There is a question I’ve recently asked myself: When was the last time I’ve actually listened to music?
I don’t mean: When was the last time I walked somewhere and I listened to music. Or: When was the last time I was on the train and listened to music. Or: When was the last time I was working, whilst also plugging my headphones in and listening to music.
In fact, the above is not even listening to music.
Instead, I mean when was the last time I just sat down in a chair, picked a song I really enjoyed and listened to it intently with all my attention? Honestly, I can’t remember. I can’t remember when the last time was I just listened to music, for the sake of listening to music. It must have been at least 10 years ago, that I remember having that experience.
I’m drugging myself with music
What I’ve come to realise is that listening to music has the same effect as taking any kind of drug. It puts me into a better place and makes the time go faster. I drug myself when going for a walk, when riding my bike, when going on the train, when sitting in the plane. It doesn’t matter.
I do it, because I feel the moments are not worthy enough to be experienced by themselves. A walk to the grocery store? What a waste of my life. I better put some music on and drug the hell out of myself so I can make the time go by faster.
That was definitely something that I wanted to change.
Stopping the drugs
Gradually, over the past few weeks, I have made an effort to stop myself from being so drugged up with music all the time. I started with my bike ride to the office. No more banging beats in my head, instead a clear focus on the road as I cycle through beautiful San Francisco whilst the sun rises.
It’s a slow process, I catch myself very often still, where I just put my headphones in as I walk out of the office or my apartment. I let it happen. I’m not going to get off those drugs overnight. Instead I’m picking specific small reoccurring events where I stop listening to it.
It’s that life doesn’t need a background sound all the time. Music lets me drift off into my thoughts, fight dragons in my head and creates other imaginary stories where I’m the hero.
There are no ordinary moments
“There are no ordinary moments in life” ~ The peaceful warrior
That’s what this is all about. It’s about seeing every moment as what it is. And turning off the music is the first step of many, that will help me get there. I’m already feeling how each bike ride without headphones becomes a much more memorable experience.
I believe this was a great discovery on my path to happiness.