Editor’s Note: Song lyrics denoted in bold italics.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I entered young adulthood at the dawn of the new Millennium. Things were changing big time and I was growing up. Everything seemed new, like you were doing it for the first time, and the novelty hadn’t worn off yet or even smudged. There was a palpable freshness in the air; you couldn’t help but feel like anything was possible. Simply put, it was quite an exciting time to be alive. Full of hope and promise of great things to come.
Yes, I know that last paragraph read like a high school graduation speech, but I suppose that’s only appropriate. I mean, I did graduate high school in 2000 (sounds like a lifetime ago now, doesn’t it?) and you really can’t get more new-beginning than that. And back then, when I’d think of new beginnings, there was always one anthem that came to mind. I say anthem because I can just picture it blaring over the speakers in an arena during a rock concert. That, or blaring over the CD player as I sing along and do my fiercest poses in front of the mirror. I vote for the latter.
Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life”
Maybe that’s why I thought of this song as I was working on the back-to-school post yesterday. Of course, there were SO MANY killer Bon Jovi tunes to choose from, but this one spoke to a new generation — my generation — so it sort of felt like a theme song for the masses, you know?
This ain’t a song for the broken-hearted
No silent prayer for the faith-departed
I ain’t gonna be just a face in the crowd
You’re gonna hear my voice
When I shout it out loud
Youth is nothing if not a time for feeling lost and confused. You’re having all these new experiences and just trying to find meaning and purpose in life. It’s hard, isn’t it? And you think that things are NEVER going to get any easier; you might even think you’ll never find your way. So you end up wandering around searching for those answers and sometimes, even before you arrive at any kind of conclusion, you realize something else. You’re a young adult. This life you’re living?
I know, it can be quite the shocking revelation when it hits you that first time. Sort of like a bolt of lightning or a giant light bulb going off over your head. That’s how it was for me, at least. And of course, you’re determined to make your voice heard. Loud and clear. To anyone and everyone in your life. Not in an evil or malicious way — just in a way that lets people know who you are. Because you’re starting to see that your voice is a powerful thing and you’re going to own it.
It’s my life
It’s now or never
I ain’t gonna live forever
I just want to live while I’m alive
(It’s my life)
My heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said
I did it my way
I just wanna live while I’m alive
It’s my life
People say that there’s a sense of invincibility that comes with being young, but I also think there’s a certain sense of urgency that goes along with it. It’s the first time you’re really realizing that your life is finite, that you’re not going to live forever and that it’s what you do with your life that matters the most. You may not know everything, but you know that you want your life to mean something. You want to live it to the fullest, to live it on your terms. But perhaps most of all, you don’t want anything to stand in your way. Ever.
This is for the ones who stood their ground
For Tommy and Gina who never backed down
Tomorrow’s getting harder make no mistake
Luck ain’t even lucky
Got to make your own breaks
Stand your ground? What does that even mean? I do wonder about that sometimes, and the older I get, the more I think it’s all about tuning out that excess noise. It’s not letting people get inside your head — especially the ones that don’t matter. It’s about not believing what people say about you, even though you’re struggling to just shrug off those cruel and hurtful words. It’s about not giving into those inner demons that are all sorts of hell-bent on destroying you — but you’re determined not to let them, though. Most importantly, it’s about BEING WHO YOU ARE and not being afraid to show your true colors to the entire world.
This life is hard. Really hard. There’s just no way around it. But that certainly doesn’t mean that this life can’t be beautiful and that you shouldn’t shine your light for all to see. After all, remember what I always say?? #BeBraveBeYou