Give Me Thunder, Give Me Lightning, …Take Me Dancing

“Give me thunder, give me lightning, and I will give you every part of me, take me dancing, get me fucked up, play that old guitar, and we will sing…” -The Maine, “Take Me Dancing” from Pioneer

If, unlike me, you aren’t a big lover of music, or you’ve never heard of The Maine (“Oh, the horror! The horror!”-Mr. Kurtz, Heart of Darkness), the words above mean little to nothing to you.

To me, like most of the words I can’t help but memorize, those words mean a lot to me. This is one of my favorite songs, hands down. This band has an ability to express pure emotion; no gimmicks, just music and honesty. As much as I would love to (and could) go on about the talent of this group, this post isn’t about them. This blog, unlike my website or the magazine I write for, is not about music, though music does play a vital role.

This is about taking the good with the bad. It’s about finding the thing that makes you happiest, even when it seems like nothing else is going right.

I find that with this blog, I write encouraging things, believing my reasoning to be documenting my thought process and trying to give anyone that reads my words a bit of inspiration. But that’s just the surface, or so I’ve realized.

The other day, when I wasn’t feeling so great, as has been the tone of the week, I decided to write something. I wrote about being your own superhero and about fighting for what you want. I’m writing this to own up to something; when I first started writing, I didn’t fully believe myself. In fact, I looked over certain aspects of the post and thought, “What a load of garbage.” But as I reached the end, I did believe it all. Through writing all of that down, I realized that it was true.

At the end of it all, life is about taking your fears, taking all the bad things, and seeing that you don’t have to play into it, it’s your choice if you do or you don’t. It’s your life. It would be easy to give up on things, I know, but you can’t give up on life.

This week, I have given two speeches to underclassmen at my school; kids who struggle with tests and aren’t doing so well. As I gave these speeches, I looked around the room and I saw the lack of confidence, the lack of gumption, if you will. They had little confidence about themselves and yet they seemed to be holding on to an anger of sorts (at who, I don’t know). In that lack of confidence and that blazing hurt, I saw fragments of the me from years prior.

When I was much younger, I didn’t have confidence. All I really had were my dreams. I had surges of confidence, but I had to fight past a wall of insecurity and shyness that had built up from being a toddler and onwards. As I have gotten older (albeit, not by much), I think I’ve gathered a little bit more about who I am; enough that I am more confident (though I do still have to push myself a bit).

I saw a familiar anger; at the father who left, at the bullies whose taunts haunt so many nightmares, at the problems that continually arise. I saw that hurt in their eyes and my heart bled for them. But I know that with time, however long it will take, that anger will eventually wither away, or it will be the fuel to reach their goals, to make their dreams a reality.

This also got my mind running. I think that the reason people give in, the reason they stop trying, is because there is always that innate fear of: What if I fail?

Mind you, I don’t mean to insinuate that I understand the world or that I understand people’s motives for their behavior. I don’t. This is just something I see. Something I have felt.

My point is, regardless of whether we fail or succeed, you should always be proud that you tried. “You are not alone, you still have a home. No matter what you do, my son, I’m still proud of you.” (also from this song)

My Granddad and I were having a conversation yesterday, and he said something to me that I think fits the tone of this post quite nicely. “Whatever happens, it’s not the end of the world. Sometimes, things happen because they’re meant to. For all you know, things have to fall apart because there is something waiting for you on the other side of all the bad. You just never know.

Sometimes things have to fall apart to become right again.

It’s cliche` and it’s frustrating, but it’s true.

Sometimes you have to mix up the formula to make the sneaker.

Sometimes you have to close one chapter to start a new one.

But you have to take the good with the bad.

Respect the bad, because it makes the good easier to appreciate.

You don’t have to play the game, but why miss out on all the fun things, all the amazing, awe-inspiring, take-your-breath-away, light-you-up things, because you’re too afraid to face the difficult things?

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