Life Is Not To Fear, Its to Enjoy

 Birthday Card Made By My Parents

Birthday Card Made By My Parents

Do you remember the first time something hit your core, so deep, that you knew it would change you forever?

That’s Third Eye Blind for me, the music gets me, I get the music, and I realized that at the young age of 9 years old. Laying on my twin bed for hours, listening to Kiss 108FM, recording "Semi-Charmed", "Jumper", and "How’s it gonna be" on cassette tape, every time it would play.I remember being at my mothers friend house, and there it was, a self-titled CD on the counter. Something that had been kept from me, I was too young to have a “real” CD. The first bad thought to cross my nine year old mind was to steal it. I didn’t, I’m a saint, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t cross my mind. 

During this time of recovery, I listened to a lot of music. I don’t remember what I listened to except Nelly Furtado's “Say it right” and Third Eye Blinds “Burning Man”.  The lyrics really spoke to me. I needed something to get me through this recovery, and the words “Life is not to fear, life is to enjoy” became my life theme.

You see, when you’re seconds away from dying, you look at the world differently. Things that mattered before, do not matter now. The Lyrics in "Burning Man" resonated in my mind about getting the most out of life.

 My early 20s were a blur. My injury had changed me as a person, it made me care less about what I did, what I said, and who I involved myself with.  I did things I regret and I dated people who weren’t good for me. I thought I always wanted someone to come home to, to check in with, to make memories with.  Every relationship I had ever been in  was physically or mentally abusive.  It turns out, bones heal quicker than your heart and your brain and a relationship isn’t always what you need to be happy. I had found myself, after my last break up, mentally debilitated, and tired of life at the age of 25.

To quote the band, "I spent the last three years setting myself on fire" for this person, someone who had been my best friend, who picked me up in some ways, made me mature as a women, but tore me down as a human. What an incredible feat to be able to do that to someone and feel no shame. The summer after that breakup, I spent a lot of time driving to the beach listening to the boys non-stop. It is true what they say, sometimes you need to hit rock bottom. So far, at 25, I had already hit rock bottom twice. 

I needed change and I was sitting at the beach by myself thinking about a conversation I had with a fellow coworker about my relationship. She asked what I would do if I became single again. I told her I would travel and go to a “shit ton” of concerts. It took me about a year and a half to really feel comfortable in my own skin, and I started to enjoy life again.  

The Misfits group, I became closer to people like Cody, Ericca, and David. I had people to go to shows with, and that’s exactly what I did. The summer of 2016, I went to Webster, Binghamton, Rhode Island, and Portland to see the boys.

I met Stephan and Kopp in Webster for the first time. Stephan and I chatted a little bit, and I showed him my tattoo. He grabbed my arm and stared at it for what seemed like an hour and looked at me and said “Can I sign this?” Honestly, who says no to that? So I let him sign my arm, and again he sat there staring at my arm again looking for the perfect spot to sign it.

After talking to Kopp for a few minutes about the tour, I got in my car and drove home. My friend Gabbie and her husband Max told me I’d be dumb not to get his signature tattooed on me. So once again, I was in my car, driving to a tattoo parlor near me, to beg them to do a last minute tattoo. The artist was pumped to do it, because he was also a huge music fan. So there I was tattooing Stephan Jenkins signature on my arm. I thought, had I lost my mind?  

But, everyday someone asks me about this tattoo, and I tell them the story, they tell me how cool of an experience that is and I smile and  remember “Life is not to fear, Life is to enjoy.”