Born to Run | Teen Ink

Born to Run

February 28, 2011
By sweedishmafia BRONZE, Boardman, Ohio
sweedishmafia BRONZE, Boardman, Ohio
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Is it wrong to change who we are for what we want, or is it wrong to change what we want because of who we are?"

Like everyone else my age, I like to think of myself as a nonconformist; someone who asserts themselves as an individual. Ever since I was able to walk I wanted to leave my own footprint on the world. I wanted to be so unique that at times I didn’t just try to be myself; I would try to be different just to see what it was like. Like an insane inmate convinced of impossible escape, I was addicted to the idea of expressing myself in my own way. So the day I told my parents I wanted to get into guitar playing, they were not surprised.
Like many other pre-teen males my age, I was inspired by the hard rock and metal world of music. It was loud, rebellious, and aggressive; the same way I thought of myself. My parents took me out for my 14th birthday to look at guitars. At the shop, my decision came down to a red off brand guitar and a black ESP (a guitar company). Originally, I wanted the red one because of its cherry finish and gold colored hardware. I let the people at the store talk me into the black ESP. Besides I knew nothing about guitars, I figured they would know better. However, I was still uncertain about it. This feeling of uncertainty I would get to know very well later on. Predictably, like many of the kids my age, I instantly wanted to be a rock star.
The best way, I figured, to go about pursuing this rock star dream was to teach myself, so that all of my ideas would be mine, and I could take full credit for my inevitable success someday. Eventually, I hit a wall with my learning, so I decided to enlist a teacher. When I went in for my first lesson, I noticed a few things very quickly; I was nowhere near as good as I thought I was, and I found someone, who like me, was pursuing this rock star dream. The twelve year age difference didn’t seem to matter when you both had something that important to you in common. As I grew older, I started to see more and more of the way this world worked and I realized what a hard path I was embarking on. I started to notice that parents and teachers had disdain for this path, as they should, for this is a very dangerous, low-percentage-of-success road. I started to feel doubt and uncertainty for the life I had chosen to live. These pressures began to grow exponentially. I would like to tell you that I gave them all the “finger” and did my thing anyway, but instead I collapsed. Like the scientific process of diffusion which states that high pressure always pushes low, the degree of external pressure of peers and advisors, and the haunting force of uncertainty and anxiety became greater than that of the force of my ambition and hopes and pushed them away.
It was a disillusioning experience. I had invested so much time into my dream, spent years convinced that this was the only path for me; I was convinced that playing guitar was my passion. I hadn’t even looked into college because this was it. This was my dream. I didn’t even know where to go, so I regarded guitar playing as a dead childhood dream and no more than a simple hobby. Yet, I still took lessons, mostly because it was what I was used to doing; I didn’t know anything else. One day I walked in and my teacher said, “Hey Luke, I gotta take this call I’ll be right back.” I overhear him on the phone telling a friend of his “whaddya’ mean why am I teachin him that song? It’s the Gospel man!” When he walked in, he turned on Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run. I hated Bruce Springsteen. I thought Bruce’s voice sounded like a drunken man sobbing, his guitar playing was primitive, and the saxophone solos were a joke. I much preferred a Scott Ian dive-bomb or Mikhail Akerfelt guitar solo to this crap. Reluctantly I agreed to learn Born to Run. As I began to learn the song, I really listened to its lyrics, its flow and the meaning of the song. The song might have just as well been written about me. Lines like “…a runaway American Dream…” and “…baby this town rips the bones from your back, it’s a death trap...” really made me feel like I wasn’t the only one with apprehensions about my life. I also realized why my teacher called it the Gospel; he was in the same place I was in. We worked on this song for several weeks. Every time I would play the song I would remember the days when I believed in my dreams, the belief that I knew what I wanted to do, and I wasn’t worried because I knew that I would always find a way. I began to realize, the song was about freedom. After I had mastered the “Gospel,” I had a new view of my life. Even if I don’t decide that guitar playing is what I want to do for a living, I can assure you that because of my experiences during that time of my life, I will be pursuing something that I love to do. I still search for that “one thing” that is my life’s passion still today, but I remember the lessons I learned during the “Born to Run sessions” and I have a better more optimistic attitude about the way I live my life.

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This article has 2 comments.

on Mar. 10 2011 at 7:57 pm
I absolutely loved this and how you wrote it. I could really feel the same emotions that you were trying to express and can easily relate to this dream. Such a good article, keep it up!

WakesxYz said...
on Mar. 10 2011 at 4:05 pm
Truly inspirational

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