By Kevin Sheehan, Special Columnist
“Vivus: An Exposition Of A Volatile Mind” by Kevin Sheehan is available in digital and in print on Amazon.com!
Regardless of weekly content, this column is designed to help others expand their way of thinking and promote creativity, empathy, and thought in general.
It is rare that a piece of music would ever influence my life in which I would feel the need to tattoo a manifestation of it on myself, although it has happened and most likely will happen again. But I did want to take this moment to expound on this one tattoo, what it means to me, and why I feel it is important.
There is a song by one of my favorite bands Between The Buried & Me entitled “The Sun Of Nothing.” The lyrics tell a tale of a man who is fed up with life and how people seem to be okay with the monotonous lifestyle they lead. It follows through with his epic story of desiring change, then ultimately following through with his rash decision to build a spaceship and fly it into space, towards the sun.
Towards the end of the song, he realized that the decision he might have made was rash, but he did need a change. The song itself explains his thoughts as he approaches his final minutes. His regrets, his rationalization, his outlook, but he realizes that he was out of place. If you take the time to look up the lyrics, it may surprise you (and make sense for what is said in this article) that a heavy metal song would be so artistically written (you know, since heavy metal is all unintelligible screaming).
I empathize with the spaceman. As seen from most of my articles, I do not really fit in with the masses, but that may not necessarily be a bad thing. I was never really popular in school, and while I do generally get along with everyone I meet, I am not sure “fit in” are the words I would use to describe myself in social situations.
I have been different for most of my life. I always held (and still do) viewpoints and outlooks that set me apart from others. Sometimes I have felt like I am on my own planet, and sometimes I’ve had to be. It has taken quite a long time to accept that it is okay to be different. In the same token, it has taken most of my life to use them to my advantage.
Having a great range of emotions has allowed me to have empathy for others going through hard times. Having been through situations that I have been through has helped me to think beyond tradition. And me just being different and embracing it has allowed me to develop into the person I am: me.
However, the song means more to me than just flying myself into the sun, but it is more of finding my place when recognizing that I do not fit in. Sometimes I am “the spaceman”, in which I am teased for being different or seeing things from a perspective that people do not understand. I may have found my purpose in life, but that doesn’t mean I have found everyone’s purpose.
There is a reckoning that takes place when you accept you are different. You start to learn to appreciate the little things, the quirks that make you who you are. When you learn to stop being afraid of what people think, you can learn to express love for yourself.
Really, the question is: what is your purpose? Have you even found it yet? Are you floating towards the sun, wondering what you could have done different? Are you building a spaceship, ready to make a giant change? Just because we have our feet on the ground doesn’t mean our head isn’t in the clouds, and it doesn’t mean we don’t keep looking to the stars for our big change.
We control our fate more than we think we do. Maybe I am a spaceman, never fitting in around me. That’s okay. Maybe I was the spaceman, making rash decisions to change my life. Maybe I’m not the spaceman, because I have never decided to end it all. But I am different. Sometimes I do not belong. But that’s okay, because I like who I am, and who knows? Maybe my purpose was finally finding peace. What’s yours?
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