How My Love for Music Has Carried Me Through Life

A friend of mine recently introduced me to a song called “Line by Line” by JP Saxe and Maren Morris. The two artists sing about how they’ll never be able to express themselves in words in the same way they are able to express themselves through song. I think all music lovers can agree with this; there’s something about a beautiful melody that makes even the simplest words sound much more meaningful than if they were spoken plainly. My favorite segment of the song goes:

Love too big for a love song,

 if I tried to sum it up I know I’d get it wrong.

Sometimes if it don’t sound right

 I apologize, I just said it ‘cause it rhymed.

Four chords, three minutes, you never fit in it

So I just take you line by line.” Red text neon light sign Photo by Mohammad Metri from Unsplash

I’ve had this song on repeat ever since I first heard it a couple days ago. It’s made me reflect on how I choose to live my life. I think I have grown more in these past two years than I have at any period in my life, and though it might sound strange, my love for music has played a large role in guiding my maturation process. A large part of this growth has come from learning to live my life one step at a time, or “line by line.”

Throughout my darkest moments, when I felt I couldn’t turn to any of my friends, I turned to music to help lift me up. One such moment was around the end of this past summer. I had a lot going on in my personal life, and despite the calm and growth I experienced that summer, I couldn’t help but feel that chaos and instability were taking over. I didn’t feel comfortable reaching out to those I was closest to, instead, I had the urge to relearn the ukulele-which I had learned back in middle school but abandoned once I hit high school. This ended up being one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. As soon as my ukulele arrived, it didn’t take long for me to become completely obsessed with it again. The songs that I hadn’t played in years came back to me as if I had never stopped playing. Something about this familiarity was so comforting to me. It was a much needed reminder that though life can feel so up in the air at times, these songs will never change. No matter where I am, how old I am, or how I’m feeling, the melodies and words will always be there to guide me. Listening to boombox Photo by Eric Nopanen from Upsplash

When I’m trying to explain to someone why I’m feeling down, I tend to gaslight myself if I feel like they don’t understand or can’t relate to me. I hate that I do this, especially because I make myself feel as though my emotions are invalid, even though I know that they are. To avoid this, I’ll often press shuffle on my “sad/thinking” playlist (which slaps btw). To me, there are few feelings that can match feeling seen and understood by a song. Sometimes, all you need is to hear the right song at the right time. Hearing a song that matches my emotions to a T can be so therapeutic; it provides a gentle reminder that that I’m not alone, but it spares me the fatigue and wave of self-consciousness I get from trying to explain myself to others. Sometimes it’s just easier to let the music do the talking.

Music also makes me happiest days even happier. A nice drive down the PCH at sunset is made ten times better with the right feel-good song playing. I’ve always felt that during happy moments like this, I find it incredibly difficult to put my joyful emotions into words. Having a song playing does all that work for me, and it adds to the joy I’m feeling. woman holding Elvis record in shop Photo by Jamakassi from Unsplash

Though it sounds cheesy, I like to think of my life as a song in progress. I’m writing the lines as I go, and I definitely won’t get it right the first time around. As I grow and learn from my experiences, I gradually write lines that better and better. It takes time for the finished product to come together, and I’m sure it’ll end up much different than I had originally envisioned. No matter what the final product looks like, though, it’s always important to keep an open mind and just take things line by line.