I believe that music saves lives…As a young student in an urban neighborhood and attending a Chicago public school, I, like many others suffered the effects of being an outcast and even more so, an introvert. I had low self-esteem and felt that I didn’t meet the standards or norm to fit in anywhere. I remember the first day my family and I moved into our new neighborhood and I had to go to my new school for the first time. The moment I was introduced everyone laughed. I was ridiculed for the way I looked, talked and the “uncool” clothes I wore and I became ashamed of my appearance…soon, my self-esteem began to drop.
Naturally, I found my escape from my problems in the form of music, preferably rock. For too long I had been trying to find my place in a society where kids my age were only interested in the value of material things and who would only talk to people who possessed them. By the time I was in the eighth grade, I had a best friend and she let me listen to some of the songs she had on a CD. Immediately I felt a sense of uniqueness, I felt I had found a way to disconnect myself from the main stream conformist social slum at my school and interest myself in something better. I listened to everything from grunge to punk-rock and metal to even screamo, appreciating the musical and lyrical components of every song. The relevance of the situations and emotions expressed in a lot of band’s lyrics and how they related to my life gave me a sense of comfort and the belief that I wasn’t alone in my struggle. When I would have a bad day, low self-esteem or depression, I found the best way to drown out and forget about negative thoughts was to play the loudest song I could think of. That process is quite possibly responsible for keeping me sane throughout my life.
My sophomore year, I went to my first concert to see headliner My Chemical Romance with Alkaline Trio and Reggie and the Fulleffect. For the first time in my life I met people who were interested in more important things than clothes and, more importantly, I felt like I belonged, like I was a part of something big. The minute the music started, all my worries were gone and I was exhilarated, fully entwined with the spirit of the music. That night, none of my problems or differences mattered. I was part of one big community, united together, all in one place for one purpose…music.
Over they years, I have been to many more concerts which has transformed my love for music into my life. It has even inspired me to play guitar. The Warped Tour 06’ concert was truly a day to remember. It was extremely hot and someone fainted in the crowd. Immediately everyone teamed up to help get the person out of the crowd and back to consciousness. I remember being amazed at how gracious people were. I also recall the third time I went to see My Chemical Romance. They were playing “Famous Last Words”, a song that is dear to me because of the words, “I am not afraid to keep on living, I am not afraid to walk this world alone”. By the end of the song one of my friends was in tears, her arms stretched out to the sky belting out every word. It had shown me the true passion that people have for music and how much it means to me.
I’ve always believed in my quote “Don’t move minds, move bodies”. The best way to make movements and inspire the world is be seen and be heard. What better way to do that than through music? My life has been changed by the power of music and I believe that it’s the antidote for any pain. My best friend, who was dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts thought there was no where to turn. But I always noticed that even when it was the worse, she could always look forward to her music.
Music is a universal language amongst all living creatures and we are all connected in that one way, no matter how different we are. Music has given me a reason to live and furthermore, a way to express myself. It is the life giver to me and people alike. That’s why I can truly say that music saves lives.
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