I will just say it flat out: I am somewhat in a place of discomfort right now, even though I wish I was not, and that is a fact that I must deal with. Although I wish I was not so cynical, I have not been called “The Queen of Negativity” for nothing. With my first semester of college classes coming to an end in just a couple of weeks (so many projects and exams…holy cannoli) and no short of insane news regarding our country, I am looking for comfort at this time. For a little while, I could not think of anything that would genuinely make me feel better, but then I thought of watching some of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert videos; this realization alleviated some of my tension.
I have been listening to the NPR Music podcast entitled All Songs Considered for about six months now, and I genuinely love it. In addition to the quality content in these podcast episodes, NPR Music produces Tiny Desk Concerts. I had seen these videos in the “recommended” sidebar on Youtube for years, but never got around to watching them. After listening to the aforementioned podcast and hearing them mention the Tiny Desk Concerts, I decided to finally watch some of the videos a few months ago. What I found was content that I immediately connected with and was entranced by. I am a music lover, and have been surrounded by music and people who love the art form for my entire life. As a result, these videos of such talented performers really connected with me, and I could not stop watching them.
As someone who does not often watch videos of performances (I usually play them in the background while I am doing schoolwork), it was surprising to me that I often found myself wanting to actually watch them. There are some obvious reasons, though; for example, seeing musicians that I listen to and admire perform in such an intimate and personal setting is extremely humanizing. I then realized that there are specific parts of these performances that endear me and never fail to make me smile: the moments of gratitude and/or pure happiness. Whether it is a quick exchange of smiles between band members, a genuine “thank you” from a performer, or a smirk during a song, these fleeting moments make me so happy. These people are real. They likely felt worried about the performance beforehand, just as I would about a project or presentation for school. Regardless, they were able to perform from their heart and be grateful for the opportunity to express themselves, which is something I aspire to adapt to situations in my own life. I think this is what gives me so much comfort; in this uncertain time in my life (and for many others), seeing people love what they do and succeed at it gives me the motivation and comfort I need in order to do the same. Consequently, I have caught myself coming back to these videos almost every day, whether to watch the performances or just to listen to them while doing schoolwork. Even though the recent news in our country and my insane to-do list have made me desire this feeling of comfort all the more nowadays, I have been wanting to write out these thoughts for about a month now; I just think this is the perfect time to not only help myself, but to also help others remember that this world is full of wonderful people and opportunities.
I’ll leave you with some of my favorite moments in hopes that they may comfort you; see if you can recognize them. Check out
I may or may not have the videos start playing a bit before the moments occur in order to persuade you to listen to these musicians.
Okay, I definitely am trying to persuade you.