I was killing a little bit of time this evening by watching a bit of Metallica’s “Some Kind Of Monster” documentary, and caught a bit where James Hetfield was talking about how he got into music and the role it played in his younger years. This got me reflecting on why I originally got started making music. Maybe, by analyzing my original motivations, I could gain some insight into why I’m having such difficulties with it right now.
For me, music was something to fill in the holes and distract from rough spots. It was a way of dealing with being unhappy and depressed. I had few friends and it was something to stand in their place, and plug that gap. When I didn’t know who I was, where I was going, or what I wanted to do, it gave me direction. When I was too shy or withdrawn to express myself in the ways most people do, it was an outlet for that. It was a way of belonging when I always felt like the outsider. A way for someone who always felt invisible to actually be noticed.
Many of these problems, I don’t have any more. The ones that persist, I’ve learned to assimilate into myself and embrace their small part in my greater identity. I’ve fixed the things I could, and accepted the things I couldn’t. So what role can it play now? For the longest time, it’s been very theraputic. A method of catharsis. The process of making music, whether it was anything worthwhile or just something that was deleted promptly upon completion, brought me peace or joy. Serenity. Whatever.
Lately though, it just hasn’t interested me. I haven’t been finding that joy or serenity in it, I haven’t really even had the slightest desire to take part in it any more. This has led me to finding different outlets for that, and channeling different energies down that particular path. Perhaps music has been replaced, having outlived it’s usefulness in my life. I find myself even listening to less and less music. Maybe it’s time to walk away. Sell all the mixers and drum machines and guitars and amps, uninstall all the software, and just close the door. I don’t think it’s come to that yet, but I think a lot more time needs to be spent on introspection on this.
One thing that I was struck with while watching the aforementioned movie, was seeing those three guys just sitting in a room and jamming. Bouncing ideas off each others heads. Trying new things. Playing. Realizing how much I missed that.
I don’t think that’s a path I want to start walking down again though.