The Power of Noise

Early on into the pandemic, I found myself in this weird place where although the world really didn’t feel all that abnormal, something still felt off in my life. I obviously wasn’t going to too many places, but it was probably somewhere around the start of summer where I got to this point where it felt like there was this gaping hole in my world, and I couldn’t figure it out.

At around the same time, I received a ton of VHS tapes from my parents because I told them I could transfer them to digital. And so, I began. And as these things were playing in the background while I worked, I felt my spirits lift, and, well, that hole didn’t feel quite so empty.

It would take another month or so before I figured out what actually happened, but I remember after capturing the tapes, I found myself falling back into that weird place of despair, seeking out memories of the past in the hopes that it would somehow resolve this internal emptiness I was again feeling.

Until I realized that it wasn’t the nostalgia that had brought me back to life…it was the noise. Specifically, the noise of people.

Although it made so much sense when I finally realized it, it took forever for me to come to terms with the fact that the thing that I was missing was simply the sound of people. Even when going to the grocery store early on during the pandemic, things were quiet. People didn’t dare breathe too hard, much less talk, for fear of passing this dreaded disease on to others.

Now, while things aren’t nearly as quiet out in the world today as they were almost two years ago, I’ve found that I still use this little technique to lift my spirits. I put on videos of people walking around crowded places, just to hear the sounds of people in my life, and I find my spirits again gain some height.

It’s quite possibly one of the weirdest techniques I’ve ever used to improve my life, but, I’ve found it works quite well.

Obviously results may vary, as I tend to like to be in a loosely grouped crowd of people, which may be triggering in more negative ways for others. But, I’ve found that I’ve missed people. Not specific people, but faceless hordes of people making all sorts of noise that I can only pick out random snippets of.

It might be time to go out and do some people watching somewhere again soon…


Published by Adam Oster, Adventure Novelist

Husband, Father, Creator/Destroyer of Worlds

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