A Letter to My Idols

How are you? I hope you’re doing well. 

I doubt any of you will remember who I am, but it’s alright. After all, my last letter to you was in mid-2015. I was a soon-to-be high school senior, but look at me now! I’ve made it to my third year of college. Just a few years ago, high school seemed like an impossible maze, and yet here I am today, looking back at my those four years with a new perspective. It’s all thanks to you. 

Six years have gone by since the day my friend introduced me to your YouTube channel. At first, I was skeptical and even laughed at your band’s name. “Are they serious? That’s their name?” I laughed. But oh, how the tables have turned. I could’ve never imagined the impact that a single band would have on my life. 

Somehow, in a delightful coincidence, every album you’ve released managed to perfectly address the obstacles I was facing at the time. It was almost as if you knew what I was going through and wanted to tell me that everything was going to be alright. Maybe it’s because you guys are more or less the same age as me, but it was comforting to know that someone was putting our thoughts into words. Your debut album, for example, asked us — okay, more like demanded to know — what our dreams were. As a rising sophomore, the lyrics pricked my conscience and made me realize that I was studying with no particular goal in mind. The competitive academic environment that seemed to fuel my classmates was suffocating me, and the time I spent at school only made my lack of a dream all the more apparent. Similarly, your following albums continued to speak out about common themes that youth today face, acting as words of encouragement during a period of time that left me emotionally exhausted. 

via Twitter

I also want to mention that the sincerity you showed me the few times I was able to meet you guys in person (shout-out to album signing events!) is another point that has affected me in an enormously positive way. I’m blessed to have had those experiences when I did because they still bring a smile to my face whenever I think about them. Thank you for listening to my questions and answering them so thoughtfully, for laughing at my awful dad jokes, for doing your best to treat our short conversations like they were something that was of the utmost importance. In hindsight, I find it slightly embarrassing that I rambled about my deepest worries during these brief meetings — after all, I doubt you were prepared to have someone confide in you like that. At the same time, I hope you understand that I reacted that way because your music meant that much to me. 

Music aside, however, I want to thank you guys for teaching me to persevere. Watching you rise up through nothing but hard work has taught me that even the seemingly impossible can come true if you stick with it long enough. I used to give up at the smallest possibility of failure, but seeing your steady growth over the past six years has proven to me that having strong, genuine passion is something that can take a person to heights that they might have never reached otherwise. While I still (admittedly) have times when I feel pessimistic and defeated, thinking about the things I have achieved reminds me that there are numerous steps leading up to a goal. Running away is always the easiest option, but the satisfaction that comes from knowing I’ve done something that once seemed unachievable is what pushes me forward.

As clichéd as it sounds, I never really believed in the power of music until I discovered yours. I’m lucky that your songs came into my life when they did because they undoubtedly played a big part in molding me into the person I am today. So thank you — thank you for everything.

“Maybe I made a mistake yesterday, but yesterday’s me is still me. I am who I am today, with all my faults. Tomorrow I might be a tiny bit wiser, and that’s me, too. These faults and mistakes are what I am, making up the brightest stars in the constellation of my life. I have come to love myself for who I was, who I am, and who I hope to become.” - RM.