Today someone said to me that the light in my eyes has returned. It struck me (in a good way) to hear that. I know the moment that it came back. It was the moment I decided to stop dating.
For three years I’ve bounced from date to date from guy to guy, crashing and burning over and over and over again, convinced in the end that I was incapable of sustaining a romantic relationship, that I was somehow less than, unworthy. The more I dated the more I lost myself.
About a month ago I called it quits, not from exasperation, but from a deep desire to explore my own heart, discover what I love and feed my passions with as much attention as they deserve. For the first time in three years all the pressure is gone and I’m rediscovering the girl I once was, a girl unafraid to sing her spirit, that dances in the car like no one is watching.
I never thought I’d say that the best decision I ever made for myself was to stop dating, after all, we all want to find true love and everyone says the only way to find it is to put yourself out there. But if there’s one lesson I can take away from this last month of soul searching it’s that there’s no hurry.
I used to write all the time, even when I didn’t have a poem in mind. I was a regular at a couple cafes and coffee shops and would set aside blocks of time to make myself at home in their booths, put my feet up, and figure out something to say that day. I can’t write like that anymore, can’t draw inspiration from nothing, concoct a story or rework a random memory into anything with any meaning. These days I only write when I have no choice, when something is going through my mind that I need to get out, and that itch to write is so consuming that I won’t be able to sleep until it’s out.
Today was about obsession. I listened to the same song on repeat all day long. I’m not kidding. This isn’t an exaggeration. I’m not so secretly crushing on the band’s frontman and I can’t get enough of it. The song, “In the End” by Black Veil Brides, is a metal anthem that begs for attention. There’s a reason the video has 49 MILLION views on YouTube. Today I added a couple more hundred to that count. After a day like that, trapped in the grips of passion, the outpouring of emotion, the crying of an entire generation summed up in about 4 minutes, I needed to write a poem. I NEEDED to write a poem. I needed my voice heard too.
This weekend I saw Paramore, one of my favorite bands, play at the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis. I was moved to literal tears by the set and turned to my friend and said, “it’s crazy how much I relate to their music.” My friend looked me in the eye and said, “Leanne, it’s not crazy because we all feel that way.”
We all go through struggles, many of them more similar to the stranger sitting next to you than you might realize. We all go through cycles of making mistakes, growing, learning, and discovering glory on the other side of the darkness we never thought we’d find our way out of. Stay strong my friends and don’t be so hard on yourselves.
I’ve been on a Ghost Town kick lately. I first discovered the band about a year ago, listened a little, but for whatever reason wasn’t hooked. However a few weeks ago one of my friends made me a playlist with their song “Acid” on it. It’s a track I admittedly repeat over and over again as I’m driving. You could call me obsessed. The vocals draw me in almost like junk food. I just want more!! It got me thinking, what is it about certain songs or certain voices that attract different ears? For me, it’s the grit, the pain behind the sound. I’d always rather listen to something messy that throws emotion in your face than something perfected with stereotypical beauty. We all have our own preferences though, and mine certainly change with the seasons.
I’ve published a Josh Dun Poetry Corner poem every Sunday since mid-April. I love dedicating my work to those that inspire me, especially a band like Twenty One Pilots that gives so much of themselves to their fans. This week, I felt compelled to write a love note to these guys, declaring my admiration in a promise that my support will never waver, even as I explore the talents of other bands, as my life shifts through stages and my interests skate in different directions. A piece of my soul will always live in the beats of their songs and messages of their lyrics.
I feel lucky to have discovered these boys in the days before their music played on the radio, the days when I could tease their tour manager about how much he looks like Captain America, and the days when I could tweet their drummer a poem and know it didn’t get lost in thousands of other messages sent in the exact same second. But even if they don’t see my poetry anymore or if I can’t get tickets to the shows because the price skyrockets and they sell out before my paycheck clears, I will always remain a true fan, thankful and jealous of their talent, and eager to spend money on any and all new music they produce.
Check out the Josh Dun Poetry Corner archives HERE!