“A dream is just a dream until you decide to make it real.”
When I was in middle school and high school, I used to visualize a lot. Most of the time, it was to music in my room alone. When I shared a room, I used to face the door so I could play it cool if my brother entered unexpectedly.
I didn’t do anything too crazy. I just closed my eyes and imagined myself in different situations. What it would be like if it were my song and I was performing it, impressing my friends, family, and community. Being a bad ass in the military. Achieving my big goals for cross country and other sports. Traveling the world and being successful. Being a mysterious and sexy man to the ladies.
I’d get walked in on by my family all the time. Super embarrassing.
“MOOOOOOOOM GET OUT OF MY ROOOOM!”
When my family got a trampoline in our backyard, I used to jump on it at all hours of the day and do the exact same thing. When cars would drive by, I’d stop and lay down because I didn’t want them to see me in this vulnerable state. It was my sanctuary. I could be alone and envision what I wanted to be. No one could stop me or tell me it wasn’t possible.
Sure, some of it was unfeasible (unless I violated copyright laws), but a lot of it fired me up to achieve goals. There are songs I’ll hear occasionally and they bring me right back to what I envisioned all those years ago
The right music could make me feel anything was possible.
Rock Bottom to Rock Steady
Last year in July, I hit a real low point. My job security wasn’t certain. I struggled with alcohol abuse trying to alleviate my severe anxiety, but to no avail. Sometimes, it was hard just driving across town without experiencing terrifying dread.
Worst of all, my ex had been posting pictures of her vacation to Greece with her new boyfriend. We had been off and on, long distance across an ocean, but I felt optimistic. That ended immediately. She was absolutely beaming in her pictures.
“Wow, I’m a fucking loser” I thought. “I’m not even brave enough to face my anxiety without alcohol. I can’t travel, I’m bitter, alone, and depressed.”
I needed a change, but more importantly, I needed motivation.
This time, I wouldn’t be dreaming just to dream. I would envision getting better.
To deal with my alcohol temptations, I started going on walks at night to clear my head. At first, it was solely just to get out of the house and away from the wine I had. But, eventually, it became a ritual. I started bringing my phone and listening to music. But random music wouldn’t quite do it.
I remember how good the Season 5 Ranked selection screen music was for League of Legends. I didn’t play the game anymore, but I loved the theme.
It was perfect. It starts slowly, like someone on the beginning of a long and arduous journey. To me, it feels like someone trying to regain lost pride, lost honor. Little by little, “the hero” struggles his way through his obstacles and starts to become the man he was meant to be.
By the end, he is completely restored and primed to take on any challenge.
I looped this song as I walked throughout my neighborhood at night.
I thought about:
Envisioning myself getting back into shape (at first, through running a half marathon, later improving at weightlifting)
Saving money, giving to those in need
Getting better at my job and being in demand
My vision board was in my head. I imagined how I would go about these goals and then acted on them.
I had some rough patches with drinking. Getting back into shape is always harder than you imagine. I had debts to settles and I still had a lot to learn as far as my job.
But, slowly I worked toward these things. I thought of myself as the fallen hero working to achieve them. I began to believe.
Through hard work, support from family and friends, and good fortune, these things slowly started to fall into place. Maybe not as monumental as I made them out to be, but positive changed occurred because I felt it was possible in addition to what I was doing.
It might sound hokey or awkward, but when I needed it the most, the right song helped me focus on my dreams, or better yet, my goals.
When you hear this song, what does it make you feel?
What’s YOUR fight song?