Music holds immeasurable value in the lives of many. It is there to comfort in the darkest of moments and to celebrate during good times. Music can inspire, enlighten, and strengthen one’s soul.
It has certainly done that for me, and I can’t imagine where I would be today without it.
Every individual has a time in their life when they need to leave the protective arms of their guardians and experience the world for themselves. I was a freshman in college when I experienced an intense desire to take life into my own hands and make my own decisions for the first time. I wanted to express my true self in ways I had never been able to before. I began spending nearly all of my time on campus at my school, and I came to dread the nightly drive back to my parents’ house where I felt restricted. During those nights, the only music that played through my car speakers was Missy Higgins’s album On a Clear Night. Windows down, I would sing every heartfelt lyric at the top of my lungs. When I listen to a song, I always try to relate lyrics to my own life in some way.
As I drove home one cold winter’s night, the song “Steer” really resonated with me:
“It was always simple, not hidden hard
You’ve been pulling at the strings playing puppeteer for kings
And you’ve had enough
But the search ends here
Where the night is totally clear
And your heart is fierce
So now you finally know that you control where you go
You can steer.”
In that moment, I suddenly felt that I had control over my own life and what I wanted to do. It felt incredibly liberating to belt those lyrics with my hand sailing through the wind, letting the music wash over me like the freezing air outside.
That night, something changed inside me. I saw my life in a new light. It wasn’t long before I moved out of my parent’s house on my own accord and began making the life decisions that made me happy. I began living for myself and I stopped worrying about what anyone else would think. Being true to myself, I experienced a kind of freedom that I had never known before. I feel that without the strength I gained from that particular song, my true self would have remained confined for many years to come.
I look back to that night as a time when a great friend gave me the best advice and support in my time of need. That song truly gave me the strength and encouragement that I needed in order to spread my wings and gain my independence. I know firsthand that the power of music is immeasurable. For me, music is truly my best friend.
(Meghan McCauley, Intern)