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Set List Revised

By , Germantown, MD
“Seriously, Mom, I’m fine.” On a chilly March evening outside the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., my mother insistently nagged me to wear a sweater. Looking at everyone else in line for the concert, there was no way I was putting that thing on. I was sixteen years old, and if I chose to stand outside in nothing but a t-shirt, then I’d deal with it. The world needed to loosen its grip and let me grow up already.

My mother’s worries slipped from my mind the instant those creaky glass doors opened. Thick black X’s drawn on the backs of my hands, I rushed inside to see the smoke, speakers, and shining lights. When Forever the Sickest Kids took the stage, I screamed my lungs out, feeling the energy inside me practically burst out of my uncontrollable grins. As heavy guitar riffs vibrated through the air, I could feel my Converse pound against the hard black floor while my sticky hands reached high, pumping to the beat. In those moments, I finally discovered what it meant to be lost in the music. I found my personal infinity, and I was a happy little child again.

This peace was shattered when “Keep On Bringing Me Down” began playing. Dynamic singer Jonathan Cook spewed angry words about how he could not find hope in this disappointing world, no matter how hard he tried. I continued jumping in unison with the crowd, but my mind had wandered back to my poor mother. Had this angry frustration become my attitude towards the world? Was I a rebellious child who rejected all emotion? I never wanted to sink into this persona, but looking back at myself, I could see all the pieces coming together: I was a sixteen-year-old girl who wore tight clothes and too much makeup, banging my head along with older kids sporting tattoos at a punk rock show. There I stood, singing along to choruses that blamed the world for my problems, trying to find an inner peace with music as a temporary escape from reality. The only real issue was that I had created these problems for myself.

After the concert dispersed, I returned to the family minivan and thanked my parents, giving them each a long hug. Climbing into the backseat, I realized my irritation towards my mom was nothing compared to the distress I had already caused both her and my dad. Inevitably, I will have to make more mistakes, and my parents will have to give a few more lectures, but I now understood how I could make this life learning process less painful. My parents have devoted such great time and effort to raising me, and to return my love to them, I should be an obedient child for these eighteen years, if not forever in their eyes. Growing up is not about doing whatever I want. I had to fulfill my responsibilities and respect my limits before making any decisions of my own.



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