"Everybody's looking for something, and the answers are harder to find every day. And although nobody's perfect, everybody's got the little chinks in their armor. Everybody's got the little crack around the edges. And everybody's broken."
- JBJ, Chicago, July 30, 2007
Part of the reason - or perhaps most of the reason - I love Bon Jovi is because their music, quite simply, speaks to you. The lyrics are completely relevant; fans can find "their story" in nearly any of the songs.
Today, not for the first time, but for a time that felt new and refreshing, I was listening to Everybody's Broken in my car on the way home from work. I remember the first time I heard it, I wasn't too keen on it - I didn't mind it, but certainly didn't love it. I felt that it spoke more to older fans (older than me, at least) who had experienced their share of hardships, troubles, trials, obstacles, and had tried to mend themselves again unsuccessfully.
Step into the deep end
Make yourself at home
When you wonder why you're breathing
Know you're not alone
I remember listening to it, more closely, a few months later on the train ride up to the Anaheim show that tour, and it suddenly struck a chord with me. Since then, I've grown fonder of it, and as life takes me down its crazy and unexpected path (now a full two years later on that path), I have a far deeper appreciation for it.
Now, it speaks to me.
Life is not easy. That's the understatement of the year. And while I'm young, and have most of my life ahead of me (I hope), I realized that it's okay to say that I am broken. It's not a bad thing. I've dealt with my own hardships, my own trials, my own obstacles, and I've fallen on my ass many a time. It doesn't mean that I'm having a mid-life crisis at 20, nor does it mean that I can't handle the obstacles yet to come in my life. Because I know they're waiting. Being broken doesn't mean you lack the ability to handle them. It actually means that you've learned. You've fallen and gotten up, slipped and straightened out, struggled and won in each instance. You're still alive.
It's so hard to believe
It's easier to doubt
You're trying to hold in
But you're dying to scream out
I don't believe you can ever be "whole" again - after all, what is whole? From the moment you are born, you are going to be stripped down, opened up, turned inside out, and stitched back together in this life, that's what it's all about. Only then can you truly learn and become the best YOU that you can be. So it's okay to admit that you're scared, that you're unsure of yourself, that you're broken...the point is to always take a look around, and ask if who you think you are is who you want to be. And then take sweet comfort in the company of the rest of the world. You will get through it.
And that's what I love about Bon Jovi - whether it's the anthem songs with the polished lyrics we all know in our sleep, or the new fresh material that you find yourself tapping your foot to...or the songs that wrap themselves around your heart, squeeze tightly, and don't let go. They all tie you to the band. You feel like they were written just for you, with you in mind. Like Jon's voice is singing straight to YOU through those speakers in your car, in your house, in the grocery store, in the mall. You can stop and listen, and smile softly, and it feels like he's smiling back and winking. It's okay. We're all in this together.
After all -
You're all right
It's just life.