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29 Days, and the End of a Journey.

catherine2012's picture
on June 14, 2011 - 6:59pm

Today, I happened to take a good, long look at my calendar for the first time in a while, and noticed that there are only twenty-nine short days between today and Josh in Chicago on 7/13. And I was immediately filled with a feeling something like nervousness, elation, and a little bit of fear, but terribly pleasant, like pre-performance jitters.

On July 13, I will go to my first Josh concert. I discovered Josh about two years ago, after seeing him on some TV special quite a while ago and hearing his name just often enough to keep me aware of the fact that he existed. One day, for no real reason whatsoever, I looked Josh up on iTunes and began listening to the Closer previews. I have never done something that would impact me so much on such a small whim.

When I discovered Josh, I was kind of in a bad place. I was only 14, but I'd been through what I'm now convinced was a bout of depression after a few changes that struck me a little harder than I'd expected. I wasn't really living for anything but Algebra. I was just... not happy. I'd lost a few too many things I'd relied on, and lost them too suddenly. Though I never got really low, I wasn't used to not being happy. I didn't know who I was anymore, just didn't feel like myself anymore.

And then, I found Josh. Something about the beauty–of the lyrics, the music, Josh's breathtaking vocals–told me that not only was there a lot more out there to live for, but that I could try to find myself again by exploring them, or that, if I couldn't find myself, I could remake myself, turn myself into someone I wanted to be. Someone who was happy.

It took me about a year and a half to realize that I didn't want to be happy, and that I wouldn't be happy if I kept thinking that that was what I wanted. What I wanted was to enjoy life, and to have purpose. So I found a purpose, and I started doing things that made me enjoy life more.

I'm sixteen now. I'm happy. I still occasionally find myself living only for math, but that's only because I'm tired and can't think about anything that's not entirely methodical. I'm applying for jobs this summer. Taking math and science classes at the local community college this fall. I'm writing a book, for no reason other than to do something big (okay, I also want to self-publish online and see if I can make a little money for college). I've rediscovered all sorts of things–broadway, fantasy, sci-fi–that I used to love and kind of forgot about. I've discovered new worlds of things I couldn't have cared less about before, and couldn't dream of living without now. None of this would have happened if I hadn't started listening to Oceano. Josh's music empowers me, gives me a confidence I've never had before–not because it connects me to anyone in particular in my life, or to Josh himself, but because it keeps me hoping that someday someone will say "You are loved" to me, with absolutely no obligation to, and will mean it with all of his heart. And I'm going to be a lot more likely to see and recognize him if I have ways to connect to people and am enjoying my life.

Best of all, I have a purpose to my life. I want to be a clinical pathologist (a doctor who sits in a lab and runs tests all day–yes, I'm an introvert, another thing I would still think was a problem if it weren't for Josh). It will be twelve years of school, an incredibly demanding job, and cost about a million bucks. But it'll be the most rewarding thing I'll ever do. I love challenges, and I love helping people. Doing this, I'll get both everyday. And if I can't get into med school, there's always crime lab forensics (not so much of a challenge, but still helping people) to fall back on. With my newfound sense of purpose, I've found it easier to build a better relationship with God, and to make and strengthen friendships. Maybe it's because I know I'm going to need support in the future, or maybe it's because now that my life has meaning, I think it's actually worth people's time to know me, whereas before, I thought I was pretty useless.

From the first time I heard Josh's voice, I've been enamored by his talent, his charm, his humility. When I first listened to Closer all the way through, the day after I first listened to those previews, I knew I wanted to see him in concert. And now I'm only 29 days from living one of my dearest dreams. It's also the end of a ver important journey for me. A journey to contentment, satisfaction, happiness. A journey that Josh has helped me on, every step of the way, even though he doesn't know it.

I was feeling kind of overwhelmed by this mix of emotions filling me this evening, and wanted to let some out so that I might actually have a chance at sleeping tonight. Also, if any of you have any tips for making my concert experience as good as possible, or anything I should know about going to a Josh concert, I would really appreciate it if you'd let me know. Thanks! And a huge thank you to anyone who's actually read all of this. I know it was terribly uninteresting and self-centered.

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