Diary of a Metal Fan: Becoming a Mistress of Music

Written by Shannon Reardon

Trying to pin point where my descent into the darkness began is nearly impossible. I can say it started the same as everyone else’s – an angry preteenager with no outlet other than music. While I’ve grown up and have become less angry, my attachment to primarily hard rock has remained steadfast.

With no answers as to why my life was destined to be different from those around me, the still indecipherable screams of The Devil Wears Prada wrapped me up and told me it was all going to be ok – I was going to become stronger.

That was the beginning of this sensation that heavier music wasn’t just a genre, but that it could be a safe haven, it could be a lifestyle. And as a consumer of all varieties of music, I gravitate towards music who’s lyrics have the ability to still wrap me in the same, now tattered, blanket that The Devil Wears Prada once did.

But now almost ten years later, I’m about ready to no longer need that blanket.

The musicians that I chose to let shape me, who’s words and art I have let begin to decorate my body, will still remain in the highest esteem for me, but it’s time to flip the script – I don’t listen to these artists because I am broken, I resonate with their words because they speak to adversities that made me strong enough.

I can joke about kicks to the face I’ve taken, the concussion I received at a show, and any other scar you can find on my body, because they make for some good stories. They paint the picture of a girl who can laugh through the pain.

However, those scars don’t show the suffocating loneliness at 3 a.m., when the rest of the world is quiet and my brain plays back every vicious string of words that people have used to tell me how I wasn’t good enough.

When a quick shower becomes 45 minutes because the hot water makes my eyes look less puffy when I’m done crying.

It’s my music choices that I now no longer choose to hide behind, but rather use to help me stand tall, proud to be who I am – a mistress of music.

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