Music saved my life: it made me who I am.
For me, understanding why almost nothing we are told growing up is true was helped along by music. Music led me to a desire to live life independent of the system, and it eventually set me on all the other paths of learning. It all started with music.
I remember being a kid and not liking many other things other people liked. I wasn’t interested in anything, but I got a few cassette tapes and CD’s and found something I really like. I started off with The Doors, Nirvana, System of a Down, ect. Then I graduated to all kinds of genres, from Mathcore to G-Funk.
I remember picking up an old, almost broken acoustic guitar and it wasn’t fun to play, because I couldn’t play anything. But in my constant boredom I kept trying to play the guitar anyway. Eventually I broke through to a point where I could play one song, and it was the beginning of a life loving music.
It was not satisfying at all to play guitar at first because I didn’t know how to, but through trying over and over, I eventually learned how and it became one of my favorite things to do.
The same thing happened with drums. I couldn’t keep a rhythm at all, it was more difficult to get used to than guitar but eventually I got the hang of it. I couldn’t afford a drum set, so I put two saw blades on an old music stand that I turned into a hihat stand, put a ball of aluminum foil between the two saw blades and made makeshift hihats. I got two buckets for snare and kick drums, and a kick pedal, and had my first drum set.
This is a microcosm of how every craft, skill, hobby, or passion in life starts. For any depressed person, or any person that feels emptiness in life, a key to overcoming that is trying hard to find a passion.
Finding a passion requires enduring it not being satisfying yet, it not being fun at all, until you break through after trying and trying and eventually the thing grows on you.
I really can’t think of a better thing to say when someone brings up depression, or how they can find their passion. When it comes up in conversation I think about the musical instrument playing microcosm.
I think people today are depressed, and many of them are because they don’t know what to do in life.
Every trade that is a necessity is monopolized or close to it, in many places. In other words, centuries ago people had a trade or a craft, an occupation, and people in their community purchased goods from them or paid them for their craft, so they had something to do in life.
They produced necessities, and today people who run independent businesses are often forced to deal in commodities, goods or services that aren’t necessarily needed, which makes it difficult to make a living.
People used to be farmers, or blacksmiths, or textile producers or whatever trade they chose: they had a thing they do in life and people would support them for their craft.
Not anymore: it leaves people with an empty feeling they can’t quite put their finger on, to live in this world of monopolies and consolidated economic niches. Our niches are missing: so the greatest solution I know to depression, especially this deep depression that stems from lack of purpose in life, is finding a craft.
If you’re trying to overcome a depression like this, you can try something.
Try new things, and if you feel even a little bit of satisfaction from this thing, keep pursuing it. Don’t stop: and you’ll break through that threshold and become better at it until it is more deeply satisfying, like learning an instrument.
Take something you can pursue, an art, music, a craft, a skill, an occupation, and just don’t stop until you’ve made something happen with it. It’s easier said than done: what happens when you get an empty feeling, and this thing you’re pursuing isn’t satisfying anymore?
All of us go through periods of time, long or short, where nothing seems satisfying. Things get stale sometimes, and then it’s time to rest and wait for the ripe time to try again with the thing someone is pursuing.
Never give up trying to find your craft or art.