It’s too loud. Life is too loud. Maybe that is why I spend a great deal of my time plugged into my phone or laptop. It’s easier to control the amount of sound I consume when I’m plugged in because the world seems set to overwhelm me at every possible turn. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a big advocate for disconnecting and having honest to goodness conversations with people because where would we be without face to face interactions? I can simply understand why people choose to connect via technology more often than any other medium. The ability to control and monitor your consumption of technology is freeing and imprisoning at the same time. Before I started university whenever I needed to get out of my own head for a little bit I turned to one of three things: music, a good book, or my journal. After university began that list shortened to just music, because it is portable, easily accessible, and allows me the freedom to either explore my own thoughts or just focus on the lyrics. Music gives me choices when life seems all too concentrated on simply going all speed ahead. Between term papers and class readings books became less of a solace for me.
My time is more likely to be spent working than reading for pleasure and while I treasure the time I spend with books, especially my favourites, I have started to consume the written word in a different manner. I devour articles, blog posts, and occasionally fan fiction instead of chapters and whole books. I believe that I am addicted in some part to what I deem white noise. On any given day I will likely consume upwards of thirty articles from sites ranging from The Atlantic to The New Yorker to Hook and Eye. I absorb and seek out knowledge with restless abandon. The process does, at times, make me jittery because after everything I have consumed I want to talk, debate, argue, and rattle off facts and opinions. These articles are not meaningless, far from it, but nevertheless they feel, on a higher level like noise – something to consume, store, and then move on from in the search of something more.
Maybe that’s why I turn to music, it can be noise, but it’s white noise in the best way. It’s comfortable, easy, and while familiar characters and plots can certainly welcome me home, music is special. It’s a conversation, without the burden of finding the correct words resting upon someone. It’s a dialogue between me and myself. I have a lot of playlists on my computer, most are named after people, characters, or dates – each one represents a mood, an emotion, and a moment in my life. In the end though, they are all background noise; they simply help me recharge so that I can take on the world tomorrow, or five minutes from now. My white noise is my key to thriving, and eventually, I know I’ll come back to writing, reading, and journalling. Life has a way of coming full circle – the poem below is an indication of that fact. I have not written a poem in years yet all of a sudden yesterday afternoon as I rode the bus, with music in my ears and a lightness in my heart, I found it in myself to pick up poetry again. Enjoy.
The Graduates (working title)
I wish I could say we are less afraid, less timid
But we aren’t
The truth is we are simply just as confused as we were at the beginning
Perhaps even more so
What’s next? They ask us
We shrug in supposed apathy
While sadness and indecision curl up around our hearts and minds
We shrug because our lips would betray us
Our words would not conform to the standard
Our lives would not be an illusion of perfection anymore
We’re still timid and afraid
But unlike in childhood we will no longer admit to our emotions
We’ll just shrug
And bury ourselves deeper into the bustling world
Hoping against hope for salvation from ourselves
*Also, the title of this post comes from a conversation I had with my boss about blogging; title creds go to him.