As a young teenager, I used to get up early in the morning to finish my homework before school. In order to actually get out of bed before the sun had even thought about rising, I set my radio alarm clock on the other side of the room, so that I had to climb down the ladder of my loft bed and walk over to turn it off.
I don’t remember why I chose the local alternative rock station to wake me up — maybe because the noise of it helped motivate me, maybe just because on my inexpensive radio clock, it was the only station that came in clearly.
Whatever the case, all of a sudden, a specific song began to wake me every morning, played by the DJ at the same time of day — around 5:30 AM — more or less every single day for weeks. I started to pay attention to it. I was in middle school, and while this song lacked a certain degree of subtlety, it seemed to be saying something that no one else had said to me up until then, something that really resonated with my hormone-addled brain.
That song was “I’m Not Okay” by then up-and-coming band My Chemical Romance.