Recently on Twitter, a random stranger said to me: “There is a healing power in music.” This is true. I do also believe that in companion with that healing there is motivation in music when it strikes the right chord.
I’ve been a fan of Sara Bareilles since Little Voice as most people have. The other day, someone asked me to describe her music because they didn’t know who she was. I didn’t really know how to answer that. “She’s my favorite mainstream artist” doesn’t really answer that question. I really started thinking about it and I kept coming back to my first thought after listening to her newest album, The Blessed Unrest, for the first time… I’m convinced Sara Bareilles always has written music from a nook inside my soul. It’s music that just gets me and everything that I am. It’s the kind of music that is comfort music.
A few months ago, I was stuck in a rut. Stuck in a cycle of bad to worse situations that were quite harmful to me both physically and emotionally. My life wasn’t mine. I wasn’t human. I wasn’t alive. And if I was, I was a wounded animal, broken beyond any sort of repair. I needed to take my life back. I needed to know what it meant to be a human being. Did I actually ever know what that meant? I’m not sure. There were two major catalysts to help me on my way to becoming better. The first was PaleyFest in March and the second was the moment this video was released:
This lyric video is one of the most beautiful pieces of art I have ever seen with the most inspiring message. Every girl and every woman should watch it. “Brave” was my push over the edge. Something happened to me the first time I heard this song. I sparked on the inside like someone reached in and turned on the light. I realized I was giving up. I realized that I was worth more than giving up. I realized that even though I didn’t know what living meant anymore, I had enough love on the other side of where I was to reach out and pull me through. I cried. For hours. With this song on repeat.
I became motivated. I started taking the necessary steps to save myself and what was left of my life. I started doing and sharing things that scared the high holy hell out of me. When I got scared, I listened to “Brave.” I listen to “Brave” every day – it is my anthem of change and growth. If I didn’t have this song, I think all of the air would be sucked from my lungs. I keep going. I keep pushing harder because this song forever resides in my heart. The path is taking some interesting turns already and not really leading where I was expecting. I haven’t reached the end goal yet, and I still have a long, long fight ahead of me… but the steps I have taken are necessary. Before, I literally did not get out of bed for months at a time. Or eat. Or function. Now I get out out of bed everyday. I eat three meals a day. I do my best to do all of the little things that everyone else does on a normal daily basis. Where I am is okay for “right now.” I am here. I am here and it is only going to get better. I know that.
The Blessed Unrest as a whole is one of my favorite albums, not just from Sara, but ever. Each song has a little fragile thread that sews my heart back together and fills my soul. Breathe in. Breathe out.
I wanted so desperately to go to the Brave Enough tour, but it sold out in seconds or minutes or something crazy like that in Los Angeles. I was devastated, but thank God they filmed a DVD. Then we found out she’d be coming back to play the Greek with OneRepublic on September 11th. I tried to get accessible seats both during the presale and the public onsale and was told there were none. Foiled again. Ticketmaster is the worst. When I thought there was nothing else I could do, my amazing friend Stephanie didn’t take no for an answer this time. She was on top of Ticketmaster AND the Greek for several days after the fact about their handicapped seating policy. In the end, our whole party was accommodated. I nearly cried. See what I mean about my friends being like those friends you see in movies that can’t possibly real? Mine are those friends and they are every bit as incredible as you’d expect. Thank you, Steph.
On September 11, 2013 I went to my first Sara Bareilles concert. I was just happy to be there. I ate French fries. I bought The Giving Keys “Brave” necklace because there was no better reminder to bring home with me. I sang along – to every single song. I laughed. I braced myself for the moment she would perform “Brave.” I thought I would cry, but I reacted much differently. Maybe there was a single tear, but I suddenly felt filled with light. Light was all around me. It was the most incredible feeling. I feel completely rejuvenated and ready to continue moving forward. Grateful that I have this music to connect with on such a deep and intimate level. (Random note: I was SO excited she opened the show with my other favorite song on the album – “Chasing the Sun.”)
Thank you, Sara B. You may never see this, but thank you for understanding what music should be. It’s molding and shaping my strength and I’d be lost without it. Just… thank you.