I was sitting at my computer deep in the grips of a work related project, feeling pretty chilled and happy, streaming music through my head phones off of my current favourite live streaming site, when I had a realisation.
I love listening to good music, when I know that the mix is going to be good, but I have no idea what I am going to hear next.
In fact part of what makes my current favourite live streaming site so awesome, is that I can choose the genre of music I want to listen to, add a few possible tags, but have no idea what I am going to get. I am hearing new stuff all the time. It doesn’t become monotonous and I have don’t have to put any anticipation or pre-conceived thought into it at all. There is no pressure.
If you don’t like what you hear you turn it off, if you do you keep listening. It’s really easy, and it makes it much easier to work for long hours having that soundtrack in the background that is not demanding too much input from you.
It really is an absolute pleasure when you have hours of work to do at a PC but have your musical accompaniment to keep you floating somewhere between complete concentration and day dreaming at that exact distance between the two that makes for optimum productivity. But the key is not knowing what is coming up next so that you don’t start thinking about it before it arrives thus ruining said concentration.
This got me to thinking about an old saying, blissfully unaware or joyful abandonment. And I got to thinking, maybe I have misunderstood those expressions all these years.
Maybe the bliss and joy of not knowing are not actually such folly after all. Perhaps it should not refer to an evil of which you are as yet unaware so much as to the joy of simply not knowing what is going to happen next.
Because there is bliss in not knowing what the next track is. You know that you can change it if you want to; you know that it is going to be in line with what you asked for and if you are already enjoying what you have you will most likely enjoy the next thing that comes along too.
I realised while listening to this music that I was just letting go. Letting go is a thing I have never been very good with. Surrendering control of the minor details (It still hurts even to type that). But I was loving the effect it had, and I always do.
So, here I am stumbling over a profound and simple thing: the joy of not knowing.
All my life I have feared not knowing what is coming next. I have spent sleepless nights worrying about how, what, where, why. When in fact all I had to do was look at what I had going on, ask myself “Do I like this?” if it’s yes carry on, if it’s no, change it. And most importantly of all rejoice in the not knowing. Be grateful that I don’t always know what is about to happen because lets face it, if I did I would kill myself worrying about it all and trying to organise it all.
As great as it is to plan and as glad as I am of the sure things in this life, I am grateful for the things that I don’t know are about to happen, good or bad, because I am saved worrying about them, and more often than not I am pleasantly surprised.
Though I know I am hardly about to let go of all worries and doubts and transcend into a levitating monk of the mountains, I will try to remind myself from time to time to be grateful for the unknown that lies ahead. Sometimes it’s better than the stuff I would choose for myself, because I wouldn’t even know that it’s out there if I didn’t stumble over it.
Thank you 8tracks.com, like so many other times, you have made my day.