We all have experienced that moment when you hear a song that just makes you go “DAMN!” Doesn’t matter what genre you enjoy: Rap, Country, Punk, Metal, Hard Rock… that song that you just can’t ignore.
One such song for me hit the radio airwaves back in 2003. I was on my way home from work and the dj announced this new “killer” song from a up and coming band. It rocked me to the core! Became an instant favorite.
Fast forward ten years…
Yesterday, amid feelings of darkness, depression, and frustration, I popped in Shinedown’s “Fly From The Inside.”
The song has a two-fold meaning to me.
The first line – “Here’s the weight of the world on my shoulders”
I’ve struggled mightily with myself and “inner demons” of late. So I have felt the weight of the world resting squarely on my shoulders.
Then the bridge of the song –
“I can’t escape the pain
I can’t control the rage
Sometimes I think that I’m gonna go insane
I’m not against what’s right
I’m not for what’s wrong
I’m just making my way and I’m gone”
Nothing has spoken to my inner demons like those words. I felt they described me. I felt like I’ve been living them. The pain, the rage. The feeling like I just can’t win. Supportive and loyal to a fault. Right or wrong… the “weight of the world” on my shoulders.
So, I decided to check the meaning of the song. I wanted to see if Brent Smith (front-man of the band and writer of said lyrics) had experienced similar struggles as I had. I wanted to see if indeed those lyrics were about struggles like mine.
…This is where the “two-fold” part comes in…
They weren’t about any of what I thought. Instead, they involved another aspect of my life I had really not even thought of. Something I had not even put much focus on of late.
In an interview with knac.com, Smith stated this:
I just wanted to write a record — and the band did as well, we all did collectively — but my biggest thing was I wanted to write a record where people understood hopefully that I never wanted to sacrifice the… I wanted to write a positive record, but never wanted to sacrifice the listener knowing that you have to come from a dark place sometimes, and if you don’t pull yourself out of it you really have nobody to blame but yourself. So you have to find the strength within yourself to get through it no matter what the obstacle is. People would ask me all the time, “What does ‘Fly From the Inside’ mean?” and, “What are you talking about, because I really didn’t understand it?” and they were having a hard time with it. So when I would explain it to them, it would be like, “No one can steal the sun from the sky” –that’s ridiculous, but that’s the metaphor. It’s about having an unattainable dream that maybe the people around you are telling you that you can’t accomplish and you’re never going to succeed at it, and maybe they’re being that way towards you because they didn’t go after THEIR dreams. And “Fly From The Inside” is just a metaphor about believing in yourself and going after anything that seems unattainable. You have to at least try for it… [short pause]… because you’ll be kicking yourself in the ass if you don’t! [Laughs]
It hit me. It wasn’t just about my struggles with demons, it was also about my struggles in attaining my dreams. I’ve hit some dark moments over the last couple years. And as Smith put it, “you have to come from a dark place sometimes.”
I’m a dreamer. To a fault. I dream big. I have since I was young. Unfortunately, I give up on said dreams because they are too hard. Or I lose sight of the end goal.
And then, there’s the haters, the posers or “realists.” The friends who believe I JUST dream. And to their credit, I haven’t proven anything to anyone.
Or what about the “go for it bro! You can do it!” friends that look to build me up, while behind the scenes, they are tearing me down: “You talk to much” … “you are an attention whore.” Or even … “you’re just plain annoying.”
Well, this song is for you. I’m not giving up. I’m not going away. I’m not shutting up. I’m not shutting down.
I’m going to achieve THE DREAM. And you will be the one asking me to be there for you in the end.
Don’t worry, I will be. I’m not like that. In the end, I’ll be your friend, hug you, and tell you it’s all good. And I won’t speak badly of you behind your back. Because that’s what I do. It’s just a part of who I am.
Until then, keep on hatin’, keep talking smack. And I’ll let my dreams do the talking. Because… that’s what I do.
I’ve been in dark places. I’ve been to hell and back. I’ve been judged. I’ve been made fun of.
And that’s why… I am who I am. That’s why I will succeed.
* my thanks to Brent Smith and Shinedown for being a part of my inspiration.