Head Above Water

So one year ago last night, I got to see Avril Lavigne live at her Head Above Water tour. I’ve been a die hard fan since I was a CHILD–like 5th grade, y’all. I used to have entire set lists memorized from her shows in 2002, so I was twelve and rocking out to music that was popular when I was two.

Before I got sick. Before she got sick.

I remember the day Head Above Water dropped–her first single in years. I sat in school with my headphones in and sobbed. I couldn’t stop myself from feeling every word. I couldn’t pretend that the song she was singing wasn’t my song too. I felt like I was seen. I felt like I was heard. And it was by Avril. My ride or die since I had a music taste that was all my own.

When Makayla Jo and I saw that she was going to be performing in our area, my chest tightened at even the possibility. And then we made it happen. We went. I saw her. I sang with her. I screamed. I danced.

And it was so so good.

Avril’s Head Above Water tour was designed to be easy on her ill body. The set list was short. It was perfect for her energy level and accommodating to mine. I was able to do all of those things with the people around me despite the fact that I was in the hospital fighting for my life less than two weeks later.

And that’s what you don’t see here. I don’t have pictures of the recovery process that came after this night that made a dream of mine come true. You don’t see that Makayla basically carried me back to the car. Or that when we got back to my dorm room she had to help me into bed and wrap heat and ice around my body and feed me a fist full of pills. You don’t see that I couldn’t get out of bed the next day.

But, guys, I didn’t care. It was so worth it. And some things are. Avril Lavigne singing my long time anthems and about how we’re too young to fall asleep. That. That was worth it.

Because she’s right. My life is what I’m fighting for. And experiences like that. No matter how hard it was. That’s what actually living is.

One thought on “Head Above Water

  1. Listened to your anthem, Emma, darlin’ Emma. Glad for that experience in your life and hope there will be more “worth it” events. Thank you for writing about the sources of your strength. Continue to admire and be amazed.


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