Chapter 1: Linkin Park Influences My Childhood
Everyone has a life changing moment; whether it’s from someone else, an event, a dream, a choice/decision, it changes you. Linkin Park is my life changer. Most people these days don’t care for them much anymore due to the release of A Thousand Suns, but I still love their music, including the recent album.
I first heard of Linkin Park in 1998- the same year my dad left, the same year when everything changed at home, the same year I began to create Mike Stone cartoons. During my childhood, my dad left during the night. After he left, that’s when we began to live poorly off and on. And I began my cartoon work just to fill the void of him leaving us. And I was sad a lot, quiet in school- but always was come to think of it. One day, while listening to 100.5 the KATT, I heard a song by a band that would change my life, and how I was. One Step Closer by Linkin Park was the first song I ever heard by the rock band. And I loved it! It had anger, it made sense, even though I was only seven/eight years old. And after that, I wanted their c.d. so badly, I begged for it almost everyday.
The time I finally got Hybrid Theory was for Christmas- pardon me for any insults, sorry-, but it took longer than I thought, because my mom and oldest brother didn’t get me the c.d. until I was twelve years old. On that morning, the relatives were here at the house: grandma delra, my oldest brother richard, my mom, my little sister and little brother(back before they grew taller than me), and my two cousins, Kalyn and Jadyn.
Everyone got what they wanted. Richard came up to me and handed me a square object,” Here, it’s a book.” I didn’t believe him for anything, but before I could open my gift, I was given a few more. Opening them, I got a c.d. player with headphones and a pack of batteries. I had opened the square object and it was exactly what I had wanted for four to five years, Hybrid Theory by Linkin Park. I was suppose to get a Linkin Park poster too that day but my mom and Richard couldn’t find it anywhere, so they figured it either fell out of the cart or the cashier forgot to give it to them. I didn’t let that upset me one bit. I finally had Hybrid Theory, so I immediately put batteries in the c.d. player, and began to listen to Linkin Park while out in the snow.
All young girls-and guys- get celeb crushes, and my crush was on Mike Shinoda then, but some problems arose. That same day, I let my two cousins and sister listen to my c.d.(I fell in love with the third song, With You) and they fell in love with the band, just not music wise. My sister announced that she claims Chester Bennington as her crush. My cousin Jadyn had a crush on Phoenix and Joseph Hahn. I mentioned Mike Shinoda, but my cousin Kalyn said that she claims Mike Shinoda. So, my crushes were Brad Delson and Rob Bourdon. We really liked Linkin Park.
Besides the whole crush on the band thing, I began to take a strong interest in musical things. So influenced by them, I wanted a drumset, but my mom kept telling me no. instead, I made my own drumset out of boxes, cans, pots, lids, and used sticks as the drumsticks. I would try to play along to their music, with the help of my other older brother- Chuck-. He was the only one who was encouraging me to do something musical. After awhile, I had to stop because it was annoying Richard and my mom. So I moved on to turntables. You see, we had a record player back then, and I wanted to learn how to do what Mr. Hahn does. Let’s just say I ruined some records.
After the ruining of records, I decided to try singing, but I got critisized so badly, I stopped. Richard had an acoustic guitar, and I wanted to learn how to play it. Instead of learning some Linkin Park, Chuck had me learn to play Alice n Chains and Nirvana instead, which wasn’t that bad. Eventually, Richard left and took the guitar with him.
I remember one day, while twelve years old, I was outside with my sister and brother, we were playing along with our friends from up the road named Hannah and Ben. Someone had shoved me down on the gravel and I tore up my right leg from my knee down to my ankle; pieces of skin were up or gone, blood was everywhere, and a few shards of rock and I wouldn’t doubt glass were lodged in. I had to go inside and there, my mom told me to go wash it off as good as I could. I did, and Chuck was already prepping a bottle of Rubbing Alcohol, so I knew that that would burn like crazy. Before letting him pour the alcohol on my leg, I put on my headphones and turned on Linkin Park, With You. And while he poured that on my leg, I held my eyes shut tight, listening to the lyrics. Funny, because I don’t remember crying about the pain.
During my last preteen years, I kept asking to get an electric guitar, but never got to. I wanted Reanimation and Live in Texas, but never got them. Then my depressive years came along, beginning at the age of 13, first day in middle school.
Chapter 2: The Depression Years Settle In
I was changing more, and discovering more bands such as goth,punk,garage,indie, so on, but the one that hit me was emo. I began to realize how helpless I felt, and even gave up on my dreams of starting a band and learning to play any instruments, because I only saw it as not getting it anyways. Around this time, people in school would call me names only because I was shorter than them: dwarf, midget, shorty, bird, odd, weird, strange. And I wouldn’t doubt that they called me other names too, it’s just how they are. At one point, Devil Worshipper was one due to me not attending church(I don’t want to be hasseled about this, so to get it out there, I do believe in everything, and I pray and read the Bible, I just don’t attend churches). People at that school was highly religious.
Aside from being made fun of in school, home was no better. My mom called be bulimic and anorexic- I’m not, because I take no joy in starving myself or anything. Around then my little brother and sister grew taller than me and would make so many short jokes, it was kind of hurtful. I’d stay in my room and cry a lot, feeling so sorry for myself and wanted so badly to run away. I did almost get into the common emo thing, cutting myself. But I didn’t, because I stopped myself and thought,”Woa wait… what is the point of me doing this??” So I didn’t get into that. As the years went by, I had caught west nile, gained a friend but eventually lost him(he was my first boyfriend too but dumped me for my sister), experienced my first scary experience(a guy was literally stalking me, turned out he had been from an insane asylum), made it on the National Technical Honor Society, was stood up for what would’ve been my first date, was dumped by my second boyfriend and I was thankful for that, the guy scared me very much and still does. The guy is stalking me still, he tried to break into the house!
Around the age of 18, my dad came by to visit, and he had surprises. My little brother got a drumset, my sister got an electric guitar(it’s messed up now). And I got my first instrument, a bass guitar, and I love it! Can’t play it now until I get a cable.
Chapter 3: Linkin Park Comes Back Into My Life
At the age of 19, last year, my last year of school was interesting. I did care about what others thought of me in school, but one day while I was cleaning the house, I found my Hybrid Theory c.d., covered in dust. I decided to listen to it while my sister and brother were gone with Corey(the first guy who dumped me for my sister). While listening to it, it made me remember my dreams of wanting to start a band. I sung along to all the songs over and over, and Linkin Park changed my life again. My little sister had “borrowed” my older sister-Shannon’s, Minutes to Midnight. Around the first of this year-January 2011-, I was home with my mom while my little sister and brother were in school(I had graduated back in 2010 of May), and I was looking through a large c.d. case that my little sister let my mom keep. In there, I found Shannon’s Minute to Midnight c.d., it was completely scratched up and everything, but I knew my mom didn’t listen to Linkin Park.
“ May I have this c.d.?” I had asked my mom.
“ You have to trade it,” was her response. Yep, I had to trade a c.d. for that Minutes to Midnight c.d. I went through my c.d.s and named them off: Marilyn Manson, Muse, Panic! At the Disco, Queen of the Damned soundtrack, My Chemical Romance. Instead, I traded my prized c.d.s. I’ve been a fan of Kiss forever too, and I had finally gotten Dressed to Kill and The Best of Kiss. I traded those two c.d.s for the scratched up Minutes to Midnight c.d. The only song that doesn’t play that good is The Little Things Give You Away, I love that song.
Around the first of Febuary, we went to Wal Mart and I couldn’t believe it, they had almost every Linkin Park c.d.:Reanimation, Meteora, Collision Course c.d./dvd combo, and Minutes to Midnight. I didn’t have the money, but I wanted to make sure they were still there next time. The next week, my dad sent money up to us, $50 each. First thing I did was go to the c.d.s and they were still there. I only could get Minutes to Midnight, Meteora, and Reanimation. But my little brother was kind enough to buy Collision Course, he let me have it but he kept the c.d., I kept the dvd and the case. The only one that wasn’t there was A Thousand Suns.
Then, I had a boyfriend, he was also the guy I had the longest relationship with. We were together for nine months before he got way into the drinking and partying every night. I didn’t get to spend Valentines Day with him, instead I was left home. Turned out his ex showed up at his house thoughL. For Valentines, I decided to have coffee and listen to Linkin Park on the xbox. I put together a playlist and the first song that played at random that morning was Valentines Day from Minutes to Midnight.
After awhile, I began to save my money up, and in March, I went to Wal Mart and in the c.d.s, there was A Thousand Suns. I didn’t hesitate, I grabbed it and paid for it(it was the last one there). And I loved it, every song, despite the negative comments fans threw at Linkin Park. Everyone I ask about the album always tell me that they liked Linkin Park up until Minutes to Midnight. So it’s difficult trying to find others who like the new album. Or a guy who does too.
Chapter 4: How Linkin Park Changed My Life Over Again
They have changed me completely, I’m actually different than my brothers and sisters. I did an essay once back in middle school. It had to be over an influential person, and most people in class had picked their mom, dad, or a teacher. My dad left, and my mom wasn’t really much help in raising us, so I did my essay over Rob Bourdon of Linkin Park. I had to look up things of course, and around that time, I learned more about the band than I knew. They build homes for people, they give to charities and donate, they’re kind hearted guys who help others no matter what. Upon learning more, none of them actually drink or do drugs. Doing that essay over Rob Bourdon, I got an A+ which was my very first A in that English class.
Thanks to Linkin Park, recently, I took up drawing again, playing the bass without a cable. I’ve turned down alcohol, weed, and cigarettes(my little sister, little brother, and Corey tried to pay me just to take a few sips of a bottle of alcohol, but I still turned it down). I donate my extra change to the bins they got at Wal Mart for the childrens’ hospital. I help others, I’m more polite, I donate more money to charities on myyearbook.com instead of bidding on peoples pics(except I do purchase gifts for my guy, Kevin). I’ve taken up singing again with more confidence. And I’m working on being healthier and taking care of myself a little more.
I’m thankful for having heard One Step Closer back in 1998, and thankful that Linkin Park’s music changed me. Because if I were like my little sister and brother, I would be rude, sarcastic, judgmental; I’d be calling people names, hitting others for no reason, and in general, all out mean. I’m nice, polite, calm, helpful, and a non smoker/non drinker. Even though my family members don’t have faith in me, flip me off, call me names, and yell at me, all I do is listen to one of my Linkin Park c.d.s, and everything is okay then. Sounds dumb, but everyone has something that has changed them in ways possible. Linkin Park was and always will be my life changer til the day I die.
Linkin Park is my life saver- or else i would have fallen into the family weakness of alcohol and drugs. What is your life saver? Your life changer?