In the Beginning
It’s all just a bit much sometimes, isn’t it? Everything is fast. Everything is loud. Every moment of every day, something else cries out for your attention. Sometimes we don’t feel strong enough. Or good enough, or capable enough, or rested enough or… enough like our most perfect self to try and manage it. Sometimes I genuinely worry that I’m going to snap and go totally postal on some poor, unsuspecting colleague for asking me a simple question. *A note on that - Cellar Door ASMR Co. is still just my side project. My day job is a fairly high stress government role involving tight deadlines and constantly competing priorities.
That’s why I turn to ASMR.
Let’s rewind to 2007. I was about two years into my first grown-up job right out of college in Canada. Canada is cold in the winter. Like really, really cold. It’s also very dark. If you work a day job in an office, you pretty much never see the sun between October and April, if I remember correctly. When I did see the sun, it’s because it was reflecting off the metre tall snow banks that lined the sidewalks in an infuriating glittery blast that half blinds you. It really ticks me off, that glitter, because it’s basically just a giant mockery of your whole unfortunate situation. (That situation being that it’s -33 degrees celsius and your eyelashes are covered in icicles.) I hated walking down those sidewalks because there’s something about the sound of dense snow getting packed into the pavement below your boots that sends shivers down my spine. Not your standard cold shivers – the gross shivers. Like nails on a chalkboard shivers. I also suffer from Raynaud’s syndrome, which is another massive pain in the rear during Canadian winters. At 6pm after work I would trudge the 3 blocks to my car, which had been plugged in all day, praying it would start. I would sit there in the driver’s seat gripping the steering wheel while my car heated up enough to be driven, and actually crying because my frozen fingers hurt so badly.
Many people love the winter though. Many people welcome the first snow with open arms and start getting all pumped to fire up the Ski-Doo but my point is, it was a depressing place for me. I was finding it difficult to get through my days. It was difficult to go to my grown-up job and try to be a professional. To try to act like I wasn’t about to crumble into a tiny pile of dust at any moment. It wasn’t just the weather, of course. There were other issues, but the weather literally hung over me like a big black cloud and made everything seem that much harder.
Then one day while browsing the internet, I came across a video of a lady doing massage demonstrations. She had a really beautiful American accent. Her name is Lita from Massageclips.com. Some of you may know her. Some hail her as one of the original ASMRtists. I started listening to her massage videos incessantly at work. I had a creative design job so it was ok to wear headphones all day. I even bought a package of mp3 audio tracks of her speaking that she must have recorded after she figured out there were a lot of people out there who really liked listening to her voice.
Watching and listening to her videos brought me back to when I was a little kid and used to look forward to The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross when it aired on the public broadcast channel. I would promptly settle into the couch for naptime because listening to the lovely man with the big hair paint his nice pictures made me feel calm and happy.
It was ASMR therapy.
Without going too deeply into it, it helped me survive through a really difficult and emotional time in my life. It still helps me now. I listen to or watch ASMR videos every day. Every. Single. Day. It’s still on my headphones at work because it helps me to stay centered. It helps me block out the idle chatter in the office and focus on my tasks. It also has the added benefit of keeping me in a calm state so that I don’t go totally postal on some poor, unsuspecting colleague for asking me a simple question. Being in this state of calm helps me to be productive, feel good about myself and try to be the type of kind and understanding person I want to be.
I find that I like this “me” so much that I try to find ways to be her all the time. I started taking the time to do my nails so that tapping on things would be more pleasurable for me. I collect pretty sketchbooks and journals and even if I don’t always use them regularly, I still bring them out of the shelf and touch them because darn it, it makes me feel good. I play with my jewellery constantly. I absolutely adore the act of wrapping Christmas presents, performing simple repetitive tasks, or putting sheets of paper into those thin plastic document folders.
I know I’m not the only one. People in the world who have discovered their love of ASMR now number in the millions. Then one day I thought, “Wouldn’t it be lovely if there were a store that just carried ASMRish things? A place you could go to pick yourself out some lovely little goodies to make your days a bit more tingley?”
And then I made it so.
I hope you spend some time exploring Cellar Door ASMR Co. It’s a true labour of love. It’s a wonderful creative outlet that allows me to get my head into the ASMR space whenever I need to and I am so pleased that I get to share it with you.
Until next time, sleep well Tingle Friends.