How to create a soundtrack for your new life….

One good thing about music. When it hits you, you feel no pain.

Bob Marley

It’s taken a lot of bottle for me to reboot my life. To walk away from a house I’d lived in for 20 years, as well as its contents, and to leave my husband of 10, not to mention agreeing to a split custody agreement so I don’t see my son for two days a week.

I’ve had to rebuild from the bottom up and as I stand here eight months down the line glowing with freedom and settling into new routines and rhythms it’s easy to forget that some mornings I can wake up feeling like I’ve got a boulder to push uphill.  This boulder is a hardened ball of fear about my son, anxiety about being too old to start my life again and worry about spending my days alone with just my cat.

On those days when I wake up thinking that I won’t get my groove going for the day, and the uphill push seems to much, and when the old anxieties and low mood kick in, then I need a shortcut to get me back up there with the energy to take on my Sisyphean task. The best way I’ve found to do that is through music.

When you’re a teenager music becomes part of your identity, then as you age the volume turns down, song lyrics lose their impact, albums gather dust.

When I was with my husband I stopped listening to music, stopped dancing, and allowed his different rhythms to become mine. But now music has become a fundamental part of each day and I’m finding my own drumbeat again. When I’m in my car the stereo plays at ear -bleeding levels and I sing away at the top of my voice. When I’m at home itunes plays in the background, and when I’m out and about on my solo adventures my battered pink ipod staves off self-consciousness and gives me my own soundtrack to walk around to.

This summer I discovered The 1975, their 2012 hit Chocolate has got me through some grey days and when the first strains of the track begin they lift me and get my adrenalin pumping. Their tunes allow me to be my alter ego – the strong independent woman, who is badass, sassy, loud and amazing. I plug into the music and she appears to mask and protect the anxious, fretful person underneath. So, you see, I fake it till I make it, and most days it works. In my head my life is a film reel with music playing as the soundtrack. Walking into a pub on your own? Just make sure you’re pumped with tunes before you do and you’ll walk in there like you own the place. Fancy going for a walk but feel like you stand out for not being coupled up? Get some grooves going and you’ll stride along smiling to yourself at how good you feel listening to some great tunes and not caring that you’re not one half of a pair. I can guarantee I look a lot happier flying solo with my own soundtrack than a look of hooked-up people do!

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