Taking inspiration from ‘I Lived’


This write-up is going to be a bit different as I am tying it to my personal story, so do bear with me 😀

I first chanced upon this song when I was studying with a friend in school, and when I first heard it, I just had the desire to keep pressing the “replay ” button, but I didn’t really know why.

The MV depicts a boy living with cystic fibrosis and despite his circumstances, is still living life to the fullest. When I first chanced upon the MV, I was inspired and motivated by his actions, and felt real guilty for slacking at times, when I have a perfectly healthy body.

Then life happened and this song just passed by, with no sentiment attached.

However, fate reunited me with this song during Council Camp.

Being the resident photographer/videographer, I was tasked to make an emotional video in order for our juniors to reflect on their grueling four-day camp and realize how much they’ve learned and grown; and also to never forget the friendships they’ve made in this short span of time together.

Shooting the raw footage was quite a challenge as my attention was divided between my duties of monitoring the overall flow and safety of the activities, and my task of shooting video. With the Seniors screaming at the top of their lungs, pushing to Juniors to their limits, it was difficult not to be caught up in the moment and stay focused on composing shots on the fly.

This conflict between wanting to get directly involved in the situation and being separated by my duty to capture footage objectively stayed with me throughout the Camp. When my fellow Seniors were able to share freely with the Juniors during our nightly reflection sessions, I remained really quiet and shared nothing all three nights. It wasn’t because I had nothing to say, but rather too much. Not being the person who is comfortable talking in front of a large crowd, I chose instead to channel everything I wanted to say into the video I was creating.

It came down to choosing the background music that would tie the footage together, and at the same time provide an inspiring message from us Seniors to our Juniors as they embark on their journey as the 38th Student Council. I recalled One Republic’s ‘I Lived’ and knew it was the right one.

Hope when you take that jump, you don’t fear the fall
Hope when the water rises, you built a wall
Hope when the crowd screams out, they’re screaming your name
Hope if everybody runs, you choose to stay

Dear 38th, life in council will be tough. There will be many occasions that people will question the things that you are doing. There will be times when your friends ask you to quit, or times when your teachers advise you to reconsider your priorities. Sometimes, your parents will give up on you, some of your council mates will regret their decision and give up on service. But choose to stay.

Hope that you fall in love, and it hurts so bad
The only way you can know is give it all you have

Fall in love with what you are doing, and be prepared to lose sleep because you do. Don’t worry about what others think of what you are doing, give it your all. Give all you have.

“And I hope that you don’t suffer but take the pain
Hope when the moment comes, you’ll say…

I, I did it all
I, I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
With every broken bone, I swear I lived”

There will be times when you will be in deep pain. Take it, but don’t wallow in self pity — it doesn’t help in any way. Live in the moment, focus on the positives. Be daring and make mistakes. Then stand up and be proud of what you’ve learnt, because learning is your right to exercise.

“Hope that you spend your days, but they all add up
And when that sun goes down, hope you raise your cup”

Keep working hard, but don’t lose focus, and don’t let “fun”, “position” and “recognition” swallow you. Focus on what you have to do, and when time comes, look back and marvel at the things you did with your fellow 38th. It will amaze you as it did me.

Oh, I wish that I could witness all your joy and all your pain
But until my moment comes, I’ll say…

I, I did it all
I, I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
With every broken bone, I swear I lived

Notice the people around you, but don’t be competitive. Learn to love, and receive love; feel the joy and pain of your peers, not just the 38th but that of your classmates and schoolmates too. Help them in any way you can. Don’t lose faith in dark times, and keep moving forward.

Know that at the end of our journey, we all have the big ‘A’ monster to overcome. But also know that we do not face it alone, we face it together — just as we always have.

Nobody said that the path would be easy. We chose the difficult path because that’s how we grow strong.

Thanks to Ryan Tedder for writing this beautiful song, and for all the heroes in the world, who seize every moment of their lives and live it to the full. Thanks for my beautiful friends who inspire me day by day to do so too.

With every broken bone, I hope that you will find your own meaning in this song

And with every broken bone, I swear [we will] live.


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