A few years back Apple had a marketing campaign for their iPods.
Actually, it was circa 2009.
According to a Mashable article, sales of Apple iPods went through the roof.
Music is my boyfriend was the key statement that stuck with me.
I can’t imagine anyone in existence who hasn’t experienced a trying time in their lives.
I recall back to the first time I consciously realized how impactful music could be.
I had just moved across stateliness to transfer from a community college to a university.
That’s what I told myself was the sole reason, but realistically it was to move closer to my then boyfriend, now husband.
I knew I was going to marry this cat. (Throwback)
He asks me out on a date to the movies just shy of the summer prior to him departing for college.
I accept, but not to go to the movies.
I knew what people did at the movies in high school.
They made out.
I wasn’t having that.
My suggestion- lets go to Georgetown and go to Ben and Jerry’s and then walk around.
He said sure, but was thinking, “oh you fancy huh?!”
At the time we both lived in Maryland.
He never did call me that Friday night.
He went off to college, I finished high school and later moved to Florida.
I didn’t formally hear back from him until circa 2007, summer via MySpace.
Only to find out later we had been stalking each other all those years on BlackPlanet
Fast forward to circa spring 2009 and I’ve moved back to Maryland to attend a university, so I told myself.
I land a job where I’m utterly underpaid, but I’m told it’s my way into the government.
Hence the voices all around said, “TAKE IT!”
I despised what I was doing, the commute which involved the metro which I was originally excited about, the pay, and the cold.
Throw in the proximity to family and I was sad.
To say the least I was in a major funk.
I prayed, I cried, I didn’t eat much.
Some people fail to realize at least 1/3 of our time during a week revolves around work.
Being at work, getting ready for work, and commuting to work.
That’s more than forty hours.
It’s closer to 55 hours a week that revolve around work.
That is why it is SO important to find work you love!
This way you love going to work and it doesn’t feel like work.
Notice, I didn’t say a job.
A job isn’t necessarily work you love.
It’s a job.
Similar to the relationship between a square and a rectangle.
A rectangle is a square, but a square is not a rectangle.
One day, amidst my undiagnosed mini depression, I prepared to make the walk from my office building, past Lexington market to the metro.
True to form, as part of my commute, I turned my iPod on, put my headphones in simultaneously and nelly furtado came in through the earbuds.
Turn out the lights.
I noticed it was a very beautiful early spring/late winter day.
There was snow on the ground but the sun was shining.
I could smell the winter/spring transitioning.
I felt the cold in my lungs, but it felt good.
I was alive!
I stood at the top of the steps in front of the building, looked left, looked right, took a deep breath, and trotted down the steps.
The music was all the way up.
Today was different.
Today I had changed the lens on this big head of mine.
I was singing along.
Nothing bothered me.
I remember it like it was yesterday.
I remember I blogged about it on the subway ride home.
I called that blog, “Blame it on the tunes.”
I had a blackberry then and found it much easier to blog straight from my phone so I was blogging, what felt like multiple times a week.
What changed that day?
I still had the same job, same commute, same proximity to family, and yet things were different.
No longer was I allowing the job I had to be the sole focus of my life during that brief period.
The day was beautiful, my family was healthy, my boyfriend was amazing, and I had a job!
What changed was I had changed the lens for which I was viewing everything through.
I was seeing everything through a macro lens.
That day, in that moment, I had switched back to a fisheye lens and I could see it all.
I turned the switch back to on.
I picked myself up by the bootstraps and music WAS my side-boyfriend.
It helped me by giving me a gentle push in the right direction.
Of course, I had to make the choice, of course prayer helped, but of course music set the stage for the mood.
I find music can affect your mood tremendously and that is exactly what Ms. Furtado helped to do that day.
I was ready to get back on stage.
The stage of my very own life I had been watching from behind the curtains too depressed to even look at all of the amazing things taking place right before my very eyes.
What I learned that day is- whenever I am sad, or in a funk, and uncertain how to proceed I turn on some happy music, and then I get back on that stage.
The stage of my life.
What I said then, circa 2009, that I know differently now was about seven lines into that blog,
“My mood has been sub par. For reasons outside of my control.”
That was not true.
The job, commute, etc at the time, were outside of my control, but my mood was not.
I chose to let it affect my mood.
I chose to view things through a macro lens instead of a fisheye lens.
Your mood drastically affects your health and sustained depression can affect your long term health negatively.
Check out this WebMD article for alarming facts such as how cortisol, the stress hormone, affects your body.
Since then, I’ve undergone way more stressful situations, but most times I knew where to catch it and how to handle it.
Since the situations were much bigger in scope, I saw them coming and was able to deflect them accordingly.
There are a lot of other things that are recommended to fight depression.
Things such as working out release endorphins, doing things you love, keeping busy, yoga, meditation, prayer, socializing with friends and family, but the easiest one that doesn’t involve too much effort to get the ball rolling is to turn on some happy music.
Currently, I recommend Pandora Latch (Disclosure) Radio.
Do not focus on the negative going on and just move your head and body to the music.
You’ll find it has the ability to lift your spirits,
if you let it.
We all have things we can be grateful for, let’s not focus on the negative.
Wake up, smell the roses.
Not too long after that situation I was, in fact, picked up by another component, got to doing work I loved and was back in a better financial situation.
The situation will pass.
My grandma always said, “if it has a solution don’t worry about it, and if it doesn’t, don’t worry about it.”
As Shapespeare said, “if music be the food for love, play on.”
Go on, try it.