Me and my guitar

Benjamin - Englewood, New Jersey
Entered on November 19, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Life stinks. That’s the first thing I’m going to tell my kids. I’m going to tell them that life is going to start out nice and easy. Everything’s going to be okay and nothing will be wrong. But then, something larger than you are will bring you back to reality. Then your whole life will take a turn for the worse. Whether it’s karma, a bad decision, or just God saying, “I’m sorry but your life is too perfect. I’m going to have to bring you down to size,” nothing will ever be the same. So right about now you’re probably asking, “How do you know this?” Well I’m speaking from experience. And that was how I found music.

I was always somewhat normal. I was smart, talented, and I had an average amount of friends. That was before sixth grade. That’s when I got a reality check. All the people I tried to help took my work and then said it was their own. When I trusted people, they would either make fun of me for it, or they would spread me secrets all over the school. I had never experienced this kind of cruelty before. The only way I could cope with it was by locking myself in my room and blasting music. I believe that music is more powerful than any weapon, person or group on earth. At that time, music worked as my anesthetic, and slowly but surely, I felt much better by the day.

At some point however, listening to music just didn’t work for me anymore. So then I played guitar. I was a wonderful feeling. And it was the easy way to get some recognition. I would bring my guitar to school and people would sit around and listen. I hoped that the music they heard me play would make them look deep into their souls the way music made me look into mine.

After I learned to play guitar, I got a great idea. I should write my own songs. Then people could see my inner pain. So I sat down, took up a pencil and let the words flow. I wrote about the death of my grandfather. I wrote about love and love lost. I wrote about anything meaningful. I wrote my songs to express who I am. That was my personal respect and I didn’t care about what anyone said. I was in too much of a life changing experience.

Even though I did all of these acts of expression, nothing really changed at school. I was still the class nerd. But I didn’t care. I found a way to cope with it. And yes. My life does stink. But I figured out my calling, so I knew where I was going in life. That made everything better. Oh, and did I mention about when I went to camp?