Saturday, February 12, 2011

in love and death.

this morning i just feel like watching old music videos from the used, and listening to their albums that so helped to define my teenage years.
contrary to ideal that this thought then present about me, i was not an emo kid. in fact, when we went to the concert in 2004 or whenever it was, i was decked out in pearls and bows coz that's just what i wore ha! but even now, those emo-tastic songs like "blue and yellow", "i caught fire", "light with a sharpened edge" and "all that i've got" (primarily songs from their album "in love and death" - hence the emo title) still hold meaning in my life because of how i felt i related to the used and to their songs and lyrics.

going from a christian elementary school to a (public) catholic high school was a very strange transition for me - from being surrounded by christians, christian values, to a school where that did not reign supreme. totally inevitable, (not an original statement) but that really challenged me to figure out myself, who i wanted to be, who i wanted to be for others, where i stood on things, etc. i've always been a lover of music but in high school i started liking "harder" music, kind of as a challenge, and in grade 10 or so, i started listening to the used a lot. one thing about me is that when i like an artist a lot usually i like to also know everything about that artist's background, so began my hunt to understand the used, the members of the band, and the meaning behind their lyrics.

i can't really express what it is about these songs that still just wrecks me in some way. not that i'm moved to tears, but they just evoke in me this sense of longing, but also of.. gratitude. like i've overcome some obstacles, made changes, seen life move, things that when i first started listening to them made me feel conflicted or strange or bothered. if it boils down to anything, and with knowledge of the background of the guys in the band, i would say that the songs have a LOT to do with inner conflict, battle. trying to figure things out, get over things, find yourself.

in high school, i really felt like i had to choose a side. either to go with the flow or with the path of least-resistance. that definitely had a lot to do with having gone to the christian school. even though i found that decision really easy (because the other way seemed super scary to me) being really naive and sheltered, what i didn't know then was that that decision would have to be carried through for the rest of my life. i didn't really see the magnitude of that decision or how 7 years later it would really define who i am, how others see me, and who i am as God's child. back then it was really about me, but now i see that it's not at all, but all about God. in my own life and personality i'm most thankful that the Lord made me both stubborn and totally naive. because of my stubbornness i didn't want to corrupt my naivety. even though these things have absolutely nothing to do with the used, because they dabbled in lots of stuff and through those struggles they created the songs that i felt i related to, i felt that my struggles were just a little bit bigger than substance-abuse only because they are spiritual battles, battles of life, and not battles of the body.

my other issue is that is has always been important to me how people see me. and while that sounds really superficial, i'm not being unauthentic, but it is important to me that i represent something accurately. i will never call myself something if i don't make an attempt to completely live up to that title. a lot people don't understand certain things that i hold extremely important in my life because they do not share my faith, and this has always left me feeling sort of conflicted or misunderstood (such typical teenage feelings ha!). this will always be something i battle because their will always be opposition to and someone that disagrees with my faith and beliefs.

in saying all this, my point is that listening to the used reminds me of some really defining times in life. especially the song "light with a sharpened edge" which still remains my favourite. i couldn't really break down for you what it means to me, but it has to do with movement, time, moving on, disliking change but knowing it's inevitable, etc. love it.

what sparked all this was the playing out of the music video for "all that i've got" a few nights ago. i went to watch it this morning and was overcome by nostalgia! so here is it! maybe it will bring back fond memories and feelings for you too ;)

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