Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Gazette and the "Emo"

During my time in Japan, I've realized different aspects of my personality. Other people may call it finding self-identity, or figuring out who you really are, and while this may be true, I think that understanding my personality is different than identifying myself as a person in this world.

In high school, although I never knew the real reason behind any of it, I often felt down, depressed, or anxious. It was as if something bad would happen if  I turned the wrong corner, or out of nowhere, this empty void would fill my chest. People often described me as the nice kid, and I was well-liked by my classmates. However, when I began opening up to those around me about the pain I was feeling, everyone, even my own family was surprised. There was no "logical" reason as to why I was depressed. I had a great family, kept myself busy with hobbies and school activities, and was making great grades. But this pain came from somewhere, whether or not my family or friends believed it or not.

Like many other kids who are thrown into the emo, goth, or scene category, I was labeled by my school as emo. I found myself dressing in black clothes, listening to heavy music, and on really bad days, I even wrote poetry. My parents grew more frustrated as I became more withdrawn, more interested in the J-Rock and visual-kei scene in Japan, and it became evident that many people humored my interests rather than try to understand what was going on in my head.

After I entered college, I wondered if I really had gone through a faze. My taste in music, while perhaps not completely changing, altered itself seemingly day-by-day.I found myself listening to happier rhythms, melodies, and lots of Korean pop music. In the back of my head, something told me what I was doing was only making things worse, and that the pain as still there, growing, and waiting. I ignored it and almost stopped listening to both completely during the time I started dating my boyfriend.

At that time, I had no idea who I was, and was trying to find myself through loving another person. This eventually led to arguments, lack of communication, and neither of us succeeding in the relationship, or even getting to know ourselves. A year into this relationship, we were determined to make it work out of our love for one another. We re-evaluated ourselves, our actions, and told each other that we would both work on ourselves and treat each other fairly.

Then I came to Japan.

As soon as I set foot in this country, I felt at home. There was no adjustment period. At least, it didn't feel as though I was going through culture shock. The biggest adjustment was learning how to handle myself and living alone for the first time.

This is when I realized that I should have listened to myself.

I realized that there is this pain inside of me, although I don't know where it comes from. It's not something that I can locate exactly. I can't go to the doctor to have them fix it with drugs I don't need. It's something in my blood, and it numbs my body.

And I realize this through music.

I looked up at the stage as Ruki reached out to the crowd. He talked a bout a flower blooming, and while the tears didn't make their way down my face, I found my eyes watering. I had dreamed of seeing Gazette in concert since I was fourteen. I had heard his voice in my dreams, telling me to keep going rather than stopping where I am in times when I needed support, but got it from few around me.

I've never been so relaxed at a concert, and I never thought I'd find peace through the Gazette.

Part of me is relieved as I tell myself once again that I will never stop listening to this music.

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