It all started when I was about 12 years old. Until then I think I had been a pretty normal child: I was a girl who liked girly things, danced ballet, listened to the Spice Girls, cried while watching Titanic and dreamed of getting married to Leonardo Dicaprio.
But when I moved to a different city, and had to start again in a new school, I met a boy who was learning to play the guitar and letting his hair grow. His favourite band? Guns n’ Roses. Well, to a girl raised listening to pop music and Enya (still one of my favourites…), I knew nothing about Guns – or any other rock band for that matter.
But the thing was that I fell in love with him and noticed that we had nothing in common. So I decided to give Guns a try and well, here I am today.
There was something about the rock music that I had never felt before. Until that point in my life, music had been something you listen to entertain yourself and have a good time, but rock… It was more than that. What started with Guns n’ Roses quickly escalated to Nirvana, Linkin Park, Evanescence and Nightwish. I was past the point of no return – I had related to music for the first time in my life.
Nothing was ever the same again.
I was never the same again.
I had just learned I was an “other”.
I met someone really, really special recently, and one day, while talking to him, I said: there is something different about us. I have my struggles and questions and while observing him, trying to get to know him better, I imagined he would have similar problems – I wasn’t wrong.
He would always get surprised every time I got things correctly about him. “How do you know?” he would ask. Well I knew because of his looks, his clothes, and mainly because of his favourite artists. It felt like I could feel the same emotions, the same feeling of not being someone everybody thinks we should be.
“What’s wrong with you?”
“You just want attention!”
“It’s just a phase, it will soon be over – they will go back to normal.”
“What is this shit you listen to? That’s scary, disgusting…”
Yeah… Truth is: people fear what they don’t know, and when they fear, they try to kill it.
They killed Sophie.
The world isn’t a very nice place to anything that dares to be different or original. It almost killed me (while I thought it was because they loved me…), it almost killed my special one, and many others of “us”.
There is a reason why music is so special to us metalheads: music doesn’t judge anyone. It accepts who you are and embraces your weirdness – heavy metal (and its staggering number of subgenres) can reflect everything about its composers – fear, hatred, sadness, joy, disgust, love. And it’s music that keeps us alive and sane and it’s something to live for.
In the end, what matters is that I’ve finally been able to accept that even though I’m a total weirdo, that’s who I’m supposed to be. There’s nothing wrong with me, or with any others who dress differently, feel differently, live life differently.
This feeling of finally “belonging” to something came to me for the first time when I took the time to analise the lyrics to Delain’s song “We Are The Others“:
We are the others,
We are the cast-outs,
We’re the outsiders
But you can’t hide us
We are the others
We are the cast-outs
You’re not out there on your own
If you feel mistreated
Torn and cheated
You are not alone
We are the others
If you’re an “other”:
It may haven’t happened to you yet, but trust me when I say: you will find people who will understand what goes inside your head, all your fears, insanity, issues… And they will love you for who you are, without trying to change it so that you may become “more acceptable”. These people, “others” just like you and me, they are out there – and you will find them.
In a way, if you’re here, you have already.