We Learn To Get By If We Learn To Have Scars
Guitarist and vocalist Tom DeLonge accurately described what music means to me when he said, “music is good when it makes you dance but music is great when it makes you who you are.” Some of my first memories are singing and dancing around with my mom to the sounds that always seemed to fill our house. After my parents’ divorce my mom was distraught but it would always make her smile return to play Pink albums and rock out in the kitchen; those were some of my favorite nights growing up.
When high school began I had a plethora of friends and always seemed to be on the move with a grin upon my face. During my transition from junior high and striving to become one of the elite “popular” kids, my school work suffered greatly which is when I first started to feel the depression setting in, I would have weeks at a time where I didn’t feel up to getting out of bed and days where I wouldn’t talk to anyone. Because I had allowed myself to fall behind, I lost hope in my intelligence. I stopped trying in school altogether after a while and decided that I wasn’t cut out for college, I had no idea what the future had in store for me but I was certainly dreading it.
My sophomore year was an eye opener for me academically as I was enrolled in a program for kids who weren’t living up to their potential. I was really upset about joining a class of nineteen other kids and being isolated from the rest of my high school for the year, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I started to get the grades my family always told me I could get, I was blessed with the opportunity to tutor a class of first graders at a local elementary, and I was happy again. That is until everything fell apart.
As my junior year began my good friend invited me to go to a movie with her and one of her newer guy friends because she “didn’t want him to think it was a date.” So I went, of course! When I got to the movie and saw her friend, I thought he was cute but then I got the chance to talk to him; he was so funny, I couldn’t stop laughing, and he was also extremely intelligent. I asked my friend if she was sure she didn’t like him as more than a friend and when she said she was sure, I asked her to hook me up with him. That night I went so far as to tell my mom about how great this guy was; he seemed too good to be true. At a sleepover that night she began talking with another of our friends and was talked in to calling this guy. They talked for a long time and it was clear that she had changed her mind about him. I was upset but I figured since he liked her and not me, it would be okay. I decided to be happy for her instead of angry about it.
About two weeks after they started dating, he began talking to me and it slipped that I had kind of liked him when I met him and he told me that he felt the same; it felt awkward knowing that I had this crush on my best friend’s boyfriend but I couldn’t shake it. When he broke up with her after a month, she had her mind made up to get him back but I began talking to him more and more. My friends all thought I was flirting with him, which I really wasn’t trying to do at all, and became mad at me. It was like seven girls verses me (the odds weren’t in my favor). That’s how I lost my entire group of friends in one fell swoop. Since I figured I had nothing to lose and on the advice of my mother, I began dating that boy. I began to receive tweets, Facebook messages, and texts about how horrible of a person I was and how much they hated me, all from my so called “friends.”
I had never entirely felt like I fit in anywhere and, without my friends, I was lost. I felt that same hopelessness I had during my intellectual struggles, only this time it was worse; the emptiness didn’t go away after a few weeks, it stuck with me. I went from being a happy girl smiling and talking to everyone I passed in the hallway to keeping my head down and going straight from class to class. Since school work was all I had, I threw myself into it. On top of the depression, my anxiety was at an all-time high, it became hard for me to do everyday things such as go to the movie theatre or going out to eat with my family. I was always worried about what others would think of me, my self-esteem had been absolutely shattered.
On a vacation to Georgia the summer before my senior year I decided to listen to a song I had always enjoyed as a child, First Date by Blink-182. I then created a Pandora station around the band and listened to it almost constantly. I finally began to feel like myself again, when their voices were in my ears it was like life made sense to me again. I no longer questioned if it were worth it to get out of bed in the morning because I knew that when I got to school I could put in my headphones and drown out the people around me. In a time when I had no friends, I had made new ones: Tom DeLonge, Mark Hoppus, and Travis Barker kept me company whenever I was lonely and they never turned their backs on me.
Music had always been a part of my family’s culture but the musicians had never spoken to me quite like they did, I never felt as if I knew the people behind the lyrics and I had never thought that I could turn to celebrities for solace. It was almost magical the way a horrible day could be transformed by pressing play on my phone. This weekend, my birthday weekend, I am fortunate enough to see my best friends preform live in Chicago. While they have no idea who I am, and most-likely never will, they made all the difference for me and for so many other depressed, anxious teenagers around the world. I recently formed an Instagram page dedicated to my favorite band and the amount of people who went through things similar to my experiences is crazy, so many young people depend on Blink to brighten their days. Some people were considering suicide before they found this music. I finally do belong somewhere, I finally have a community of people just like me. Blink has given me the gift of happiness and purpose, they truly have changed my life for the better.
*** Honest feedback appreciated and desired!***