Do you guys remember Yellowcard? They’ve for surely been one of my top 5 favorite bands since I first heard them blaring through my car’s speakers my freshmen year of college (‘Ocean Avenue’ was and still very much is my jam!). I had many a study session, random road trip, late-night pizza party and boy trouble roommate discussion set to these guys, cementing a solid repertoire of memories I will forever hold on to.
There are some bands that just seem to speak to me, and Yellowcard is most definitely one of them. In fact, one of the reasons I love them so much is because their songs have a sneaky way of staying in my head for
days weeks. The lyrics pack a serious punch and the vocals/beats are amazing (plus they have a violinist which just makes any band that much cooler–rock on, Sean!).
I was riffling through my playlists the other night (Am I the only one who has such a huge music library, they forget what all is there sometimes?) and stumbled across a Yellowcard song called ‘Here I am Alive’. As I listened to the song, it filled me with all kinds of emotions, as any great song should.
The song starts off with the idea of writing a letter to your younger self, something I think we’ve all thought about doing at some point, or at least wondered about. I know I certainly have. What kinds of things would you tell your mini-you if you got the chance? What advice would you give, lessons you’d share, encouragement you’d offer after having been through the experiences and changes and challenges you have? The more I think about it, there’s just so much I wish I had known when I was a child, a teenager even. The thing is, we don’t know or understand those things for a reason. We’re meant to learn them with every step taken, every mistake made, every year gained.
I’d tell him you’ll get everything you’ve ever wanted, but you’ll still want more.
Can you imagine? Having everything you’ve ever wanted? Life would be pretty damn perfect.
Or would it?
I have this belief that we’re never really done chasing our dreams, no matter how far we’ve come, what we’ve achieved or have done up until this point. One of the great things about life is that everywhere we look, we are met with an endless amount of possible opportunities we have yet to experience, challenges we have yet to overcome and knowledge we have yet to obtain. It can seem overwhelming for sure, but I think that desire for more only helps to drive us all forward, keep us on our toes and add a sprinkling of excitement to our everydays.
And when they give up, ’cause they will give up, say, “Here I am alive!”
My dad taught me early on that giving up was not an option. I was five, and was the only girl on my t-ball team. I had the hand-eye coordination of a blindfolded monkey on a tightrope, I couldn’t catch a ball to save my life and to be honest, I was intimidated by my fellow teammates. During the first week of practices, I begged and pleaded my dad to let me quit the team. I think I actually cried the entirety of the first game, most of which was due to fear, but a small portion was because I hated knowing I wasn’t good at something. My dad took me by the shoulders, looked me straight in the eyes and said, “You’re beautiful, you’re strong and you’re my baby girl. But you are NOT a quitter. So put your glove back on and get out there!”
Flash forward to the end of the season where I was hitting homeruns left and right, a star second basewoman and all-around lover of t-ball. I owe so much to my dad for that simple but vital lesson he gave to me 23 years ago. To this day, anytime I think about giving up, I think back to that scared little girl on the t-ball field, how she overcame her fear, she persevered and she conquered! It’s so important to take the time to reflect on how far you’ve come. Big or small, each step forward is a step further than you were a day, week, month or even year before. It helps you to stay humble and focused on the road ahead.I’ve come a long way, but I’ve got a long way to go.
I jumped, I fell, I hit the ground, but here I am a live.
Everyone fails at something, sometimes more than once. But is failure really that awful? While it may be hard to face or accept in the moment (I’ve definitely been there), or even for a little while afterward, failure always leaves us with something to be learned or gained. It also proves that we’re taking risks and pushing ourselves. We’re taking jumps and falling, and the only way to grow is to get up and try again.
Thomas Edison put it this way: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
The messages in this song are perfect for those times when you find yourself doubting yourself, questioning the choices you’ve made or wondering where it is you’re going. It offers wisdom beyond its years, and it’s one of my go-to songs when I need to clear my head and refocus.
It’s also the perfect song to car-karaoke to, windows rolled down and cruising down Broadway on a warm summer day.
Question of the day: What is your go-to life rock anthem?