24 Nov Now
I love musicals. I was around eight or nine years old the first time I went to one (The Lion King). I don’t remember much about it though. I know that I went with my sister and a bunch of other kids from my church. My mom put me in a really nice dress, drove me up to church, put me on a school bus and then the school bus took us to the theatre where I proceeded to sit there for hours watching this musical. The one thing I can recall about the actual performance happened during “Hakuna Matata.” During 99% of the song young Simba was singing, and then at the very end he swings out on a vine, and when he swings back in he’s an adult. The only reason I remember this part is because when it happened I couldn’t help but think that that was a really nice transition.
The next time I saw a Broadway musical after that was as an adult. And I don’t know what happened from my childhood to that moment, but after watching that second musical as an adult, I fell in love with the theatre. In fact, I love musicals so much that I have season tickets at multiple theatres. One of the plays for this season is Les Miserables. I’m particularly excited to see this one because, I remember seeing the movie and loving every second of it. Sometimes when I watch a movie, I have to watch it more than once in order to enjoy it, but that wasn’t the case here. I even still listen to the soundtrack on a semi-regular basis. My favorite song from the entire play is called, “On my Own.” And I don’t just like the version that Samantha Barks sings in the 2012 film. I have heard multiple versions from different women who have played the role of Eponine, and I have been thoroughly satisfied by all of them.
There are many reasons why I love “On my Own.” One of the first things is the melody. If I don’t like the melody of something then I won’t even be inclined to listen to the lyrics, but because I enjoy this song’s melody, it allows me to want to focus on the words. The next thing I like about it is the lyrics. In the song, Eponine sings about her unrequited love. She loves a man named Marius, but he has absolutely no romantic feelings towards her whatsoever. She desperately wants him to be hers, but he has his eye on someone else, which is ultimately why they can never be together. In this ballad, she sings about how they’re able to be together when she lives inside of her head. She’s made up a world in her mind, and in this world she’s able to be with the man she loves. This speaks to me on multiple levels. On a basic level, it’s able to hit home because I’ve experienced that feeling before. Throughout my life there have been people that I’ve liked, but unfortunately many of those people didn’t like me in the same way that I liked them. It’s a part of life, which is why I’m sure that many of you out there can relate to Eponine’s pain. Some of you can also probably relate to the second reason why the lyrics speak to me. Like I said, in this song Eponine sings about the world she’s created inside of her mind. Whenever she goes to this place, she can be happy, even if it’s only for a moment, and many times I find myself doing the same thing. Sometimes I’m with my crush in this world, but other times I’m just doing something somewhere that makes me happy. It can be as simple as sitting outside looking up at the sun as the warm rays kiss my face. And other times I’m someplace so far away from home that I don’t even know where I am, but I love it because it’s somewhere new and exciting. In these moments I am as happy in my world as Eponine is when she’s with Marius in her world, but I also know that I can’t stay there forever. I have to come out and face reality. I have to deal with whatever is making me retreat into this fake universe because if I don’t then I might not ever be able to create a life in the real world that makes me happy.
Escaping every once in awhile to your head is okay, but it becomes problematic when you spend most of your time there. You have to remember to live in the present, positive thinker. Yes that world you created in your head is nice, but this world out here has the potential to be just as nice if you build up enough courage to try and make it that way.