Music reminds me I am not alone; with it playing, I have another person’s mind in the room with me, and I rest assured knowing I am not the only person experiencing life. Music constantly plays in the background of my life, whether I’m getting things done on my own or chilling with friends. Even after starting to live on my own, I have never felt like I was alone because God has always sent me an extra musical presence to keep me company and serve as a common ground for understanding.
The very first night I slept at my first apartment, I fell asleep in my living room on my pull-out couch listening to the people across the hall playing worship music. I hadn’t met them yet, but I felt comforted hearing others singing their love to God; I was surrounded by people from my extended Christ family.
I even formed a good friendship with one of those neighbors. One afternoon that fall, I heard the music calling by the time I reached the end of our street. My neighbor friend Adam’s voice bellowed through his open bedroom window and through our shared kitchen wall. His mouth echoed the familiar words to Third Eye Blind’s “How’s It Going To Be,” and fortunately I have never had to know “how’s it going to be when you don’t know me anymore” (Third Eye Blind). Later, he would play John Mayer, a mutual favorite artist of ours, for me in my living room on a couple occasions. That apartment no longer serves as home for either of us, but we have maintained our friendship; guitar playing happened again for me when Adam came to spend the day with me a few months ago. Him playing my guitar in the living room while I cooked chicken enchiladas in the kitchen was one the most harmonious parts of the evening; we were alone in either room, but together we created music and food for the soul.
A couple of my friends from college met my best friend from elementary and middle school even knew to relate to each other through their mutual friend’s musical taste. They met each other at my house for a Mary Kay party hosted by my old friend Meredith’s mother. A conversation started about the playlist accompanying the gathering. Becky pointed out that it was always fun at my house because there was always fun music, to which Meredith replied, “Kayla’s always been like that.” My new living room has a music theme, featuring my green stereo poster Meredith’s twin sister Erin bought for me years ago. In my home, we are always surrounded by musical expression.
I got nervous when the guys across the hall left left, leaving me with no neighbors to call upon, but God sent me new guys to share music with me. These guys even complimented me on my excellent taste in music the first time we had a neighborly dinner. We met at the beginning of the summer, and throughout the rest of the season, we had more bonding times, and I regularly saw Matt’s band play at a local soda fountain shop downtown. Those gigs gave me an opportunity to enjoy casual time out with my friends as we enjoyed our live music while sipping on phosphates and chatting.
A hipster Busted String Band fan, I still catch them whenever they play in town. Their CD release party and concert even provided the setting as a neutral ground for an unofficial first date; a certain person attended just so he could see me. That night, we got to see each other on a more personal basis, and he made it clear to me he wanted to continue that, looking into my eyes as he shared his long term hope. We walked under the stars and the moon together after the concert, and our conversation swayed in musical time as the metronome in my head bounced back and forth between my cogitative musings and his persistent coaxing. By the wee hours of the next morning, he was walking me back to my car, high and bright as the stars above because I said yes to be his girlfriend. We kissed goodnight under the moon, whose beauty he likened to mine, after listening to what is now our song (“Iris” by Goo Goo Dolls), which has to me the symbolic lyrics of how I feel about my boyfriend: “I don’t want the world to see me/because I don’t think that they’d understand/When everything’s meant to be broken/I just want you to know who I am.” Thanks in part to sharing music, I found the one who knows who I am; I am not alone.