I used to listen to music all the time, studying, driving, when I was bored, while eating breakfast in the morning (because my parents were ‘no TV in the morning’ kind of people, running, travelling on the train, walking to and from school/work, trying to get to sleep… These days it really isn’t a big part of my life. My commute now lasts about 20 minutes each way and that’s where pretty much all my music listening occurs.
I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately and I’m not quite sure why. I don’t know if it’s the weather or stress or worrying about things… whatever it is it’s driving me crazy, literally. My memory is terrible, I can’t think straight, I’m yawning all the time, and I feel like I’m about to burst into to tears for no reason. Clearly I do not function well without sleep. Usually if I have a bad night’s sleep, I’m so tired the next night that I’m just out. No so lately unfortunately. I’m very tired, but sleep seems to elude me. So what does this have to do with music?
When I was living at home I used to listen to my (back then) MD or (later on) my iPod mini or (even later on) my iPod touch to get me to sleep. During high school and uni I had a lot of trouble getting to sleep because I had so much running around in my head, mostly learning things I guess. Every night it was a similar playlist, sometimes different depending on my mood, but that was how I switched off my brain and got to sleep. It worked like 98% of the time to get me to sleep within 20 minutes.
Since I moved out, I seem to be fine getting to sleep without the music except on occasion. So after a week of barely getting any sleep, it was time to break out the music again. I was listening to one of my old ‘sleep’ playlists and while it still took me ages to get to sleep, listening to the old songs brought back old memories and made me think of all the things that have happened in my life.
It’s strange. When I listen to songs, not all songs, just some songs, I can remember what I was doing at the time. Certain songs are just forever associated with particular events.
Like every time I hear Katy Perry – Teenage Dream I think of the time we were in a shopping centre in Japan and the husband had to go to the toilet. He comes out laughing because there was a guy in there that was singing to the music playing, but he didn’t know any of the lyrics so he was just making words up.
When I hear Taio Cruz – Dynamite I think of the time we were at a theme park in Japan and the ride we went on made me nearly throw up. That song was playing while we were on that ride. I then remember going on the world’s slowest ferris wheel after and still feeling so unwell. The husband still makes fun of me for that.
Justin Timberlake – What Comes Around reminds me of driving to and from Ballarat for a placement when I was a student. There were so many other songs that I listened to in the car, but that one just reminds me of that. I can remember listening to it when I drove out around the lake to the shops to get some groceries.
The Cinematic Orchestra – To Build A Home reminds me of my student placement in Bendigo. I was listening to The Fray – Cable Car when driving out to my final uni exams for my bachelor degree. Snow Patrol – Set Fire To The Third Bar, I listened to sitting on the grass when I was an intern and trying to just get a moment of peace at lunch time. When I first started full time work I listened to a lot of The Script while reading the Time Traveller’s Wife on the train. When I changed departments last year I listened to a lot of Little Birdy while walking to work. At the moment walking to work I’m listening to a lot of Pink’s Blow Me One Last Kiss.
David Guetta – Without You and Titanium, I Just Dance The Way I Feel, I listen to a lot when running at the moment. The Bravery – Believe I remember cutting through this vacant lot on a run one day when I was still living at home. Keane’s The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore was playing the first time I ran in the rain when I first moved out. There are so many more but I would never have enough time or motivation to be able to list them all out. I don’t know how I can remember these useless things and not important things, but the brain is mysterious like that.
I don’t know why I have these associations, and like I said before, it’s not for every song and not for every situation. I kind of like it though, because when I think about all those great and not so great times, I feel like I’m watching a movie and the music is my soundtrack.
I don’t listen to music as much as I used to, but I should because it makes me feel happy when I’m sad and calm when I’m anxious, and sleepy when I’m feeling like a crazy teary insomniac. Hopefully I’ll get some more sleep tonight so I actually make more sense!