In Twenty One Pilots’ “Ride,” there’s some lyrics that stand out: “I’d die for you, that’s easy to say/...‘I’d live for you’ and that’s hard to do.” Meaning, it’s easy to say you’d die for someone, but it’s significantly harder to say you’d live for someone.
I’ve struggled with that my whole life. For many years, I didn’t have anyone to turn to. I struggled (and still do) with anxiety and depression, and there were days where I wondered who I’m doing this for, why I do certain things, who I’m living for.
For many years, I felt completely alone. I had no friends. My parents and I didn't have a good enough relationship where I could simply come talk with them. I was even scared to confide in my trusted grandmother, because scared younger me didn’t know if she'd tell my parents or not. I internalized way too much, and it destroyed me inside. All that internalizing made me feel isolated, like I wasn't good enough at anything, and I began to question my existence and who I was living for.
It took time. It took switching schools, finally making friends, and gaining new opportunities to explore my identity and what I enjoyed doing. It took venturing into community theater and meeting my boyfriend of a little over two years now. It took living on my own in my first two years of college, gaining independence and strengthening my relationship with my parents. It took making new friends and losing some along the way.
It took four years out of my 20-year lifespan to realize that I did, in fact, have people to live for.
I have my parents, with whom I’ve resolved past struggles and grown closer to. I have my sisters, who still occasionally drive me crazy--but we're not fighting endlessly anymore. I have my grandparents, particularly my amazing grandmother who had always seen and supported the version of me that was hidden away until switching schools allowed her to emerge.
I have my incredible boyfriend, who has become one of my biggest reasons to get through every week and is the reason I can finally envision a future. I have my best friend, who calls it like it is, gives me tough love when I need it, and is an all-around awesome person.
To anyone else who thinks they’re alone or don’t have anyone to live for, look again. You have family, friends, who love you wholeheartedly, who would miss you beyond words if you weren’t there anymore.
To quote “Dear Evan Hansen,” “You are not alone.” You’re never alone, especially in your feelings. There are so many other people who feel exactly like you do. Find them. Remind each other that you’re not alone and there are others out there who understand.
If you ever feel this way, please check out "Dear Evan Hansen." The music alone will help. I also recommend making a playlist filled with favorite songs, pick-me-up tracks, or songs that, like "Dear Evan Hansen," describe what you're feeling or going through on the nose. I have one for myself, and it has a mix of all three. It's gotten me through countless low points purely through the healing power of music. A playlist like this can help you, too.
And remember, you always have someone to live for: yourself. You are always enough of a reason to keep going. Never forget that.