Where I Belong
When I was a child, my best memories were the ones where I would be in my father’s car. My dad would drive me to school and we would sing Jacob’s Ladder, or the new top hits on the radio for that month. These car rides were the most fun moments of my childhood. From his voice cracking to me losing mine for a week, these are the happiest memories I know.
Now, I am in college, where I can no longer wait for my dad to drop me off each day. I have to walk to class. I listen to my iPod and keep quiet while students and teachers stare at me walking like an introvert who is too scared to talk to anyone. This is not the case at all, I love talking to people, but when I listen to music nothing puts me in a better mood. It has a massive impact on my daily life. When I am by myself doing work, music is always there beside me. My place is with my music, although this is not a tangible place it is where I belong.
When I listen to my iPod My mind feels so unlocked. In the passage of “Why Place Matters” they talk about a constant need for “thereness”(Why Place Matters p3) and reason. When listening to music I feel the most “there” in that moment. I feel completely aware of everything around me and I feel as if I belong. At the same time, I feel that I am in my own world free of judgement and criticism. Music helps me focus on schoolwork and helps me when I feel lost. If I am going through something stressful I will turn on music and it will remind me that things will always be okay.
For example, I remember holding my first puppy in my arms, Lexi, and listening to The Heavy. She was my best friend, I grew up with her and saw her grow from a puppy to an old lady. Then in late 2016, she passed away from cancer. Now when I listen to music I can reflect on how empty my arms are now without her. Music helped me get through the grief of this loss and it pushed me to move on. Music is and always has been there for me, it comforts me when no one else can. It has helped me endure not just this time, but all of the rough times in my life. It gives me reasons to think outside of the box and drastically changes how I think and act.
My friends and I will often listen to music to pass the time. We will sit together and share our favorite songs or listen to what is popular this week on the radio. Whether we like the same music or not we can always have a great time together. This is exactly how I made one of my greatest friends, Edwin. Edwin was a Guatemalan boy from my high school who spoke no English, and only lived with his 7 other siblings in a small apartment. Me and Edwin both found an escape through the music we listened to together. One our favorite songs was “Solomente Una Vez” by Trio Los Panchos. This song reminded Edwin of his childhood and me of how I have can help someone so much just from a short car ride. This song was very uplifting for me, but really made Edwin reflect on his past. In the driver’s seat, I would turn on the radio and we would listen to each other sing and there would be endless laughs. We really did not have much in common other than our taste, and our enthusiasm of course, in music. Although I no longer am in contact with Edwin, I will always remember him as my car karaoke partner who always outshined me. The music to me and Edwin was more than just sound. It bridged the gap between our two completely different lives. It made us connect in a way that is so unusual but amazing to see.
When listening I feel so much more comfortable with everything going on around me. As I am writing this paper I realized that focusing is very difficult for me. As soon as I turn my beats on, my imagination just continues flowing and it reminds me of all the times in my life music has helped me get through. Ever since I was a kid music has affected my life. It has shaped me into the kind, caring, honest person I am today. I listen to music every day and I know without it, I would feel as if something is missing. Writing this paper has been almost like writing a song, it goes through many different drafts, corrections, and lyrics. Then, finally the music comes to an end and a beautiful song is completed.
Wilfred M. McClay and Ted V. McAllister, Space And Place: Focused Inquiry I & II “Why Place Matters” (paragraph 3)