I was thinking about writing a heavier piece on progress tonight. More specifically, about how progress is so hard to appreciate when you can’t see the process of accomplishing a goal for what it is. I wanted to explore how setbacks and mistakes make us feel when we are so focused on the finish line that we forget what makes us human. Thinking about the topic just made me feel sad and anxious, looking back on all the times I’ve let lack of appreciation for the process sabotage my results and cause me to quit.

I was inspired to write after realizing that minor setbacks look more like mountains when you are closer to the start than the finish. It’s harder to see how setbacks can help you when you’re just starting out. I constantly have to remind myself that those setbacks are part of the process and there to help me learn, not a reason to quit. Part of what makes life so exciting is our ability to learn and make progress, right? Because if I could just wake up tomorrow and fulfill every one of my dreams so easily, what would it be worth? Not much. And would it be truly half as fulfilling? Probably not.

So… I got distracted from my depressing writing session by Instagram (🙄, it’s quite distracting and infuriating and amazing at the same time, isn’t it?) and came across a post about Paul McCartney’s new album Egypt Station.  Quite honestly, I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet but I was surprised to find out that “Who Cares” was inspired by the relationship Taylor Swift has with her fans. So of course, since I’m a sucker (and a bit of TS superfan, SHHHHH!), I just HAD to IMMEDIATELY check it out to see what everyone was talking about. I felt happier as soon as a I heard the song and my fears of not making enough progress with my music and other areas of my life were gone. Not because the song told me to worry less. Although, it does offer the comforting embrace of “I do” after asking:

Who cares what the idiots say
Who cares what the idiots do
Who knows about the pain in your heart?
Who cares about you?
I do

– “Who Cares” by Paul McCartney

But instead, because the song feels intoxicatingly carefree and confident in just 3 minutes and 13 seconds (😱), serving as the best possible mood booster.

This experience reminded me of the power of music. The power it has to change emotions over a few verses. How impossible it is to describe why you like a certain song or genre of music without touching on how it makes you feel. Music is so important to me because it gives me an outlet for every emotion I experience. Sad day? Write about it. Rough time at work? Sing about it on the car ride home. Happy as anything? Dance wildly in front of a mirror. Whatever it is, music is there for me, always lifting me higher. Feeling happier? That’s progress.


Just kidding… it’s Shawna


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