Truth is guys, I wasn’t planning to write anything for U245 this year. It felt like I had nothing left to say that I hadn’t already said. The days went by and I just kept thinking about what I could possibly put down on paper that could be worth a damn. It’s one of those big anniversaries and yet I couldn’t figure it out. Blank page. Blank mind. So I thought I’d do what I usually do in that case, and patiently wait for something to come up.
And it did. Kinda.
You know, life is funny sometimes. This week I’m celebrating my favourite band, the band of my life. If you’ll pass me the comparison, that band who is my one true love and makes all my other musical crushes feel like one night stands. Yeah, that one.
And yet, just last week, my heart shattered to pieces when I learnt that one of my favourite bands – not this one, put down the damn pitchfork – was disbanding after 20 years of being together.
20 years of music, love and joy, and most probably a lot of hard work too. This hit me much harder than I thought it would. One night stand eh. But it broke my heart nonetheless and for a few days all I could feel was… grief somehow. And I just wanted to bang my head against the walls to get that stupid pain out my mind, because it’s just a band, it’s just music, why does it get to me that much?
The answer is pretty easy eh?
Because it’s not.
Because it’s more than just that.
Because they’ve been a part of my life for all those years, a part of me I guess – and like any other loss, it hurts.
It obviously sent me into that overthinking spiral some of you are probably familiar with. And I’ll say it again – overthinking is not all bad if you look at it from a different perspective. It brings ideas, realisations and sometimes when you’re lucky, a few moments of clarity. And after a few days of letting those thoughts bang around like crazy against the walls of my mind rather than my skull on the wall – I’m not that far gone just yet – I realised that more than any other feeling, what was left was gratitude.
Gratitude for all the good. Acceptance for all the bad. And an undoubtful personal growth along the way from all the blessings you’re not always aware you get from letting music into your life.
So that’s the thing guys, that’s the mood on this anniversary. We never know when the dance will stop, so count your blessings while you still can. Especially when you’re celebrating a band that has been around for 45 years. And before you ask, nope, I definitely don’t think they are done yet.
Funnily enough, I think this post also comes up right on time after this freaking week the community just went through thanks to the wonderfully unnecessary work and disrespect of paparazzis, and very sadly some ‘fans’ too. I’m not going to dwell on this because it’s not my skull that is going to end up in the damn wall if I do. Again. Count your blessings and don’t doubt for a single second the cheer luck we have that they’re still around to be celebrated.
Alright. Bitterness off. Onwards with the actual celebration post.
45 years of those.
A good day to take a little pause in that crazy ride that is being a U2 fan and reflect on it all. Because if those other guys can make me feel that way, U2 is probably all of that times infinity.
It’s many years.
it’s many songs.
It’s many words.
And, it’s so many lives touched too.
There’s this recurring question that people often ask me – if you could meet the band, what would you ask for ?
Ha. I wouldn’t ask for shit.
Because they already gave me more than I could have ever imagined.
That’s just me counting my blessings, and I hope it will inspire you to count yours too. Some are insignificant, some are everything. But what a better way to celebrate this band than reminding ourselves why we’re fans in the first place. I hope you’ll find a bit of you along those lines, because I def know it’s not just me.
Through their music, their words, their attitude, or just by being themselves – here’s what that band brought me over the years, turning my whole life into a beautiful musical journey, or more like one of the craziest ride of all :
They gave me music obviously – which is probably one of the best gifts in the history of humanity.
They gave me songs to cry on, to cheer on, to shout on, to live on.
They gave me that smile on my face whenever I heard any of it.
They gave me joy,
So much joy.
Like seriously, SO MUCH JOY.
They gave me unforgettable memories that I’ll always keep close to my heart.
They definitely changed my world and the world in me.
They gave me words that made me feel less alone because I know somewhere, someone else gets it.
They taught me to question everything and look at things from different perspectives because life is like a flipping coin and there’s always more than one side to any story.
They pushed me to never stop learning new things about music, the world, history, humanity, God – everything.
They kept my mind spinning for all the good reasons.
They gave me a community where I feel at home.
They gave me lifetime friendships that I wouldn’t trade for anything else in this world.
They gave me endless conversations and laughter all through the nights just by existing.
They showed me that I‘m more than fine with being crazy enough to sleep on the ground under a blazing sun or a torrential rain just for that hit of joy they deliver.
They showed me that I‘m more than fine with being crazy actually.
They taught me that haters never win if you don’t let them.
They taught me that passion will make you accomplish stuff you never knew you could possibly do.
They showed me that any kind of love will bring magic into your life.
They put the stars back in my eyes more often than I’m willing to admit.
They gave me a feeling of belonging and understanding.
They kicked my arse when I needed it.
They comforted me when I needed it.
They boosted my self confidence.
They taught me that you’re allowed to dream no matter what you’ve been told – and that’s probably the thing I’m the most grateful about.
They taught me how to paint the world I need to see.
They taught me that being different can be a strength.
They taught me how to love myself a bit more and that it’s okay if it’s just a work in progress.
They taught me that you can look at the edge of yourself without falling.
And that if you trip, there will be more people than you think to catch you before you fall.
They make me believe there’s still good in this world.
They gave me something to believe in when everything else’s failed.
They gave me a shoulder to cry on when there was none other available.
They taught me that it’s okay to be broken and that it doesn’t mean you can’t feel whole.
They showed me that some scars can heal, and others take longer but that’s okay too.
They helped me find some peace with my past.
They taught me that some relationships can be fixed if you truly want it.
I’m still trying to figure out if they lessen my fears or make me braver. Probably both.
I can’t say that they saved my life but they sure reminded me why it was worth saving a number of times.
They showed me that nothing is impossible.
They taught me that there is always a light if you care enough to look for it.
They let me borrow their faith in the world when I lose mine.
They made me believe things can get better.
They actually showed me that things do get better.
They gave me hope.
They gave me light.
They gave me joy.
They gave me love.
They gave me so much of themselves that none of us will ever be able to repay it.
And more importantly, they still give me, teach me, show me those exact same things, and new ones, every single day.
So yeah… Seriously, what else could I ask them for?
If I ever meet the band, I wouldn’t ask for shit, and I would just give them the only things I can always carry with me.
All my love and those two words.
Thank You, U2.
And for me it’s them, and maybe for you it’s a whole other band. Whoever. Find your band. Find that band that will cheer you up when you need it and tear you apart when necessary. Find that band that will help you connect with the world and maybe more importantly with yourself.
Find your band.
And you’ll never look back.
See you sometime down the road young lads, and happy 45th.
You rock my world.
Much love x
(And I was joking… Of course, I’d take that hug.)