Letter From The Editor // Joy

My record collection probably tells the story of my life better than I could in words.
— Colleen Murphy

This is a story of a girl, her record player, and how it brought her Joy.

Joy. I don’t think I’m a good authority to write on the subject of Joy. I wouldn’t necessarily be called “joyful”. I’m a lot of things: apathetic, sarcastic, stoic… pretty much anything low energy. When I think of Joy there is an energy around that word. An energy I am not familiar with. It’s something that gets you excited for life. It’s safe to say that I am pretty depressed. Outside forces made me numb and a lot of the time I feel like I am just coasting through life. Not really taking anything in. Not feeling anything. There wasn’t much in my life that brought me much happiness aside from my friends. I didn’t have any hobbies. All I did was work and talk to my friends. But I always loved music. All kinds of music. Like most people, music was escapism. As far as I could remember, music made me forget how depressed I was.

One fateful day in 2016 I bought a record player. It was a pretty crappy one that immediately broke but I was determined to get it replaced. Months later the company sent me another one that was not what I wanted so I sold it to a friend and bought a cute record player with palm leaves all over it because my neighbor had the same one. I went to Savers and local record stores looking for whatever cheap vinyls that looked remotely interesting. I talked to my mother about what records she has in her huge collection. She said I could get the Zeppelin and Beatles but she keeps the Hendrix. My friend Colleen bought me Let It Be so we could listen to it together. I loved the hunt of finding something awesome within the racks. Looking at my vinyl gave me so much joy.

I would sit and listen to my vinyls all day. It made me re-appreciate music I used to love. It made me love older bands that I never listened to before. That player lasted a few months because it was destroying my vinyls so the girl at Urban Outfitters recommended an Audio Technica. Now I’m on my fourth (and hopefully last for awhile) record player and a sizable vinyl collection. It started to become an addiction. I was spending money I didn’t have on vinyls. I remember sitting on my couch almost in tears because the only thing that brought me joy was also breaking the bank. I had to have a talk with myself about what was actually making me happy here. Was it the records or was it shopping? I’m not much of a shopper anymore. I have deep seeded issues when it comes to shopping. My mother has a shopping addiction and is a hoarder and it deeply affected how I feel about money and shopping. It all came to head this past month during Amazon Prime Day when at 1 am I bought a bunch of vinyls and charged it to my Amazon credit card. I knew that I had a problem after that. 

I really do love my record collection. It gives me joy that I did not have before. I’ve taken a break from purchasing vinyls. I also want to give some of them away. The joy is in sitting and listening to beautiful music and escaping away from the realities around me. It’s standing in the record store hunting for something special and then leaving empty handed if I don’t find it. It’s not in sitting in front of my laptop adding a bunch of stuff to my cart on Amazon. I may not be the best authority to write about joy, but at least I found some joy within the grooves of a vinyl.

This month on The Lady Project Blog we are talking about Joy. Our writers will be sharing how to find more joy in your everyday life and also how they brought more joy into theirs. We will also be sharing articles from The Lady Project Summer 2017 Gift Guide. We hope it brings a little bit more joy to your summer!

Brittanny Taylor