Music serves as anchor for emotions

When I wake in the morning, the last thing I’m worried about is whether there’s Folgers in my cup and you best believe that I’m not looking forward to a bowl of Cheerios.

I’m reaching for my iPod before my eyes are even completely open; my breakfast of champions comes in the form of MP3 files.

I need my music, plain and simple.

People are incredulous that I don’t drink coffee when they find out I spend more time at my five-hour Times-News shift than I do sleeping.

I just point to my heart and tell them that’s where my energy comes from.  But in all actuality, my heart is only feeling what my ears are hearing.

My white, tangled ear buds are no different than an intravenous drip or electrical plug. They make sure my musical energy source keeps me primed, motivated and moving forward.

To me, music is more than drum beats and spoken word. Music is the digitized version of a buddy, girlfriend, therapist, punching bag or whatever else I happen to need.

My closest friends know that getting feelings out of me isn’t an easy task, but maybe they don’t and that’d just prove my point further. Sure, people gather glimpses from my columns and conversations but beyond that, they’re not getting much.

I put pep in my step and a smile on my face because I subscribe to the Fight Club theory of conversations – people only listen so they can take their turn to talk. It’s not that I’m antisocial, I just know the only thing people want to hear about less than my day, is my problems.

I’ve always found it hard to accept praise, advice or criticism, so why put myself in the situation? I’d much rather listen to someone talk; it’s just the natural journalist in me.

Call it what you want. Cynical. Misanthropic. Reclusive. True.

That’s where my iTunes library comes in. It’s a collection of more than 1,850 songs that pump me up, slow me down and help me vent or celebrate.

It’s a group of artists that starts my day every morning and won’t be allowed to rest until long after my eyes are closed and my iPod’s sleep timer pulls the needle of the musical IV from my ears.

I have a song for every situation and playlist for every predicament because, unlike anyone else, they’ll always tell me exactly what I want to hear.

If not, the shuffle button will make sure that they do.

Without my iPod and the soundtrack of my life, each day would be significantly less promising.

Call it what you want. Pathetic. Quirky. Neurotic. True.

I have playlists ranging from “’Ye and Wale” and “Deadline Writing” to “Night Driving” and “Running Music” and I’m happy as long as I’m listening to one of them because like Bob Marley says, when music hits you, you feel no pain.

And that’s always been music to my ears.


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