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Music of My Life

My Fender Sonoran acoustic-electric guitar sits still against the draped sheets of my bedpost. I rip out a page from my notebook and reach for my favorite pen. I make a few scribbling motions in the air, waiting for any sudden spur of thought or melody to come to me. As I glance toward the clock, I read 2 AM – not a great time for an all-honors, national merit scholar to be up, especially on a school night, but as always, music prevails.

The clock ticks steadily, and suddenly, my grip on my pen tightens. Yes, inspiration is coming. I have heard it before. Ticking, closing in…

Closing walls and ticking clocks

Tides that I tried to swim against

Brought me down upon my knees

Oh I beg, I beg and plead







- Coldplay


I close my eyes. Almost like a long-forgotten dream, it all comes back to me. Time rolled back several years. Anger flowed through me as I remember the beating, the pounding of fists, the yells. Junior High, a time I never want to remember. My head was more often shoved into my locker rather than into my books, and it did not help that all that was eye-level to me were chins and foul mouths.

The lyrics pounded in my head. I beg and plead. I had pleaded even more when the news broke in 8th grade.

Cancer. Not one, not two, but three members of my family began an invisible war with themselves. Closing walls and ticking clocks. Helplessness was my life’s theme, and that theme had a song.

My page is now filled, and the written words have a recurring feature: brokenness. But no, my life is not broken. It is nearly the opposite.

My eyes settle on my guitar, and I strum an E minor, my first-ever chord. Not too long after that, I had learned my first ever song.


But now I’m rising from the ashes

Finding my wings

And all that I needed was there all along

Within my reach



As close as the beat of my heart





- David Cook


I had found my wings, not realizing that I just had to look over my shoulder. Church. My friends. The amazing support was what saved me. There were people there that cared. There were people that respected me, as I learned to respect myself. Alone at first, I had only needed a glance from a pastor for a chance to lead, and as my physical and musical talents matured, so did I. The stage and lights became my friends, and those who gathered round looked up to me. But now I’m rising from the ashes. From ashes I rose, and my once-wilted confidence flowered.

I let out a strum. The tones echo through my room. Through another succession of strums, I can’t help but smile. This is what matters: the ability to write my own story, to be in control of my own future.

I let my voice ring out like none other, as if nothing else had ever existed or ever would exist.


Once alone and lost, my wings were torn

But heaven came, and captured a life forlorn

Who knew those whiles which cause all strife

Would frame and mold the Music of my Life?



And so I come running back, alive and reborn

And so I come running back, alive and reborn





- Greg Wan



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