Last Saturday night I did something I never thought I’d do in a million years.
I became a punk for a night.
There I was in a seedy, rundown bar, inches away from the mosh pit. Directly in front of me were full grown men dancing, shoving and throwing themselves around while the singer of the band howled into a microphone. The band played in a deafeningly frenetic rhythm behind him.
And guess what? I loved it.
My sister has been a fan of the band The Bronx for many years. They are a hardcore band based in Los Angeles who are known for their insanely energetic live shows. For years I have heard about them, but I didn’t listen to them, because I figured that I wasn’t a fan of hardcore punk music.
But the weird thing was, I’d never actually listened to them to find out.
A month ago, I decided to download one of their albums to understand why my sister loved them so much. Within a few days, I was getting a good feel for their music and a few of the songs started to resonate with me. Soon I was becoming a fan.
It was then that my sister mentioned that The Bronx were playing a show not too far from my home. I said to her we should go together.
That led to one of the most exciting nights I’ve experienced in quite a while. It was well outside the norm of the activities I usually do, but it was incredibly invigorating. It was a terrifying, life-affirming cacophony of violence, sweat and distortion.
What I came away with was this renewed sense of energy and vigor. Somehow the raucous tone of the music and the insanity of the moshing mob had made me feel ambitious and excited to attack life.
I would have never guessed that this would be the result of going to a hardcore punk show.
But that’s the point. You never know unless you go.
I think this is a lesson I need to take to heart more often. So much of our lives are lived within safe circles that we think we’ve created out of choice. The truth is if we stay inside them too long, then they begin limiting us. We only stay inside them out of fear.
What I am learning is that life is very invigorating at the edge. The edge of fear, the edge of understanding, the edge of who we deem ourselves to be.
When you go towards the edge, that’s when you feel truly alive.