1. When I was 13
  2. I got deeply depressed
  3. And a bit suicidal
  4. And when things got really bad
  5. I could take out my blue Mead spiral notebook
  6. And write my thoughts as songs
  7. Until the pain went away
  8. Or
  9. I could turn off the lights,
  10. Put on my Zebrahead or Something Corporate Leaving Through the Window or Fall Out Boy's Take This To Your Grave
  11. That my friend's older brother burned for me
  12. And close my eyes tight.
  13. And focus on the words, the melodies
  14. And not how much I hated myself or every single day as it passed.
  15. Sometimes I would cry
  16. But sometimes I wouldn't.
  17. And when my friend Tom decided to end it all
  18. My friend I would always talk to about starting a band and how when we got older I would be the lead singer and he would play lead guitar
  19. It sliced me open.
  20. I couldn't think I couldn't breathe I couldn't feel
  21. So I turned off all the lights and put on my favorite songs
  22. And I cried until I fell asleep.
  23. I have songs inextricably linked to moments in my life, to certain people.
  24. Like I mentioned in my list about getting my heart broken, I will never hear Rocket Man without thinking of him.
  25. I can't go home to my parents' house without sitting down to the baby grand and playing Dark Blue, or Sebastien from Brideshead Revisited.
  26. Because it makes me feel normal and connected to the writers and to everyone else who loves those songs.
  27. Because it makes me feel.
  28. Because of Space Oddity
  29. Because of Eleanor Rigby and Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.
  30. Because of Bohemian Rhapsody.
  31. And Nirvana and the Foo Fighters and The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Audioslave and every other band I would listen to on the bus ride to my middle school as the rain streamed down the windows because there was no one on it I wanted to talk to.
  32. Because of singing along to Vindicated in a stadium full of people but being in the first row right in front of Chris Carabba and having him let out a small laugh when he saw me and realized I knew every word.
  33. Or when my best friend took me to see Panic at the Disco even though the stadium they picked was an hour way because she knew I loved them and it was my 16th birthday surprise.
  34. Because when I lived in New York, I could go to a show with a hundred other people all there to see this band we love and I could be alone in a giant room where none of us was really alone.
  35. Because as I grew up, when I belted out a showtune I could feel so many things without having to feel it all as myself. And I was good at it and felt good when people told me that.
  36. Because music is vulnerable, and visceral, and raw and beautiful and smart and sexy
  37. And it makes us feel.
  38. Art makes us feel.
  39. And the beautiful thing about music is that it is so accessible.
  40. It changed me.
  41. And continues to change me every day.