To MCR, With Love

A year ago today, My Chemical Romance announced their reunion. 

It was a normal day for me. I’d gone to work, then went to tutor a student at her house. On the way home, I picked up Halloween candy, though there was such a rainstorm, I doubted anyone would come. I opened my Facebook and was greeted with someone posting an article about My Chemical Romance’s reunion.

Reader, I gasped audibly. My heart probably stopped for a second. And suddenly, I was filled with so many feelings I hadn’t felt in so long.

I never thought this day would come. I’d been a My Chemical Romance fan since I was twelve or thirteen. The Black Parade had burrowed its way into my heart, and I obsessed over their songs with one of my best friends. We had dreams of seeing them live, but living in Atlantic Canada and being twelve didn’t help our situation. I was heartbroken the day they announced they were ending the MCR journey. At that point, I was in university, and I had hope that the next time they toured, I’d be able to afford going to the show. I remember listening to “Fake Your Death” and tearing up.

As the years went on, I continued to listen to MCR, but my enthusiasm dulled. I still looked on them fondly, but I wasn’t obsessed in the way I used to be.

Fast forward to last year. I’d moved to Toronto a few years before. After years of just barely surviving in Toronto, pinching pennies, stress-checking my bank account late at night, I’d landed a solid, regular office job. Finally, I was making enough money to feel somewhat secure. I had even published a novel! Things, on the surface, were going pretty great. But at the same time, I was starting to feel so tired, so restless. Like something was missing.

When MCR announced their reunion, something returned to me. A spark I hadn’t felt in ages. I started watching interviews, old and new. I felt especially inspired watching Frank talk about his solo music. His passion was infectious, and I longed to feel it in my own life again.

Back at the height of my obsession with MCR, I had dreams to write novels and music. I especially wanted to sing my songs and record them. I wrote songs on my bed with my old guitar, and recorded them on Garageband using a mic headset for vocals. It was very homemade, but it filled me with so much joy. 

I hadn’t written a song in so long. The fire I had for music had been partially doused after going through two university programs in music and feeling generally disillusioned. As I approached 27, I’d told myself I was too old to pursue the music I wanted to write. It was better to move on and find a different use for my skills. But watching the old interviews, I was reminded how Gerard was around 25 when he quit his job and started MCR. It took years afterwards for them to reach the level of success they’d reached. It hadn’t been too late for him, it didn’t have to be too late for me. I needed to take my own chance.

Ever since that day, I’ve been inspired. I’ve been finding ways to build the life I want, the life I’d dreamed for myself as a kid listening to The Black Parade. I’ve started writing songs again. I even recorded one during quarantine! I’m slowly finding my way.

So, I just want to say thank you to MCR. They were there for me as a kid, and they came back to me as an adult, in a time I really needed them. Their music will always mean so much to me.

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