No music for 5 years

When I was in highschool, I was I thought I was quite the music aficionado. Really I was mostly into some older (at the time it was older) punk rock, some current (at the time it was current), and classic rock – though I did some breakdancing for a very short time, and never got any good at it, but listened to some hip hop that I couldn’t even name and some jungle that again I couldn’t name. In any case, I really felt passionate about the music I did like, and spent a lot of time making sure that everyone knew that I didn’t like anything remotely “mainstream”. All this to say that, when I was a teenager.. like a lot of teens… music was a big part of my life and my identiiy. So it might seem a bit extreme to say, but I swear  it’s only a slight  exaggeration, that I quit listening to music for about 5 years.

I mean yeah, occasionally I would hear a few tunes in the car, mostly supplied by my acoustic guitar loving husband… but as far as *listening* to music goes – I mean really listening, purposefully and recreationally, I stopped listening for about five years. I didn’t really notice that music had faded out of my life until this last year. And when I realized that I really had no idea about what was current in music, mainstream and otherwise, I had to stop myself and ask what happened. Well here’s what I think happened.

Just before I turned 17 I gave birth to my first child. She was awesome. She was funny. She was noisy. She and I both liked music a lot, and we spent most of our waking hours together with some form of music playing in the back and foreground of our lives. By the time she was 2 I took a leap and started my diploma in Radio Broadcasting at the local college. It was fun, but I quickly learned that music has very little to do with the business of radio. I was also disappointed to learn that when I graduated, I would probably never get to listen to “my kind of music” within the cofines of any station that employed me. So I made the most of my college years. I hosted a little punk show with  a fun guy; we called it “Tales from The Pit” and it played for a few months on the college radio station (CKDJ 107.9 Ottawa’s New Music) until I got us thrown off for playing a song with too many “eff words” in it. I spent a lot of time collecting a lot of music, taking music appreciation courses, editing music for promos and such… It was noisy. During my last semester in radio-college, I decided that radio was not for me. I thought maybe I would like Early Childhood Education better. I didn’t want to leave the radio program without a diploma but I hated the thought of  wasting anymore time… So, I asked around and found out it was possible to be enrolled in two full-time diploma programs at the same time. I thought that was a brilliant idea so I finished my last semester of radio while doing my first semester of ECE. It was all really noisy.

During that final semester I was also quite… pregnant. And I was also planning a wedding. And I was moving into house that could hold my new hubby and two kidlets. It was all very noisy. I ended up giving birth to my second child 5 days before exams were over. It was an amazing experience. He was born in my home under the care of two midwives. We played Hot Hot Heat and Belle and Sebastian until finally I said “I can’t take the music anymore, it has to stop”… then, in silence, my son was born. At that moment, all I really wanted was noise. I wanted to hear him cry. It took a couple of moments, but then the music started and we knew he was okay. The next few months were pretty noisy, and as far as music goes, I was mostly hearing the Wiggles.

Well I never went back to ECE. While I was busy studying all of the ECE textbooks (and keeping a 4.0 in both programs, I should add), I realized that I didn’t really want to be taking care of other peoples’ children. What I really wanted to do was study them. So I applied to the Psychology department at a local university, was accepted and started there when my son was about 8 months old. During my studies my husband and I welcomed child number last three into our home. Now to be honest, adding a third child to our family wasn’t all that hard. It’s not the work that’s hard… it’s managing the relationships between children that can be tricky. The noise increased exponentially that year.

In order to graduate in time despite starting a semester late and taking an entire year off to be home with my newest kidlet, I had to go to school full-time every single summer that I was enrolled. The catch was, I also needed to be home during the day to take care of my daughter (who was off school) and sons. So, that meant going to school at night 4 days a week. It was chaotic, and if it weren’t for the support of my husband and family I don’t think I would have made it through. In any case, I think it was during this time that the music stopped. By this time my life was just so generally noisy that any quiet moment that I could take, I embraced. I wanted full-quiet.

But now, as I’ve moved from my bachelor’s degree into my phd I’ve surprisingly gained a lot more balance in my life. I can leave a lot of school at school, I’ve taken on new interests, and made new friends. Even my kidlets are finding friends in each other and seem to require less and less of me to help maintain their play with each other.  And I think maybe it’s for all these reasons that suddenly I’m finding myself engaged in the music again. It started maybe just a week or so ago when I started looking around on youtube for some roller derby songs for this blog. While I was over there I discovered that the songs of my youth were so easily accessible. Now back when I was a kid, MuchMusic really only played “my kind” of music for about an hour a week (now, you’re lucky to get an hour a week of music on these kinds of stations!). So needless to say, with downloading even bad quality tunes taking hours, no one ever really got to see the videos for these tracks. So I’ve been spending a lot of time down memory lane in the last week or so, and I think… maybe I’m ready to bring the music back. I think I’ve been ready for a while… I’ve even been playing the radio and dancing around the kitchen in the last months, but this, listening to music for fun… is definitely back. Right now I’m even building up a workout playlist over on youtube (ha, imagine! The last time I *downloaded* tunes for a playlist, I think I might have been using Napster; now I can just click and watch. How cool is that?).

So I’m sorry this wasn’t your typical roller derby post. Just some stuff I wanted to write aloud 😉 And now it’s done.

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