Music Soothes the (Not So) Savage Beast


On today’s episode of first world problems, we will discuss how a missing pair of earbuds is causing Calli to slowly sink deeper into her madness.

They weren’t much to look at, just the generic set that is included when you purchase an iPhone, but those somewhat uncomfortable earbuds have gotten me through some hard times. They fell out of my ears every now and then, and untangling them was a gigantic pain in the rear. In fact, I probably wouldn’t be as upset as I am over their absence if it wasn’t for the fact that those were my only set of earbuds. I tend to hoard money, and if I can get by on one pair, then great! Except, when that pair goes missing I find myself in a pickle, and those who know me know that I can’t stand the smell of pickles.

Ever since their disappearance last Saturday, I’ve spent the entire week tearing my room and the rest of the house apart just to find them. Obviously, my frantic efforts haven’t yielded any results because I’ve sat down to write this post with my old (AKA broken) set of earbuds—the ones where only one side works and the other bleeds sound if it’s turned up too loud.

My left ear is enjoying the break from the constant assault of sound, but I’m starting to get a little twitchy with only hearing things in my right ear. I like balance, and if I can make it so that my ears lose hearing at the same time rather than my right ear taking an early retirement from listening, that would be fantastic.


Earbuds and music are a safety blanket for someone with social anxiety. They are the perfect excuse to walk down a crowded hallway of vendors, which is quite common at the university. Earbuds are the universal sign for “not interested, but thanks anyway”, and although not everyone recognizes that, most people get the message. Other times, when I’m feeling a little shaken up from an interaction or I need a confidence booster, the right song can do wonders to calm me down. Earbuds are a way that I can temporarily block myself from the stress and craziness of my surroundings and worry about nothing but the song lyrics.

I feel really exposed without them. Good thing music is a little harder to lose!

It’s a little scary to think about how much music controls my life. I grew up surrounded by music. My grandmothers on both sides of the family were very musically inclined, and that ability passed along to my mom. Some of my earliest memories involve listening to her play hymns on the piano on Sundays and going for rides in the car, listening to country music (I can hear the groans of “ugh, country music sucks” from here, and as a girl raised on country music, I will politely ignore your complaints).

I have a music playlist for just about any and every mood. I listen to the one titled “For Those Angry Days” while I shoot my zombie-themed Nerf gun at my flower-printed pillow (a great way to release some steam), and my dance-themed playlist tends to get me off my butt so I can bounce around the house and laugh at myself every time I pass by my reflection in the mirror.


My dancing gets about as wild as baby Groot’s, which I see no problem with because baby Groot is fabulous.

Every car ride is a karaoke session on wheels for me. I’m not half-bad, if I do say so myself. I love it when the singer hits a note so high that my warbling turns into a shriek that causes the dog in the truck next to me to perk his ears and start to bark.

Music is sometimes the only thing that helps me to plow through my truck-load of homework. With the right instrumental music, reading Jacques Derrida’s “Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences” becomes a thousand times more interesting. Granted, I still had no idea what he was saying, but at least my confusion was partnered with a great soundtrack.

I spend so much time listening to music that I could accurately quote lyrics from thousands of songs. Unfortunately, this skill does not extend to more important things that I should know, like my bank account number or the test answers or the name of that most-likely poisonous berry I might one day eat out of the desperation to survive.

But I can sing word-for-word the lyrics to ten songs from this one Irish band that no one in the United States has heard about, so that seems like a pretty good trade off.


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