07 Aug 2021

Drowning Out Reality

While at work today, I came to a point where I wasn’t really that interested in listening to music as I work, but I needed something. I thought about firing up some city walk videos from an account I found on YouTube of somebody who records himself walking around Seattle and Portland. While visually stimulating, I also find them aurally stimulating.

Then it hit me, Dark Noise. Dark Noise is an app which plays white noise along with other sounds that allow you to drift away into another world or relax. I made a mix of sounds I call “Downtown Seattle”, which includes some light rain, coffee shop ambiance, and some city traffic. I adjusted the sound levels to my liking and away I went. It put me in a mental space that didn’t feel like work at least, and reminded me of my trips there, where I spent a lot of time roaming the city.

I’m a big fan of ambient noise. At night, I often play the sound of ocean waves from my HomePod Mini to help me sleep. The pattern of the waves helps slow down my breathing and allows me to relax. In my new place, I plan on getting another HomePod Mini to put in there, where I imagine I’ll often play the sound of rain, good for times when I want to settle in to write.

As I sit now, I have Dark Noise playing in my ears with noise-canceling on, and it really is helping me focus on getting these words out. Much more than the usual chatter of coworkers while I’m on my lunch break. It helps to be in my world in times like these. Anything to help me relax.