May 232013

I’m ready to face reality. To overcome my fears and anxiety. To breathe through the pain of knowing its over. I know that suffering makes us stronger. I have officially accepted…

The end of Rock Band dlc.

You might snicker at how crazy it sounds to feel sad about this, or you might fully understand.

When I realised that there would be no more dlc, with the exception of rbn, I kinda stopped downloading songs because I didn’t want to admit that my Tuesday’s were no longer the best day of the week. New songs were released on Tuesday’s every week for as long as I can remember. Songs were announced the Friday before and you had to wait the whole weekend to buy the next set of songs.

Anyways, I decided to start the process of letting go. I downloaded the Chevelle pack and American Pie.

Rock Band has been with me through many epic life events. I played Rock Band while studying and living on campus at UBC, while traveling to New Zealand, and getting settled in Canada. I have celebrated my birthday with Rock Band parties and spend 24 hours of solid gaming for charity using Rock Band. My local friends think I’m crazy because I love a video game so much, but they’ve come to appreciate that it’s a part of who am.

In my professional life, I have used Rock Band to connect  with children and youth. My experience has been working with children & youth in high-risk front line crisis in safe house for women and children fleeing violence. By playing Rock Band with children & youth, and being genuinely into the rockage, I was able to build trust and start the foundation of my psycho-educational work. Once they trust me, I am able to help them recognize their emotions around the trauma they’ve experienced and help them find their strengths to deal with the here and now. Plus, I support them as they create safety plans in the event that they are witness to violence and abuse in their homes.

I’m pretty open with friends and family about why I wanted to get into this work, now I am going to share a bit here. I lived in the safe house that I work in. When I was a child, I was a child that witnessed abuse and violence. I remember fleeing my dad and running across the county to try and stay safe. When I was 10 years old, we moved to Barrie, Ontario from BC and I spent the entire summer listening to American Pie. I knew every word. I could sing it without the music. I would hide in the attic and hum the song when I got scared. If I was walking to school or the park and I felt nervous I would start singing American Pie. I drove my sister nuts because it was my favorite song and she couldn’t understand why I was listening to such ‘dated’ music. She hated anything I liked because she was 2 years older than me, thus, cooler. So naturally I would torture her by singing it loudly before bed.  I would listen to it through my walkman and sing along, so only I could hear the music blaring in my ears. The look on her face was priceless.

My love for this song lasted about 3 months. Every waking moment, every quiet time, every lonely, sad, and happy experience had American Pie attached to it. When you are 10 years old, 3 whole months feels like a lifetime.

I brought this song back to BC with me when my family tried to reunite again and I kept it close to my heart as my own personal weapon against anything that happened. All I needed to feel safe and happy was my song: American Pie.

For some people, music becomes a huge part of who they are. For most teenagers, the music they listen to defines the decisions they make and the type of life they want to live. For me, music was something I had control over. It was something that no one could take away from me. Of course, it could be restricted (my mom referred to Metallica as ‘devil music’ so she wouldn’t approve of me listening to it). But I always found ways around the restrictions and I listened to the music I liked.

The reason why Harmonix picked American Pie as the last dlc for Rock Band 3 isn’t important to me, but playing the song is huge.

It took me over a month to even download the song. Now that I own the song on Rock Band, it might sit in my library unplayed for months. Or I might play it tomorrow.

(Note: a *walkman is sort of like an iPod).

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