I think this has been true for me from a very early age. Music has always stirred my soul in a very deep way.
I can remember even as a young child being drawn to music. My mom had this awesome console stereo and a great album collection of all of the greats from the 50s. I could sit for hours listening as the songs not only filled the room but fueled my soul. For me, it wasn’t just something fun to do. It was more like a spiritual encounter every time I sat there listening. My creative nature was being nurtured with every tune.
As I got older, I would listen to my sister’s 8-track collection. She was big into all of the singer/songwriters of the 70s. Each new artist I discovered drew me in deeper than the one before, so much so that I wanted to learn how to play acoustic guitar. I wanted to feel the music that was coursing through my soul coming out of my finger tips, to be able to express myself in the way they did. I would sit for hours and dissect their songs until I had learned to play every single note.
I think it was during my teen years that music truly became my sanctuary. Those years of our lives are fraught with so many ups and downs. Being a creative and a very emotion driven person, I really struggled. I think it was in high school where I started to feel more and more like a square peg in a round hole.
I would steel away for hours in my room, playing guitar and immersing myself in the music. It was my refuge and I think in a lot of ways, music was what kept me grounded and sane. I struggled with feelings of anxiety and music was the salve that kept me whole.
As I started to create my own music, I found an outlet for this creativity that was bottled up inside of me. I began sharing my experiences in song and hearing from others that they could relate to my sentiments. It was then that I discovered I wasn’t alone and I seemed to find my place in the world.
But I didn’t want to just write songs that were cute or catchy or fun. I wanted to write the kind of music that had moved me and saved me. I wanted to write songs that would stir our emotions and sink deep into our souls. Songs that could carry us when we were sad, compel us forward when we wanted to give up and became trusted friends on our journey.
Music for me has never been a “background” thing because music is my sanctuary.