I’ve been having a horrible past couple of weeks. College graduation is drawing nearer and nearer. Although seventy-five percent of me is thrilled at the notion of finally being able to take the nearest exit out of the monotonous everyday of small-town abyss, much of me is terrified at the prospects that lay ahead on the path to adulthood. All I’ve ever wanted to do is grow up and be on my own and prove to myself and everyone around me that, yes, I’ve got the maturity and knowledge necessary to take on this big ol’ world with my two small hands and my one big heart. Realistically, however, all of this is incredibly daunting: my thoughts these days fluctuate between “psh, I got this” to “holy *insertappropriatebadwordhere* I have NO idea what I’m doing”. I’ve been told that this is a normal process of emotions to endure, but that doesn’t make this situation any easier. These past two days have been particularly tumultuous, if only because that consistent stress was amplified by all of the changes that are happening around me.
Comfort comes in knowing that many of my friends are encountering the same frustrations and confusions. Nearly everyone I know is prepping for college, grad school, or the real world, experiencing nerves and fears parallel to my own. Having friends and family around to help sort out all of these emotions makes the task more manageable, providing me with the strength and confidence I need to prepare for the future. Usually, I’m not very good at expressing that something is bothering me, choosing instead to bottle up my worries and pretend that I have everything under control. Recently, however, I’ve allowed myself to open up, spilling my concerns to friends and, in turn, finding solutions. As I vented to one of my best friends last night, she reminded me, in an almost-Taylor Swift manner, that there was probably a song that reflected the feelings floating around in my mind, and that I should use that as an anchor to pull me though this obstacle. She was, of course, right. But the song I was thinking of does not relate to my problems, but rather the gratefulness I feel for having an amazing group of friends.
The incredibly talented Hunter Hayes has an impeccable knack for accurately detailing relatable emotions lyrically, making him one of the most genuine young artists currently earning airplay time. Eight tracks in to his self-titled debut album sits a song called, “Cry With You”, a tune ostensibly penned to earnestly remind a girlfriend that he would always be the pillar of strength she needed whenever she was in pain. Talk about swoon. As much as I’m celebrity-crushing on Hayes, however, I construed this song as the message I share with my friends when they are in need of support, and the way I feel whenever they return the favor: you’re not alone/I’ll listen ‘til your tears give out/you’re safe and sound/I swear that I won’t let you down. Hayes croons that no, he may not have all of the answers, and no, he can’t fix everything, but he will always be present to serve as the shoulder to sob on and the holder of the Kleenex, crying along with the person he cares about. The passion in his voice is as real as the words he is singing, making me believe not only in Hunter Hayes, the superstar, but also Hunter Hayes, the person. My favorite line is an example of the strength and love in any true friendship: what’s hurting you/I, I feel it to/I mean it when I say/when you cry, I cry with you. I know that I, and many of my dearest friends, feel helpless when there is nothing we can actively do to stifle the pain of someone we love, but being able to place an arm around their shoulder, hold them as they tear up, or just listen when they need an ear goes a lot further than most people believe.
Right now, none of my fears of the future are fully healed or solved, but having an irrevocable and devoted alliance of family and friends to guide me through this chaos called growing up is enough to remind me that love is the most powerful and positive source of medicine for any situation. So this song is dedicated to my best friends, my wingmen (and women), my board of directors, my brothers and sisters. I love you guys. This one is for you.