motivate you… I could keep going on and on. Regardless of the style or genre of music you prefer, music is powerful. Really great lyrics can sometimes say what you have been thinking, but struggled to say yourself.
When I think back to most significant memories in my life, or think about the people I have met, music nearly always seems to have a connection to those memories in some way. If a certain song happened to be playing or happened to be stuck in my head at the time I have met somebody, I often associate that song with that person. The song may not have anything at all to do with the person, except that I was hearing that song when I met them. Whenever I hear that song, I think of that person, and vice versa. Maybe that isn’t as common as I think it is, but it’s just the way my brain has always worked.
When I was a little kid, I wanted to grow up to be a musician. It was the only thing I wanted to do. I have a pretty wild imagination, and have always been able to daydream such specific details that it can almost feel real at times. Countless nights while growing up, I would stay up incredibly late listening to music. I would put headphones on and turn the music up loud. I would close my eyes and picture myself onstage in front of thousands of people performing the music I was listening to.
My neighbors probably thought I was crazy, but, a lot of days, I would stand on my driveway or on the back deck and strum a plastic guitar while singing along to whichever artist’s music I felt like listening to that day. In my mind, I was on a stage in a sold out stadium playing to 50,000+ people.
I realized quickly that I had very little actual musical talent, so my dreams of being a star someday faded quickly. But, my love for music and its connection to the most important times in my life continued to grow.
It’s amazing that even today I can listen to a specific song and instantly have a flashback to a specific person I met in first grade. I can remember where we met and remember exactly why that song reminds me of that memory and that person.
As I started to get older, I started paying closer attention to lyrics and the stories in songs. It was almost like having an epiphany. Songs I’d heard countless times throughout my life took on a whole new meaning. I finally realized what those songs were about. This opened up a whole new world for me. Artists I had never paid much attention to in the past started to become some of my favorites. To this day, the lyrics are the first thing I pay attention to when I hear a song for the first time. My taste in music has changed a lot throughout my life, and the lyrics are a big reason for that. I absolutely can’t stand listening to most music that is popular nowadays. I feel like I’m 90 years old saying that, but it’s true. I would rather listen to the music I loved growing up than new music, in most cases.
Music is the reason I am the person I am. Music completely changed my entire life. When I was in high school, I dealt with several traumatic events and major losses in my life within a very short period of time. It was the kind of situation that would be difficult for anyone to deal with, but high school is such a confusing time that it just made things worse. I started to get depressed and felt lost. Very little in my life seemed to make sense suddenly.
One night, I was listening to music, and the Garth Brooks song “If Tomorrow Never Comes” started playing. I had heard this song literally thousands of times in my life, but I had never listened to the lyrics closely. The second verse completely stopped me and grabbed my full attention.
“‘Cause I’ve lost loved ones in my life
Who never knew how much I loved them
Now I live with the regret
That my true feelings for them never were revealed
So I made a promise to myself
To say each day how much she means to me
And avoid that circumstance
Where there’s no second chance to tell her how I feel”
Those were EXACTLY the words I needed to hear at that time in my life. That night, I made that promise from the song to myself. Since that night, I have tried my best to tell everybody in my life exactly how I feel about them. Whether they feel the same way about me or not, I just want people to know how I feel about them. I don’t want anyone to ever have to guess. If, for any reason, I should leave this world unexpectedly, I don’t ever want anyone to have to wonder how I felt about them. Fulfilling this promise to myself has resulted in several awkward moments and conversations, but I don’t regret any of them. I said what I wanted to say, and am happy I said it. My life has been pretty great so far, and it makes me feel good when I have the opportunity to tell someone that I appreciate them, and let them know that they have brought happiness to my life in some way. I hope they appreciate it, as well. Even people I don’t know well, or at all, who have, in some way, made my day a little brighter and put a smile on my face should know that they have had some kind of positive impact and that I appreciate them. I would hope knowing that would make them feel good. If I ever have the opportunity to meet Garth Brooks, I want to share this story with him, and just tell him thank you for the impact his music has had on my life. The power of music truly is amazing!!
I could tell a ton of stories about how music has impacted or changed my life, and I will probably get to more of those stories in future posts. This is something that has been on my mind for a while, and I wanted to share it. What kind of impact has music had on your life? Do you associate music with memories as often as I do? Has music changed your life in a major way like it did for me? I would love to hear stories from anyone who reads this, if you can relate to it.
And since I mentioned that I always want to try to make sure people know how much I appreciate them, I would like to take a moment to say a huge thank you to everyone who read this, and to the people who have read my previous posts! It really means a lot that people actually take the time to read the things I write! People told me for a long time to start blogging, but I just wasn’t sure if it was something I really wanted to do. Once I started, I wished I had started earlier. I enjoy sharing my thoughts with the world, and I am genuinely surprised and appreciative when people from around the world take the time to read my blog. Thank you all!!