By sharing his music, Tom Petty gave me a striking awareness of 19,580 people that live and feel alongside each other. Lights flashing beyond my eyelids, I could feel what it was like to live more lives than just my own.
Tom Petty's art described his life, but it has weaved its way into those of so many others.
When I moved, I was bombarded by a completely foreign culture.
By sophomore year, however, I realized that compromising myself in order to fit in was a mistake.
She forced me to see the other side, forced me to make my own conclusions without the influence of my background or parents.
In Portland, opinions are liberally voiced, and it's similar in my community in Houston, except rather than an abundance of Lizzie Fletcher stickers it's "Come and Take It".In college, where everyone works on discovering "who they are" or what their place is in the world, I know I can provide not only diversity of thought, but can educate people through my own stories on how crucial it is to maintain an open-minded ideology towards the world and an individual's power to change it.On one hot night in a dark room at the heart of Boston, I became friends with 19,580 people in one single moment.But as various conflicting influences crept into my life--Liberal vs. I needed to appreciate Houston's voice and learn from its stories as much as it needed to hear mine, and my shoes grew dirtier every day as each person's testimony helped solidify and expand my own.As I walk, one can first make out "Cheyenne yo yo" engulfing the right inner canvas, weaving through clasps and eventually boarding "PORTLAND!!!Sandalwood, my friends and I call it--a late-night, post-fast food, teen-angst polluted lake.Sandalwood is the cosmos and the meaning of God and the Sisyphus-like emotions that we discuss there.Learning to embrace and assess so many dissonating ideas has enabled to grow more into myself--it makes me more nonpartisan and has educated me on what it truly means to listen to the other side.Now, whether it's Texas or Oregon, Republican or Democrat, my life is a playlist of contradictions.We had all journeyed to the TD Garden from wherever we were in our lives to see Tom Petty perform.I knew his music because my mother had shared it with me.