Growing up, I was always told what I needed to care about. I went to Christian school every year except 7th grade, and even before I started school I went to church every Sunday. My father is the type of guy who believes that he is right above all others in his opinions, so I was always being told very clearly what is right and wrong, what is interesting and not interesting, what is acceptable and what isn't, etc etc. But I never really felt like I fit into the mold at all as a kid. I felt that I was unique, and didn't quite fit into the society I was a part of, whether it be the kickball team on the playground or the goodie-two-shoes group at church on Sunday's. I felt, and still do, like a Natural Born Rebel. I believed in the Christian religion I was raised in as a child, simply because it's the logical thing to do when everyone you know and trust is telling you what's right and wrong. But I always had an understanding of, devotion to, and love for movies, music, and art of any kind more than the Bible or Jesus. I felt at odds with what I was being told was right, because I knew in my heart what truly mattered to me, and it wasn't going to heaven when I died. I always thought heaven sounded really boring, anyways. What mattered to me, what STILL matters to me, is art. The only thing that has ever reached into my soul and grabbed my heart, the only thing that has ever raised goosebumps on my flesh and made me cry inside because of the sheer beauty of it all, is art.
"Art" is such a vague term, and yet such an important one. It encompasses so many different genres and ideas, and covers so many different mediums, that it's really a useless word, because it doesn't specify worth shit. But at the same time, it's one of the most powerful and important words the world has ever had the pleasure of coming in contact with. "Art" means that visual, or sound, or material, that is aesthetically or emotionally appealing, horrifying, attention-grabbing, pleasing, and/or (if it's true, "perfect" art) heartfelt. It's the most basic way of communication between different people. A picture is worth 1000 words, they say, and I believe it. It can make you completely fall in love with someone you've never even met, just by looking at what they've created. It's the opposite of destruction, because art, by it's nature, is creation. And whether it be a song, or a film, or a painting, we all know what it's like to have a work of art reach out and grab our very souls, changing us forever. Everyone has that song, the one that they can remember hearing for the first time; or the one that brings to mind a very particular person or event, making one moment in history completely significant and epic. Everyone has that movie, the one that makes them cry or laugh everytime they see it, the film they will forever comment on in a positive way everytime it comes up in conversation; the one they will show their kids, or spouse, because it has become and always will be a piece of their heart.
Religious texts and high school math classes never have mattered to me the way my favorite bands have. Politicians and "successful" leaders have never connected with me the way the avant-garde, "trashy" musicians I look up to have. And after 19 years of existence, 19 years of trying to figure out what matters and what doesn't in this short period of time we have on earth, I think I've figured out what matters to me. Art, and Art alone. This is my spirituality.