This I Believe

Dennis - Renton, Washington
Entered on December 18, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: creativity
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe music does wonders for the mind. I’ve always enjoyed listening and singing to music since I was younger. However, as I’ve grown older I’ve realized that without the intervention of music, life becomes dull and repetitive.

I’ve found that when I’m subjected to moments of utter silence, my mind begins to slap me in the face with reality; quite frankly, silence disturbs me and I consider it a personal enemy in my life. Succumbing to silence only opens the gates to all my fears, my doubts, and the concerns that stress me out – and with such power that it almost puts my life to shame. For this reason, I’ve learned to always keep a tune or two in mind.

Regardless of the subject matter, like falling way back into love, music clears the clutter from the corners of my mind. It is a rush of freedom for my mind as some music starts to play and suddenly all of my fears, my doubts, and my concerns, and the things that stress me – gone, disappear.

I remember when I met my second girlfriend at a social dance; we hit it off quite well within the first dance. Three hours later, we were still dancing and enjoying each other’s company. As I recall, the music at the time only added to the joy and excitement that one feels from meeting someone they really like for the first time.

At the conclusion of the dance, I returned home – glad that I had worked up the courage to go to that particular dance. As I arrived home, I decided to quickly check my e-mail before going to bed. Now it’s always been a tradition of mine to listen to music while checking my e-mail, or whenever I use my computer for that matter. So it was on this particular night that I was surprised to hear the Beach Boys singing “Help Me Rhonda.”

It was the sign I was looking for – the confirmation of the joy I had felt from that night’s event. Several months prior to that night I had endured a horrible break-up. Coincidently, my second girlfriend’s name turned out to be Rhonda and she came into my life at a time when my heart quietly pleaded “Help me Rhonda – help me get her out of my heart.”

Listening to music is no longer something I do just for enjoyment; it’s become a source of healing for all the clutter that somehow finds a place in my mind. It is how I feel my life’s story should be conveyed, through the sung tragedies, joys, and experiences of others whose life stories parallel my own.

As I scroll through my collection of music, it’s like thumbing through the very pages of my personal life. The music I listened to as a teenager and now as a student in college reflect the very anxieties, joys, fears, passions, irritations, and other feelings that vibrate the core of my soul on a daily basis.