remember it snowing and the cold was going right through my bones. I was listening to one of my favorite radio stations when I heard this mix of rapping and rock and a melody that was just completely enticing. The song was called "Holding On To You" by a band called Twenty One Pilots, and when I got home I read the lyrics and absolutely fell in love. I have been dealing with depression and anxiety for about five years now, and it always hits me the worst in the winter. Now, I'm not a very religious person, but I feel like i was meant to hear this song on that bitter winter night. For weeks i listened to Vessel nonstop. I had never felt so connected to an entire album. It was like Tyler knew exactly what was going on in my mind, almost better than I did. The more invested I became in the music, the less alone i felt. I absolutely fell in love with Tyler's mind, and respected how brave he was for sharing with the world
thoughts and feelings i was too scared to share even with my closest friends.
If this wasn't enough, then I saw them live. They were the opening band at the Radio 104.5 birthday show. I stood there watching these two guys preform. One playing drums with more energy than i have ever witnessed, and the other one singing with the most unique and beautiful voice i have ever heard. The passion they have radiates whatever stage they play on. It's so hard to describe, but it's like you're not even just watching them, you're living and feeling and breathing these songs with them.
After that show, it was a done deal. I listened to every song, watched every interview, read every tweet (which are the most hilarious things ever by the way) and pretty much scoured the internet for all things TOP, and i just fell more and more in love. Then one day, i went onto their actual website which for some unknown reason was the one thing i hadn't seen yet. It was your typical
band website, consisting of pictures and merch, and then something caught my
Basically, we are all responsible for the preservation of our personal joy; but happiness is different. Joy is not circumstantial, happiness is. You can be depressed and still have joy. You can be suicidal and still have joy. We all stop thinking and we all stop talking and we all stop sharing and we all stop creating, because by doing any of these things we quickly
find out just how unhappy we are. But that’s okay. That’s normal. Don’t let the fear of unhappiness cripple your pursuit of finding what it is you believe. Since joy is found in belief, we all have to push through unhappiness to find joy.
- Tyler Joseph
My new-found motto of "finding joy" led me to a last minute ticket purchase to Firefly music festival
in Delaware. Due to it being so last minute, none of my friends could go, so i went by myself. This is something i never would have done but decided to do it for myself because i knew this experience would be something that made me happy. And "happy" was an understatement. I got to see the boys for the second time, and this time was even better than the first. The set was longer, i was closer, and i was so much more attached to the songs than the last time I saw them. Also, something about being by myself made it even better. I was in the middle of a crowd of strangers, and i completely let go. I screamed the lyrics, I jumped, I clapped, I head banged, and at one point I
cried. It was during "Fake You Out" when Tyler screams,
"OUR BRAINS ARE SICK BUT THAT'S OKAY" but this time it wasn't just Tyler screaming it. It was all of us, me and Tyler and all of the other strangers i was standing with. I was overcome with a rush of togetherness. I was not going through this alone. It was one of the greatest feelings in the world and i will never forget it. If that wasn't enough, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting the boys right after their set. It was a meet and greet and i knew my time was going to be limited, but there was so much i wanted to say. How do you thank two people you have never even met for saving your life? i was so nervous, and i never get nervous when meeting bands. But the second i was at the front of the line and was greeted by their two smiling faces my nervousness melted away. I showed them the tattoo and explained the meaning, and tried as hard as i could to be brief but still explain how thankful i was to have heard their music. Their reaction was one i will never forget, Tyler just looked so grateful, and i was reminded that he is going through the same thing i am, and he also likes to know that he's not alone. I wish i would've had more time to talk to them, but that short experience was still so amazing.
I'm sorry this is super long, but again, how do you explain how a band saved your life? But it's also not just Tyler & Josh or even just the music, it's this entire family that has been created. This clique. I have met amazing people through this whole thing. We're broken people and we are all here for each other. I don't think i will ever be able to fully express my gratitude, but all i know is that i am in a such better place now than where i was on that cold winter night, and it is all thanks to these two guys from Columbus, Ohio. Thank you Twenty One Pilots, you saved my life.