Maybe You Should Share It

My headphones are on. The song is approaching it’s first chorus and as I’m walking to my next class and noticing how the sun shines through the trees above me, it feels glorious. The second verse starts and a wave of chills wash over me. I tell myself, “You cannot cry. You have discussion in two minutes.” I end up sitting on the sidewalk and drying my tears anyway.

People keep singing about my life.

Paul McCartney wrote “Blackbird” in 1969. In 2004, I’m eight years old lying on my stomach on the living room floor with my ears next to the stereo reading through all the lyrics in The White Album booklet.

Take these broken wings and learn to fly.

I carry it with me through the rest of my childhood and all throughout my teenage years. It becomes my favorite song. I turn 20 years old, and I travel to London. I visit Abbey Road for the first time. I take a sharpie and write those same lyrics on the wall outside the recording studio as my thank you note to the band. Two years later, I tattoo blackbirds onto the hand that I write with. This song isn’t just a song.

People keep singing about my life.

It was twelve years before I ever got to see Taylor Swift live in concert. I loved her growing up. She was my inspiration. She was the girl that I looked at and thought, “She’s doing it. Like she’s actually doing it,” and she did it all by herself. With a pen and a guitar, and ten-year-old me would sit in my room with my pen and my guitar and pretend and wish that I was her … and I’m not gonna act like I still don’t do that.

Three months ago. It’s New Year’s Day, and I’m sitting on my couch watching Taylor Swift’s Reputation Stadium Tour on Netflix. She starts performing “All Too Well,” which is a song of great importance to me, and she says,

Time won’t fly.
It’s like I’m paralyzed by it.
I’d like to be my old self again,
but I’m still trying to find it.

and I just sobbed. I cried and I cried. I don’t know if it was the anxiety that comes with a brand new year and how you’re supposed to fulfill it, or if I was just feeling extremely nostalgic – probably a mix of both, but regardless, I had to get up and get tissues, and it wasn’t like I was ten. I was twenty-two years old.

People keep singing about my life.

“Why am I walking to class in tears?” is something I kept asking myself. These musicians and writers keep doing this to me. They keep making me cry. They keep making me feel. They help me to embrace every part of living. They help me to drown it all out … so I figured I should write about it. There are songs with words in them that sometimes save your life. Sometimes all you need is a reminder that you can’t give up, or that things do get better, or that you just need to be present in this moment … so I figured I might write about it.

I’ve wanted to write for a very long time, but I never had the confidence to pursue it in any type of way. Now that I’m trying, I want to make it worth my time. I want my writing to go towards little movements of something good and positive or anxiety-reducing or just somehow bringing up a smile, like the way my favorite songs do. I just wanna point out all those little great things and all those little great songs to people and share them.

I once had a professor who said, “There should be more of what you love in the world.” So .. here we are.

It took me an extremely long time to even register myself on this site to start blogging. I hate sharing my writing. I still get so nervous about doing it today like you will not see me posting this anywhere. It’s scary putting your heart out there. What if you give it your all, and people don’t get it? What if nobody understands what you’re saying? What if you’re hoping your audience will relate to your stories, but nobody does and that makes you realize that you really are the biggest loner in the world? Worst of all, what if they laugh?

It’s summer before your junior year of college. The Tony Awards give Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of Hamilton: An American Musical the award for Best Musical.

How do you write like you’re running out of time?
Write day and night like you’re running out of time?
Every day you fight like you’re running out of time.
Are you running out of time?
How do you write like tomorrow won’t arrive?

How do you write like you need it to survive?
How do you write every second you’re alive?
Every second you’re alive? Every second you’re alive?

People keep singing about my life.

I wrote a letter to Lin-Manuel Miranda a couple of years ago while I was still in school. I mailed it off to some Broadway street. I actually should have said this first, but Miranda is such a hero of mine that it’s not even funny. What is funny though is that he actually replied.

I came home one day and was told that I received a letter from New York, which never happens. When I saw it was from him, I cried and ripped it open with shaky hands and at the end of the letter, he told me – If you’re writing like you’re running out of time, maybe you should share it? Maybe a blog?

My favorite thing about his response is that he didn’t give me writer’s advice like he was this high and mighty guy, even though he has all the rights to be. He wasn’t telling me how to approach things or what I should or shouldn’t do. He just made a suggestion. With a question mark. Maybe I should do that. Question mark. Maybe. If I was spending time writing in journals and playing guitar and making things I knew no one would ever see, then what was all that time and effort even for? Maybe I should share it?

Lin's Letter

Suddenly none – literally zero – of the questions that I was wondering about stopped mattering to me. If people would laugh or care or listen .. It doesn’t matter. Paul McCartney puts his heart out there. Taylor Swift puts her heart out there. Lin-Manuel Miranda puts his heart out there, all on the line. They put their work into the world. It doesn’t even matter. They just create and send it out. Maybe you’re just supposed to give it out to the universe, and that would be enough.

Maybe a blog.

Everything that I put out on the internet is just my way of documenting my own life for myself to look back on. I’m not here for likes or anything like that. I’m here to be honest. I’m here to express how I feel. I’m here to talk about what I love, but if I come across a song that seriously calmed me down from an anxiety attack, I’m gonna share that with the world. I know there is someone out there who might need it. That’s what I hope my writing can do, and that’s what this is for.

Oh, my name is Erica, by the way. Thank you so much for reading this. It was really nice getting to share with you a little bit about why I’m here. I hope you’ll let me share a little more as this “life” thing continues to happen … I’m gonna enjoy the ride as much as I can, but I’m not gonna pretend like I know what I’m doing in the slightest.

Published by Erica Garcia

The fact is that nobody has a clue to what my life was really like. - Stevie Nicks

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