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Music and Emotions

I abandoned music for podcasts over a year ago. When I am sitting in traffic, it was, and still is, easier to listen to someone talk. I told myself I was learning something, and that I could not listen to music if I was sitting in traffic. If the car was not moving, it just wasn’t as exhilierating. No, these were not the reasons. Truly, I wanted to avoid my emotions. I was/am afraid to feel.

I am proud to have music back in my life. It has always played such a big part. I remember listening to music with my Mom. She was the one that always made it a priority in our household. We would spend Spring evenings in her bed together listening to the radio, while the cool North River air trickled through the window above my parents’ bed. She loved anything that came on the radio, and still does. More specifically she loves Nancy Wilson, “Unforgettable” by Natalie Cole and Nat King Cole, and all kinds of musicals, but especially Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita. Well, come to think of it, my father is big on music too. He likes all things Motown, Kenny Logins, Rolling Stones, Opera, Andrea Boccelli, Charles Asnavore, and so many more, including Pink. Yes, he is hip. My brother, my brother likes music, too. He breaks into song while perusing the refrigerator home on Thanksgiving or Christmas Break. Most likely he is singing, whatever is hot off his iPod or the radio.

Clearly, I have a family lineage to maintain.

So…slowly, after a hiatus, I am integrating music back into my life. As I said before, I feared the feelings it would bring up. Why can I listen once again? I am stronger because of some personal growth changes I have made. Going back to what I consider to be my roots is crucial to continue on this personal growth path, and music is all over it. Many times I say I want to be the girl I once was in 2005, or 2000, or 1998.  Really, this is not true. What I want is to be that girl renewed. Kara 2.0. or 4.0. The model number doesn’t much matter, that I am changing for the better does.

I have been listening to what is on my iPhone in a playlist that I cleverly called “IPod.” Sometimes I can completely lack creativity. I plug it into my car via the blue cable that goes into the “aux.” plugin. I couldn’t decide where to start, so I went with “Shuffle.” I heard it all. I heard my history. All the old songs that brought me through tough times. All the songs that I sang when I was joyous.  The songs I sang when I wanted to cry. The songs I listened to when I studied and went to concerts, an experience I never thought I would have. All these songs are my history. The represent the story of my feelings. Triumphant, sad, angry, confused, fearful, they are all there evoked by one person, an instrument, or a group of people.


I like everything and I have my parents to thank for my interests. I believe there is a music for each mood. Sometimes I want Bill Evans, because if I am anxious he can calm me as he tickles the ivories. If he was good enough for the Miles Davis quartet, then he is for me.  He truly is. I look forward to days on the beach, or lying in the sun listening to him. As far as anger goes, nothing is better than the screaming of metal’s chords and vocals. Metallica, Staind (though I know some would disagree this categorization. To them I say go listen to the early stuff and the last disc), Testament, and Pantera.

For sadness, self-loathing, some Nirvana, and Seether will do. Then, I pull myself from the melancholy marinade and tune into  some jaunty showtunes from classics and unknowns. Carousel’s “How I Loved Him,” “Glory” from Rent, and “Anyone Can Whistle” preferably sung by Bernadette Peters, and “Lovely Ladies” from Les Miserables. The latter was stuck in my head last week tipping me off to my good mood.

Shuffle is a bit like gambling. I don’t know where I am emotionally, nor what I want to listen to, so it is a place to start. Songs come on though, and they definitely are not the right tune for the time. Sometimes I have to advance to the next song. It’s okay it happens. It is nice to know I have other options, and the next song to come through the speakers may be the right one for the moment. It is also nice to know I have so many genres to pull from when shuffling.

Thanks to all the friends and family that influenced me along the way.

Thanks to technology I have all these genres at my fingertips, because without it this adventure of self exploration and self evaluation would not be possible.

Thank you.

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