Tag Archives: change your life

Day 17: Ode To The Shins

6 Jun

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Today is the day before my last final. So I am stressed out of my mind. But in the midst of all this hot air and worry, I always have my one love to fall back on. And that one love is the Shins.

So, today, I’m gonna do things a little differently: instead of bringing you a website or something, i’m just gonna write a bit about why the Shins really help me out.

The video above is from the movie Garden State (2004), starring Zach Braff and Natalie Portman.

Back in early 2004 (and I mean EARLY), my family moved from the little city of Visalia, CA to the even littler city Sammamish, WA. 2 states away from my whole life.

For the first few months of living in Washington, I had a really difficult time fitting in. I had it rough in California when I was little, but this time I didn’t have friends to fall back on like I did. While I had no trouble making friends to hang with while I was at school, I was feeling the pressure of living somewhere I had only been to once in my whole life. I was scared, sad, and unsure about what to do.

Once I saw the preview for Garden State, I knew I was going to see it. So, while I stayed at a summer camp for 2 weeks, I dreamed about Zach Braff and the movie’s bizarre plotline (yeah, I was a movie nerd back then too). When I got home, my mom presented me with the soundtrack, and that was the first time I had ever heard the Shins.

Of course New Slang was my favorite song on the whole soundtrack, and I quickly began to develop and obsession with the band who sang it: who are they and where can I get more of their songs?!

When the movie finally came out, and I went and saw it, I remember watching this scene and thinking that I might take a lesson from it.

And sure enough, 6 years later, I can confirm this: The Shins have changed my life.

After the rubble rested from my obsession with the movie, I finally got around to checking out a full Shins CD. My dad made me a copy of Chutes Too Narrow and I worshipped it until the CD broke. Literally. Every song, every verse, every guitar riff made me feel at home. It made me feel okay. For the first time since I moved to Washington, I felt happy.

6 years, 1 more CD, five concerts, and 1 account of meeting the members later, I am still here, listening to Chutes Too Narrow as I stress out. But even now, 6 years after listening to it the first time, I still feel the same way. Safe. Secure. Home.

The Shins is my home away from home away from home. And I need them to survive.

Thank you, The Shins, for making me feel this way. Without you, I don’t know who I’d be in this world.