Dedicated to MCR and the MCRmy:
Just as I do every year on this day, I am writing a letter to the band and to the fanbase. I started doing it a few years ago and although the letters may sound the same each year, I find it very therapeutic. But this year is special. Celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the that not only brought us this group of remarkable men, but brought us all together. That started this family.
I was 16 in the summer of 2002. A junior in high school and it would slowly turn into one of the hardest and most agonizing years of my life. With only a few friends to speak off, I was not only the outcast among them, but also in my own family. Most people had a hard time understanding me. My own family called me a freak, not realizing how much it hurt me that even they thought that. I was being forced into a life that I didn’t want. I was kept being told to be a person that I didn’t want to be. I was teased for being an athlete. Made fun of for being a comic book nerd. Avoided by other girls because I didn’t see the point of wearing make up, and thought of as strange by the boys because all I liked wearing were band shirts, jeans and converse everyday. And at times even avoided because of my “scary” taste in music and horror movies. In a the world of high school where we are constantly judged by everything on the outside, I was constantly ignored because there was just nothing special about me. No one cared that I wanted to be a writer when the three people on my left wanted to be doctors, and the three people on my right wanted to be lawyers.
I was alone. No one cared to ask questions, and no one listened when I tried to talk. All I had was my books, my own stories and the music that inspired me. Not only did I feel alone, but I started to believe what they would say. That there was something wrong with me. Why couldn’t I like the same things they like? Why couldn’t I look the same way the other girls looked? I felt worthless and came to the point where I just didn’t care anymore. At the time I found a lot of the music I liked online. And one night, I was the only one still awake in my house, I found a song called Skylines and Turnstiles. Reading that it was written about September 11th by a band from Jersey, I listened to it with interest. I had recently come back from my first trip to New York and was planning on going to college out there in the city. All it took was the first line for the tears to well up and start running down my face. You’re not in this alone…
I got the full album. Somehow, they came to me exactly when I needed them, in the way that I needed them. Through Bullets I found comfort in the fact that I WASN’T ALONE. There were plenty of people in the world just like me, and that it was OKAY TO BE DIFFERENT But most importantly, that I DIDN’T HAVE TO BE AFRAID. I fell in love with this band and its members, that no one else knew about. And I didn’t try to share them with anyone, because I knew they wouldn’t understand, and I was perfectly okay with that. I preferred to have them all to myself. I started to love not being like everyone else. Still a freak, but a content one.
In the spring of 2004, one of my close friends and mentors died of a rare cancer. She was only in her 20s. It was the first time in my life that I had to deal with death, and I didn’t take it well. I was one of the quiet ones, telling everyone that I’m fine. But its was the moments I had alone that were the worst. Not until I heard Helena for the first time. Even now, my feelings for that song are indescribable and I still cry every time I see it live. And then learning why this song was written…I’m not sure how long it would have taken me to accept her death without that song. And then of course, the rest of the album. Revenge enforced the fact that it was okay to different. That is OKAY TO BE ANGRY. And it was OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY. We all go through shit. And we all have to find some way to get through it.
To that point, it seemed that MCR kept showing up in my life whenever I needed them most. And the arrival of The Black Parade in 2006 was no different. Coming back to California after living in New York for a while upset me. I loved it out there. I was free from all the ugly criticism that my family gave me and able to live for myself. Being back in California my grades in college started slipping, I was jobless and nearly homeless. I moved three times that summer. Once again, those feelings of worthlessness started creeping in. I felt like dead weight, and was treated even worse. I spent most of my time alone, reading, writing, anything that would get me out of the reality that I hated. That hated me. I would lie awake at night, wondering why I was there at all, and wondered if people would miss me if I was gone. But then, The Black Parade was released.
I still remember the first time I listened to it. Blasting on my headphones, laying on my bed. Eyes closed. Paying attention to each word. And I was ashamed. Pissed at myself that I was ready to give up. I am not afraid to keep on living. I am not afraid to walk this world alone. The world will never take my heart. We’ll carry on. All of these words engrained into me forever. Without me ever meeting any of them, they found someway to save me from my own worst enemy: myself. Once again, they were there when I needed them most.
And it was during this era that not only did they make a difference, but by finally being able to go to shows, the MCRmy made a difference as well. I finally made friends that understood. That cared just as deeply as I did. And some that were saved, just like me. And without ever knowing each other before, WE WERE A FAMILY.
Upon starting to make lifelong friends towards the end of the BP Era and finally joining in on the internet fanbase, the anticipation for Danger Days was much more fun to experience. Having been lucky enough to go to one of the Roxy shows in 2009 and preview a few of the new songs, I was dying for the new album. And for the first time during an album release, I found myself happier. I didn’t need them to save me this time around. I just wanted to be there to celebrate with them. Yet still, like every album, I was changed forever.
Upon hearing this album the first time, I was struck how much I grew up with them. How different they helped make me. How much of a better person I am because of them and because of the MCRmy. And listening to Kids From Yesterday the first time, I couldn’t stop the tears rolling down my face because I felt like they were talking to us, the ones that had been there since the beginning. The ones that did grow up with them. This album kept me inspired. IT KEPT ME STRONG. I knew the life I wanted, and I kept RUNNING towards it. Can I be the only hope for you, because you’re the only hope for me. Keep Running. Ain’t no DJ gonna save my soul, I sold it long ago for rock n roll. Now this could be the last of all the rides we take, so hold on tight and don’t look back. But this time, it wasn’t just because of the lyrics. It was also because of the friends I made at each show I went to, and talking to online. And I know, without a doubt friends for a lifetime. We have bonded through not only our love of this one band, but through art and through experience. Our stories are all so different, yet so similar at the same time.
We came together, we are a family, only because of this band, and there are no words that I can say that will express how thankful I am to the guys for them all.
And just as they became 10 years ago, this band and the MCRmy have been my safety net. Because THEY WERE THERE WHEN NO ONE ELSE WAS.
Not only am I probably alive because of this band, but I have a family. A proper one. I LIVE because of this band. I have dreams and I am UNAFRAID to pursue them. I not only live, but I LIVE THE WAY I WANT TO. I’m not longer scared to BE EXACTLY WHO I AM. And I am INSPIRED, pursuing a life through art, just as I always wanted to.
It’s unreal to think that it’s been 10 years, and how different I was without them. Terrified to think of who I would have become if I never found them at the time that I did.
No words can express my gratitude or my love. Because I have always done what Gerard has said…listen to them like I’m alone in the room, and sing like no one else is there, and THEY HAVE NEVER LET ME DOWN. They’ve always been there, and I know they always will be.
So thank you to Gerard, Mikey, Ray and Frank. To sharing their words and their love with me. With all of us, that we found each other. For inspiring me and being that one CONSTANT in my life that I can ALWAYS count on. That is the reason beyond anything else, that I have your names and words tattooed on me forever. As a thank you. As a reminder. Thank you.
And thank to the MCRmy for all their support and love. Especially to Alex, Lauren, Natalee, Abby, Dani, Miranda, and Rachel. I have lived and shared moments with all of you that I will never forget. Although some of us haven’t been friends for long, and others for a while, you guys mean the world to me and I love you. I wouldn’t be the same without any of you. Life wouldn’t be the same without you. Thank you.
As Gerard said in Brisbane…we’re in this for life. We are all stuck in the cell together and forever doesn’t sound to bad.
Happy 10 years to Bullets and I guess in a way, Happy Birthday to the MCRmy.