Six

I am way too young, and I won’t stop running…

Inspiring words. Well, maybe “inspiring” isn’t the right word. More like, I hear those words, and I feel determination worm its way into my chest and give me the ambition to get up and tackle a day. Won’t Stop Running in its entirety makes me feel like that, actually. The lyrics are not actually saying that everything will be okay, spoon-feeding me a bunch of syrupy crap that will make me feel better for the moment but eventually wear off. No, this song sticks with me throughout my day. It’s saying that yeah, life can suck, but your life isn’t over and it is not time to give up. You’ve just got to keep running, fight through the fog even if your hands are tied.

Speaking of this song, I cannot stop listening to A Great Big World’s new album (shocking, right? I can just picture my friends reading this and getting shady as all getout; I can already hear the sarcastic “wow, really?”s in the distance). Like many did, I got attached to this band when Say Something was released and have been hooked ever since. When the Morning Comes is phenomenal. I listen to it at least eight times a week, having to repeat certain songs on a loop before I’m satisfied and able to move on to the next. A lot of the songs remind me of finding light where there seems to be only darkness, something I wish for constantly, and I think that’s really a theme that should have more light shed on it (ironic). There’s a lot of talk about fighting the toughest of battles for whatever might be ahead, about moving through the darkness because you just refuse to accept that that’s all there will ever be. I love that. It’s relieving to have someone who is at a good point in their lives remind you of that, to push you to keep going when all hope seems lost. It’s encouraging and gives me hope, which is a good thing to find in 2016.

Actually, this band was kind of teaching me that even before the album was released. If you don’t know much about the band, there are two members: Ian and Chad. Last year, Chad posted a video on YouTube explaining to their viewers that he has to live with multiple sclerosis. When I first watched it, I was like, “yeah, go you Chad, that’s pretty badass”  because he literally saw a video about a diet that helped people suffering from MS, decided to try it, and fought back. A few months after I watched it, though, I was diagnosed with EDS, aka Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. EDS can come in various forms, and you’re not really sure what type or how hard it will affect you until you actually experience it. Which, like, sucks. I recently saw a video about how a woman who suffers from EDS had to live with her mother because she was so dependant on her. When I was diagnosed, I felt like my future was in the middle of a see-saw, it could either plummet or skyrocket. If you know me, you’re most likely assuming that my brain focused on the plummeting side of things, and that is one hundred percent accurate. What if I end up having to rely on my mom for everything? I want to work in music and go somewhere outside of Illinois, not live at home and hope for the best. I want to do things, see things, help people, help myself

Deep breaths.

I remembered Chad’s video a little while back, when they announced the upcoming release of their new album, and I decided to watch it again. I remember sobbing my eyes out, which is strange because it’s a fairly uplifting video. But, like, seeing Chad was so inspiring. He didn’t listen to what everyone said about MS. The treatment they gave him was making him worse, so he decided to take matters into his own hands and figure out a way to help himself. Now, he says he’s never felt better. And you know, maybe that could be me. Chad lives with MS and is still a singer who goes on tour and does all the stuff musicians do, so why can’t I live with EDS and do the same? Shoutout to Chad for keeping me from believing that my future was a dead end road.

It’s crazy how certain things can be brought into your life for a reason. Was it fate that I would stumble upon Say Something and fall into obsession over the band because I would one day need a push to keep going and not drive myself insane with what ifs? Maybe. Could also be because they make some seriously amazing music (really, go give the new album a listen, you won’t regret it).

I think the reason this has been on my mind so much lately is because they announced that they’d be stopping in St. Louis for their tour, and I cannot wait to see them. Yup, can’t wait to sob to nearly every song. It’s gonna be a great time.

It’s crazy to think about how trialling life can be. When we’re kids, we don’t think of things like depression and anxiety and diseases like EDS or MS, we can’t even fathom the thought of those things threatening our lives. You know what we think of as a hardship? Monsters under our bed. It’s not until a few years pass that those monsters come out from under the bed and crawl inside your head. It can be hard, at times, to battle them off. Sometimes they’re too big to ask your dad to ward them off with a flashlight (or sonic screwdriver, in my case), and you wonder if they’ll ever leave. I know I have. I keep wrestling with them, though, because as A Great Big World Says, I am way too young. And I won’t stop running.