I have always been very involved in music in one way or another. I sang in church from the time I learned to use my vocal chords, up until the time adolescence caused my social anxiety and shyness to kick in. In middle school I joined the band, playing trumpet, and was in chorus there as well. In high school, I dropped chorus, but continued on in band. In college, I re-joined a choral ensemble, continued playing trumpet, and (very briefly) took guitar and piano lessons as well. Music is very therapeutic. While some people exercise, join sports, or engage in some other aggressive activity to release anger and anxiety, I pull up whatever mood-appropriate music(be it scream, hard rock, pop, whatever) I can find in my CD player or on my iPod, and listen to it, and if I'm alone maybe even sing along. I may still be angry or depressed or whatever afterwards, but the feeling is definitely less severe. I used to want to be a professional musician - some days when I'm frustrated at the goings-on at the mental health facility where I work, I mentally threaten to quit, drop out of school, start a band, and just become a wandering, starving artist.
Interestingly enough, I have gotten back into some Christian music. I just can't see myself getting back into most of the repetitive Praise and Worship, cult-like stuff that is on the radio a lot of times these days, but some other songs that either I can relate to personally or are worded as such that my mind makes kind of a "Gnostic" interpretation rather than a "fundamentalist, evangelistic bullshit" interpretation.
I will close with the video and lyrics of a song I heard recently, that has caught my interest and been stuck in my head for a few days. To me, it talks about knowing what you believe. When it talks about being at war with the world, for me "the world" represents the materialistic; the mundane, day-to-day bullshit that we have to deal with, that threatens to overpower me and cause me to lose focus and lose my way. The song is "Awake and Alive" by Skillet.
"I'm at war with the world and they
Try to pull me into the dark
I struggle to find my faith
As I'm slippin' from your arms
It's getting harder to stay awake
And my strength is fading fast
You breathe into me at last
I'm awake I'm alive
Now I know what I believe inside
Now it's my time
I'll do what I want 'cause this is my life
here, right now
I'll stand my ground and never back down
I know what I believe inside
I'm awake and I'm alive
I'm at war with the world cause I
Ain't never gonna sell my soul
I've already made up my mind
No matter what I can't be bought or sold
When my faith is getting weak
And I feel like giving in
You breathe into me again
Waking up waking up
In the dark
I can feel you in my sleep
In your arms I feel you breathe into me
Forever hold this heart that I will give to you
Forever I will live for you"
Old and Ugly
6 hours ago