Solemn and Silent

Sep 9, 2018

Today is a weird day. Maybe it’s the weather turning cold, dreary, and wet.

(Ironically, rainy weather is my favorite. And any reason to cozy up in cardigans and scarves is always a bonus in my book.)

Emotionally I’ve felt pretty drained and down. Not necessarily sad or depressed, but low energy. Maybe disappointment for not listening to intuition over the past couple of days.

Having to turn down obligations and commitment, albeit non-urgent ones, can make me disappointed with myself on one hand, but liberating on the other.

I know I needed to take some time away from everything and everyone, but I was avoiding it for one reason or another.

(Maybe I felt like I ‘should’ be around other people, or I was prioritizing them over my connection to myself or mental health.)

I had to deal with that today, everything came gently crashing down on me as I woke up, having to turn down all of my plans with other people today.

But I had to, I wasn’t in the right headspace for them. (Maybe I would have thought differently if they were critical commitments.)

Yet, as I go through my Google Keep, while decluttering my life, I stumbled across a note about silence and white noise. (Timely with how I’m feeling today.)

I love white noise. I love music.

And I also love silence. But I don’t always welcome it with ease.

Today was different.

Normally I would put on my headset and listen to Youtube, podcasts, Netflix, music, games, etc. before getting on with my day, or at random points throughout.

Today I’m going through, decluttering literally hundreds of notes, choosing what to keep and what to archive, and writing the occasional post (or creating a page to consolidate select information in those notes).

Had it been any other day, music would be playing through my headset. I wasn’t comfortable with the raw silence, unless I was meditating or doing something where having music/audio playing would be counter productive to my task (such as video editing).

Yet, I’ve caught myself and noticed that I’m wearing my headset but not listening to anything at all. No music, no inspirational podcast, no show.

Wearing the headset, ready to listen. But nothing is coming out. Just silence and the sound of my mouse clicking and the keyboard keys clacking beneath my fingers.

It’s weird.

But it’s refreshing.

I rarely let myself be in pure silence, and rarer yet if I’m at the computer with my headset or have the option to put my earphones in and listen to something off my phone.

I mean, yes, I DO enjoy listening to music (both for its enjoyment as well as the state that certain music can put me into), and I do enjoy watching Youtubers and getting inspiration, or chilling and watching a show or two on Netflix (sometimes for entertainment, sometimes to generate a feeling of grandeur that I can capitalize for new ambitious ideas).

But sometimes that music, that content, that ‘inspiration’ is actually holding me back.

I’m deflecting my connection to myself, not giving myself an opportunity to actually listen to my own heart, my own inner voice.

A song, even if it’s quiet and peaceful — can deviate my attention and focus.

As I wear my headset, and play nothing through its speakers… (using it, partially, to help block out external noise, but honestly mostly because at first I’ve been so in the zone that I’ve forgotten to hit “play” on Spotify)

I feel much more aware of myself and my environment. More aware of what I’m thinking, what I’m feeling, what I actually want to do…

It’s as though music and ambiance is putting me in a negative autopilot, rather than a beneficial state of flow (like I am now).

(This isn’t always the case, mind you, sometimes music puts me INTO flow or sometimes I can use music to further enhance flow. But if I’m not being conscious of why I’m turning music on… then it can end up having a negative effect.)

There isn’t any big, grand takeaway. No massive next step or course of action I feel inspired to do. Normally when I notice something like this, I want to throw my hands up (figuratively) and proclaim that “this is the big exciting thing I should now do!” … but maybe it’s this silent, solemn mood I’ve been in all day that’s dampening that intention to “make a big thing out of it.”

(Which honestly is probably a better way to approach things.)

There ‘is’ a takeaway…

To not always be listening to music, to get comfortable with the silence, to unplug and store away all audio devices until I need them … which could also help me be more intentional about using tech — so that I’m not operating on autopilot by having the option/habit available TO listen to things, in turn creating better focus for what’s actually a priority.

… but it’s not a big deal. Not everything has to be. And that’s great. It’s mostly an observation, and not all observations need to be this massive exciting thing.

“… Huh, interesting.”

Sometimes silence and feeling solemn is both okay – and necessary. Turn everything off; the music, the audio, the white noise, the lights…

and just write and create and be — in silence and in darkness.