The Art of Rediscovery: Learning to Pay Attention to Things I Used to Love.

A couple of weeks ago hubby and I saw Pitch Perfect 2. As far as movies go, it was mildly entertaining, but the real point of the movie was the singing. Watching this movie (which contains a lot of a cappella mash-ups of pop songs) made me realize that after two years living abroad, I am completely out of touch with popular American music. I’m still rocking the jams of a few years ago. (And by a few I mean, like at least five). To be honest, I was never that hip with the jams. I have been relying entirely on my youngest sister for what I should be listening to for years. I decided to do some homework.

I came home and pulled up a playlist of the Billboard Top 40 songs of the week. I’d heard a few of them before, but many of them were new to me. I listened straight through, only skipping a few (what can I say, I’m not cool enough for rap).  As I listened I felt like something in me was coming alive after years of lying dormant.

I’d forgotten this about music – the way it can burrow down deep into your bones and make your soul sing, make your hips sway, make your heart beat in a new rhythm. I’d forgotten how your mood could instantly change –how you could feel energized, or in love, or full of longing from one moment to the next.

I’d forgotten how much I love dancing – the way it feels to engage your whole body—neck and shoulders and hips and heels—in movement for the sake of movement. I’d forgotten the pleasure of moving without purpose and without regard for the way my thighs jiggle or my belly creases. I’d forgotten the freedom of moving simply because you can’t make yourself sit still.

There’s something elemental about music, isn’t there? It’s something so present in the background of my life that I’d forgotten what it was like to take the time to enjoy it. I wait in the in-between season, looking ahead at so many new things that it’s easy to forget about old things, about ordinary wonders.

I’ve started to wonder what else I’ve forgotten. What else have I taken for granted? What other simple gifts have I forgotten how to stop and enjoy? Where is God whispering to me, “Stop. Pay attention,” even as I mark off the days on my calendar?

I am on a quest of rediscovery. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how I’ll respond to our next adventure, to all the change and all of the newness and it’s suddenly occurred to me, How do you open your heart to something new? Perhaps by fully loving all that you already have.

I’m confident this song isn’t new to anyone except me, but I watched it with the music video recently and just loved it because it’s a great song, plus there’s dancing. I am a terrible dancer, but I love dancing and watching it moves me. Also, Ed Sheeran is everything I adore in a musician from his sound to his look. What can I say? I’ve clearly got a thing for redheads!

PS- How great is that picture of some of our dear friends dancing at our wedding five years ago? That picture makes me all kinds of happy.

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22 comments

  1. Yes, it’s lovely to listen to music, we do all the time, my husband and I often put on some music rather than watch TV. One evening recently I even ended up dancing around the room, much to my hubbies amusement!

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    1. True! I realized that although I’m surrounded by music in some ways – from the radio on the bus to the playlists in stores to my ipod when I’m running – there’s a difference between letting it run on in the background and taking the time to really listen to and enjoy it. I’m really enjoying taking the time to seek out new things, to discover new artists, and to let music move me in new ways.

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  2. I love that song. And I just saw pitch perfect 2 on DVD. Although I am connected with music of recent times but surely this movie sort of brings out love for music and exploration inside a person.

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    1. I agree. It’s not that I never listened to music before now, I just hadn’t put much effort into listening to new artists or songs in the past few years and I’ve realized that I really miss it. Taking the time to really listen and enjoy music is such a simple pleasure! Glad you enjoyed Pitch Perfect 2!

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      1. Well, Mumford and Sons is probably my favorite band of all time. That kind of bluegrass/folk-inspired music really connects with me for some reason. I also really love Ingrid Michaelson (for the same style). In general I prefer male singers with husky voices, haha. But depending on my mood, I can really enjoy anything from Taylor Swift to Bruno Mars to Bon Iver.

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      2. Ooh. Them male singers with husky voices show you the stars, don’t they? haha. Well, my music tastes are pretty generic according to my age of course. I love taylor swift and have you ever heard of Darius campbell? Scottish singer, I love his voice.

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  3. Music is so pivotal to emotional health for me. Music as a whole has gotten me through some of the toughest times of my life, so I can definitely relate to where you’re coming from in terms of how quickly it can change you. In terms of dancing, I was never good at it either but recently took a chance and started studying ballroom dancing. I don’t regret it one single bit. Sometimes living for the moment and putting away your defenses and just enjoying life is really needed.

    Great post as always!

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    1. I think it may be for me, too. I know that many people connect deeply to music which is why its such a big part of entertainment and culture, but I’m starting to think that it may be something I really need to do also and I haven’t been doing it I can’t even say why I stopped, I just know that when I do it, I feel more full and more alive. 😉 That’s awesome about the ballroom dancing! I’d love to do that one day, even if I’m abysmal at it, haha. Thanks for reading!

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      1. So grab onto what makes you feel alive! I think you’re really brave already for living overseas and following your heart. Not many people I know could do that. Haha, you’d think you’d be bad but these teachers would change that. I was always the weird kid who had no rhythm. I’ve come out of my shell quite a bit since the beginning of my lessons. Definitely something I’d recommend to everyone.

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  4. I understand. I’ve been in Asia for two years and it’s hard to keep up with all the new American music. I love this post!

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    1. Ah, so you feel my pain. In Korea there’s so much K-Pop that there isn’t as much market for western music maybe. They do love Maroon 5 and Bruno Mars though. 😉

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  5. This is a beautiful post. And so true. I have never been one to be up to date on the music scene, and I very recently came up to a top 100 countdown, and most of the songs I knew and loved. It was a countdown from the late 90’s early 00’s. I couldn’t believe I was so far behind!

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