I love metal music, I do. Most of my music falls under this category (whether that’s good or bad), and when I ventured into finding new groups, I rarely stepped outside the realm of distorted guitars, power belting, rapid-firing drums and enchanting vocals–my inclination has always been towards female voices.
The past year has been introspective for me. I realized there were a lot of necessary changes and I did them. I changed my diet (breakfast shakes for the win), I spoke when I needed to, I traveled and realized that sometimes–if not most of the time–I shouldn’t stress about the future. But I ignored music.
Right now, my work life is determined, to a degree larger than appreciated, by a cubicle, a keyboard and a chair. Fortunately, I have headphones and music is not a sin at the office. I listened to my favorite genre, why wouldn’t I?
Stress came in from every direction. As usual.
My job conveyed a high level of stress. The cubicle not only housed me, but my brother and my father, for sessions of 8 or 9 hours. As owners, we handle the responsibilities and occasional mistakes our collaborators take, as well as being an essential part of constant improvement and growth. It’s safe to say that the load was a heavy one.
Still there was a negative connotation to the job. Yes, working with family can (and is) very stressful. The medical business can sometimes be treacherous and being on your toes is a must. Coworker conflicts are no fun business, most of the time. But that didn’t mean I had to face my job with a negative attitude. After all, I was learning. I am learning. A lot. It allowed for financial comfort. I felt challenged. Everyday brought surprises, even within a cubicle. So, where was the negativity coming from?
I admit, I tried those inspiring lists on how to be a great professional in five easy steps. Some of them worked, by the way, but helped little in changing a certain bitter taste. This bitter also translated to driving and just chilling at home.
Something in the water.
Where to start analyzing? All these changes I had made were positive. There was something in what I consumed everyday: music. One Friday, on my way to college, I felt sick, satiated to an uncomfortable degree of the music I was listening to. Unfortunately, there was nothing else on my phone! (Except for the occasional guilty pleasure. What? Who said Mc Hammer?)
I turned off my smartphone/Spotify/I-don’t-need-an-ipod-anymore thingy and turned to the jazz station in my car. It was immediate. It even felt weird to be so relaxed.
From then on.
A change ensued. I began analyzing music. I read about the correlation between stress and faster rhythms. It seemed so logical. At office times, the high-paced beats, growls and stories about mesmerizing journeys to the underworld did not seem to fit. Nor did they in traffic jams or minutes before bed time. They did work for hockey, gym and overall energetic activities.
I ventured into Jazz (Chris Botti), Oldies, Instrumental (Echelon Effect and Caspian), Ethnic (Cafe Anatolia and Yoshida Brothers) and Classical music. What I did realize is that the variety of music is just like food, there are ideals for certain moments. And trying out everything provides experience.
The title here is a little white lie. I still listen to heavy metal, just on a very reduced scale. I reserve it for moments when I require energy, or just to thrash about in my room airbanding. Not that I do that.