So I'm not sure if this is a completely legitimate holiday, but I like the sound of it so I'm going to go with it. Everyone needs an escape, whether it is a place they go physically or in their mind, or even if it is not a place at all. These places or frames of mind are necessary in a person's life because as much as we would like for it to be, life isn't perfect all of the time. By having a place to run away to, people are able to stay sane in this crazy, bustling world. My favorite escapes would have to be music and the beach -- any combination of those two.
I have some family in San Diego, California and, being from flat Illinois, I have to say the vacations I enjoy the most are the ones we take to go visit them. We try to visit each other every other year, and the years that my family goes there are the best. First of all, I am not a cold weather person. So living in a climate where it is typically 72 and sunny is the epitome of how I want to live. The most perfect day I've seen was about 75 degrees, not a cloud in the sky, and just a slight ocean breeze skimming by. It's ideal. Now I know a lot of people say that they love the beach, I mean who doesn't love relaxing with a smoothie and a good book listening to the waves and the seagulls as their soundtrack? However, for me, it's so much more than that. When I am at the beach, I feel better than any other time in my life. I am at a maxed out happiness level and everything just feels right. One of my all-time favorite beach activities is surfing. I have only officially taken lessons once, but it was the most fun thing I have ever done. It is the perfect balance of exercise and fun. When you're out there surrounded by nothing but water, it is such a relaxing place to be, and when you finally catch a wave it is exhilarating! You feel on top of the world and so amazed that such a little person could use a huge force of nature for recreation. Obviously, I've never ridden a wave taller than about two or three feet tall, but I can only imagine that the feeling is unparalleled.
Going to the beach is an extra treat, but the thing I cannot go a day without is music. It is my daily escape from the world, it knows just what to say (when I put the right playlist on my iPod) and it just enhances my day. It doesn't matter when I listen to it or in what context, but if there is music playing I can't be feeling too desolate. I have always loved music, but I have to say I really became attached to it through my high school choir. In choir we would go over the meaning of the lyrics of the songs we sang and we would talk about the composer's motivation for writing these pieces of music that we did our best to portray in the desired way. It was a really eye-opening experience and I try to keep that with me always. One of my favorite quotes is
"When words fail, music speaks."
-Hans Christian AndersenIt is so true because all kinds of music have a message they are trying to get across. It doesn't matter if the music has words or not, it all has a deeper message than the things we initially hear. Music is something that can lift me up and make me feel invincible. It is an incredible release that, I am thankful to say, is back in my life after not being able to sing very much during my first semester in college. I am now in Heart & Soul, a gospel-style choir right here at Purdue, and I am loving every second I spend with all of the talented people I sing with. It is such a privilege to have things in your life that you truly enjoy, so take the time today to think about them and go do them if you are able to! Have a great day and find some time to escape from reality this weekend! :)