I confess…I dance in the supermarket. Alright, not a full-out dance but more a light step, rhythmic tapping of my fingers and a significant shoulder dip. I’m not likely to lay out a groove during a meeting or a lecture either but I will be caught twirling around a corner from time to time. If you’ve had the misfortune of witnessing my dysfunctional swagger you’d be keenly aware that I didn’t notice you. I’m in my own zone and find it profoundly interesting that there are influences in this world that act to remove us from it. Last week, after an hour of gliding through the aisles while grocery shopping, I started to think about how this happened to me?
To begin with – I detest shopping. So much so I avoid malls at all times! In an effort to minimize my anxiety I only enter one with a plan of surgical precision which is not deviated from. There is NO looking around!!! But, superseding my disdain for all others forms of shopping is the supermarket. So many people, always in a rush, unhappy faces, not wanting to be there. Does it sound familiar? Sadly, unless I’m living in an agricultural cooperative I do need to buy food from time to time. Ugh!!!
How did I get from mental anguish to dancing? Prozac – kidding! While, I do endorse the use of pharmaceuticals for anyone requiring them my therapy for this neurosis was music. I never would have describe myself as having a passion for music. It always seems to come in waves throughout my life. Arriving after Generation X and before the Millennials I navigated my adolescence as a Xennial by playing a distorted Seattle sound on the guitar. My guitar playing, as with my interest in music would ebb and flow over the ensuing decades. I wouldn’t play for years but then a guitar wouldn’t be out of my hand for months. I didn’t think about why this was, it just was. Retrospectively I needed the therapy, the escape, the release from my world for a time. I wonder why I’ve never viewed it as therapy before now? Likely too caught up in the rat race and perceived self-importance of my own life.
I digress from the important issue of dancing in the supermarket and my discovery of music anywhere at any time. In 2012, I got my first cell phone. I understand that for many of you out there this is incomprehensible! Hey, before that I did have a crappy flip phone that sat in my car. My first iPhone marked a shift in lifestyle that I had resisted until that point (the pride I took from resisting the lure of the smartphone would be another interesting introspective post). Germane to this discussion was my newly found ability to access music anytime.
It didn’t matter whether it was Spotify, Apple Music, or Sirius, I used these platforms to diversify my musical re-exploration and discover new, old and overlooked gems. I feel like I’ve shed my musical self-snobbery and accepted that I like Pearl Jam, Taylor Swift, Tupac and Backstreet Boys in the same playlist. The truth is that they make me feel. Some days suck! I embrace that darkness and surround my fragile self with the echoes of Chris Cornell because the power of his voice allows me to deeply feel my solemn state. If I’m in a playful place Pitbull’s energizing pulses can amplify my mood. Do you get what I’m sayin’? Feel what you’re feeling!
After my rhythmic glide through the supermarket, I noticed that I didn’t see unhappy faces, rushing and wishing they were somewhere else. I saw people. People only shopping. It made me wonder when that had changed or if what I had seen before was actually a reflection of my inner self? I suspect the latter. I say listen to music. It doesn’t matter what music it is as long as it makes you feel something! You might catch yourself getting your groove on in an unexpected world.