Their philosophies, although often dissonating from my own, taught me that it's often beneficial to disagree.
When I was hurled into Texas, I was miserable when I didn't express myself within the Kinkaid-bubble.
Now, whether it's Texas or Oregon, Republican or Democrat, my life is a playlist of contradictions.
In college, where everyone works on discovering "who they are" or what their place is in the world, I know I can provide not only diversity of thought, but can educate people through my own stories on how crucial it is to maintain an open-minded ideology towards the world and an individual's power to change it.
His music meant something different to every person in that room and all those meanings, all infinite number of them, wrapped around the music notes and existed in harmony on that July night. It was as if I could hear the heartbeats of every person in that room, pulsing along with the rhythm of the music.
By sharing his music, Tom Petty gave me a striking awareness of 19,580 people that live and feel alongside each other. Lights flashing beyond my eyelids, I could feel what it was like to live more lives than just my own.
Freshman year, I tried so hard to keep them that pristine, popular M7652-000 color.
Time progressed, however, and dirt, guitar chords, and conversations eventually covered the canvas of the shoes.
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Or at least that's how my bike-tire-greased, highlight-yellow, heel-cap-ripping-at-the-seams Chuck-Taylors are supposed to be colored.