So I never uploaded this picture because I absolutely hate the way I look in it, but I’ve decided I don’t care anymore, and I’m gonna get a little sentimental with y’all.
You honestly have no idea what it’s like to love a band until they become your life support. When you’re mad, you turn to them. When you’re sad, you run to them. Anything you’re going through, any problem you’re having they can always get you through it. And that’s what Of Mice & Men is to me. Not just Austin, not just Alan. Phil, Tino, Shayley, (even though he’s no longer with them), and Aaron, too. Since discovering them there’s rarely been days when I felt like I absolutely couldn’t go on. Because, as Austin says, “Life will never give you more than you can handle.” And it’s true, it won’t. I went through possibly one of the worst experiences anyone could go through, and if you’re a parent, you’ll understand more than anyone. On September 6, 2011 when I was just 17, my daughter Camdyn, my first child, was still born. I never knew pain until I lost her. My world was over. There was no point in going on because for 9 months of my life I had lived solely for her. I ate for her, slept for her, woke up for her, dreamt for her. The greatest day of my life was going to be holding her for the first time, staring into her beautiful green eyes. I never held her. I never looked into her green eyes. For over a year I faked being over it, I faked being okay. I continued my normal life. I went back to school, got into a relationship, suffered a heartbreak, graduated high school, all this time not seeing how truly lost I was. But then, I stumbled upon this song, this ONE song that changed my life. Second & Sebring. If you know Of Mice & Men, you know this song. It’s inevitable. This song snapped me out of being lost, and torn. It made me feel better to know that someone had gone through similar hardships, someone had lost an important person in their life; and they went on to make their biggest DREAMS come true. That someone is Austin Carlile. He lost his mother when he was just a boy. As I lost my daughter when I was just a girl. If he could go on and become successful, so could I.
Second & Sebring saved me from myself, and the black hole I was letting myself sink into.
She DOES smile when she looks down on me, and I’m still living for her. I’m living to make her PROUD. Proud of me. One day I’ll go on, and have a family. And I’ll tell them of their sister Cammy, and how she is the reason I am who I am. And they will listen to Second & Sebring, and know that, that song, and that band is the reason I am still here. Maybe I won’t be a fan anymore, long outgrown of it. But I know I can always turn to them.
“You have many options in life, never make giving up one of them.” -Austin Carlile
And it’s true. You have so many options, and so much to live for. No matter what you’re going through, you always have something. You always have music. So if you love a band, or an artist as much as I love Of Mice & Men, you hold on to them. They will never give up on you. Relationships come and go, so do friendships, but music is FOREVER. No matter what it is I promise your heroes can get you through it. It doesn’t have to be Of Mice & Men. It could be Suicide Silence, Sleeping With Sirens, The Used, The Devil Wears Prada, Memphis May Fire, maybe its God, or Buddha, whoever it is, maybe you haven’t discovered them yet, but when you find that special hero you hold on to them, because you never know when they could save you from a crappy day, a break up, from yourself, or even save your life. I have experienced it first hand.
Music can get you through anything, you just have to be willing to give in to it.
I told Austin my story, I told whoever took the time to read this my story, and now it’s time for you to make a story.
“Wake up and create a purpose for yourself. Don’t ask the meaning of life, ask the meaning of each given day.”
—Austin Carlile, Of Mice & Men.