The most complex relationship in my life is the one I have with music. It’s cyclical. I have moments where I love it, and moments where I hate it. This cycle has been around for, perhaps, the last five years since I’d taken music seriously, And it had always been this cycle. Some days, I had phases for I wouldn’t listen to anything or practise, and then I would have days where that’s all I’d do.
But at the back of my head, I always knew that is was cyclical, and no matter where in the cycle I was, it would always change.
The last 15 months, however, the cycle hasn’t turned. The brakes were pulled in a moment of aversion which has remained. And this really messes with my mind because I always just thought that it was a phase, and that eventually, it would all be fine. But it’s not a phase; rather, music is phasing out of my life.
Of course, this was not without reason. I had a series of bad teachers, disorganised and demoralising academic moments, and not to forget my incredible self-doubt. Eventually, the three came together and decided: music and I didn’t work together anymore and that we had to go through a slow, shameful break-up.
Until recently, I had been formally studying music and till then I was interacting with music quite frequently. Sometimes it was all I thought about. But when my formal education ended, I realised how I was only interacting with music because I had to, not because I wanted to. And this was okay with me for a while, until I got to the point where months had passed since I played the piano, downloaded a new album or just sang in the shower.
This was incredible to me because exactly two years ago, I did all of the three things mentioned above about three times an hour. I was so excited and hopeful for music. I had moments where I would think about how I wanted to be a musician in a foreign country and do such things. And now, when people ask me to introduce myself, music is the last thing I think about saying.
And then, I’ll be in a coffee shop or near a performance auditorium or just besides my open window, and hear the most beautiful music, and just wonder what happened? The music would feel perfect, hit all the right spots. In those moments, I’d realise how much I loved this and maybe how much I maybe still do.
I wonder whether you can lose love like this? Does it go away? Fade away? Or is just buried deep somewhere, and I just have to get it back out? What happened to me?
Now, I’m in this dilemma because I really don’t know what to do or feel. Should I force myself back into music? Or should I just let it go? Because, this is the person that I’ve projected all my life; it’s really what I considered critical to my identity for the last four years. Can I just abandon this?
And I know my collectivism is showing now, but there’s this Twenty One Pilots song called “We Don’t Believe What’s On TV” which has the lines:
What if my dream does not happen?
Would I just change what I’ve told my friends?
And this in genuinely something I think a lot about. I’ve based so much of my identity on being this musically inclined person – what happens to that?
But my point is that this has happened, and while I’m pondering over this loss of love, and I’m also thinking about I should deal with the situation. What should I do? What should I feel?