Since you are my friends, I will tell you a secret. After all, that is what friends do. I was in love. Yes, seventh grade and I knew I had found love. Every generation seems to have this love or at least the infatuation of the term: boy band. I don’t know much music history, but I am pretty sure this phenomena started before The Beetles.
My era was the Millennium. Yes, that was even the title of the best Backstreet Boys album. (Actually, the only one I ever listened to of their recordings.) Among the many during that time, I focused my obsession on the Christian pop boy band, Plus One. I saved up my allowance and bought their album The Promise on cassette tape. (Yes, cassette tape!!!) I memorized their songs, read the magazine articles, followed their Myspace, and daydreamed endless hours of meeting them in person. I never went to a concert.
Needless to say, by the time I reached high school, I had a little more self-control on my emotions. But I still listened their Christmas album for weeks after my surgery. Jason Perry could sing those high notes on “Oh Holy Night” so perfectly that I had no choice but to hit the back button and listen to it again.
Like all boy bands, there comes a day when they are no more. Your favorite decides to part their ways and seek other directions, much to the tears of the fans. I kept my copies of the cd’s but only listened to them here and there when cleaning my room or doing a workout. I never touched the cd’s in college. I hid my secret; only my RA and roommate knew as the song “Written on my Heart” came on over K-Love on our way to church. Now I am in the final stage: my cd’s are in the thrift store pile. I said goodbye to those cute little faces I had once been in love with–and that is that. (Ok, secret: I kept the cassette tape, only because it is a cassette tape. It is like an antique of my childhood days.)
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I am not just saying goodbye to my boy band days. It has come to the point where listening to music is more frustrating (if I can even hear it) than it is enjoyable. But unlike the boy band tears, I am surprisingly unemotional about this predicament. Even more surprising that I found pure joy in deciding who would receive the last of my cd’s…to whom I bequeath the classics and oldies. (Secret: I kept one cd–Nancy Honeytree. She was the first of music I remember listening to as a child. I went to a concert and sang her songs in church. It is now added to my “Special Box” with the cassette tape.)
Sure, there are things about music that I miss being able to follow–like watching movies and hearing the soundtrack; jamming to the “oldies” in my car (but on long road trips, I substitute for a book in its place, read from the backseat and do just fine); or my favorite of falling asleep to the sounds of music. Honest thoughts here: this may all sound sad, terrible, or unfair–yes, it is all those things–but that is not what I feel. I am satisfied. I was brought to this point slowly. I think the change first started when I painted the simple bird for my dad’s birthday three years ago. Music is not out of my life entirely–I may not be able to physically hear it with my ears, but it is in me. It always has been. Always will be.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.