Feb 11

Still 13

***WARNING*** This blog post is about song lyrics.  If that is too cheesy for you, please wait for my next post!

Every once in a while I feel particularly moved or inspired by song lyrics or they make me think in a different way.  I consider writing about them, but I always decide that what moves each of us is so particular to us and to the moment that I should stay away from it.  So I have a rule not to write about song lyrics.  But I’m breaking that rule once.  The song came on yesterday as I was jogging, and although I usually skip over slower songs when I run I felt compelled to leave it on.  As I ran and breathed and thought it became clear to me why this time it was okay.  So here goes.

I was taking a walk a couple months ago listening to music and half paying attention/half letting my mind wander.  I had recently put a bunch of new music on my iPod, so there was some stuff I hadn’t heard yet.  I remember sort of liking a new song and feeling somehow connected, but still not really paying close attention.  And then the last line of the song played and it struck me:  “And there’s just no getting around the fact that you’re 13…right now. “

Wait a minute, I thought.  I’m not 13 right now!  And I think it’s precisely the “right now” that gets to me.  I’m not 13…I’m 44!  Why was I relating to a song that is all about a 13-year-old’s emotions?!  The song is Tell Yourself by Natalie Merchant.   Since then I have listened again and again, and yeah, it resonates.

So what I’ve come up with is how much it reminds me that my 13-year-old, 10-year-old, 18-year-old selves still reside in me.  No, that’s not quite right.  I know they’re there, but certain lines in the song made me reconsider my 13-year-old assumptions and feelings from a more compassionate place.  I’m not 13 now, and just as Natalie Merchant has an older person’s perspective, so do I.   So while it’s comfortable to tell myself certain things…mostly because I’ve been telling them to myself for so long, maybe it’s time to stop.  Maybe my 44-year-old self needs to step in with some perspective and support.  Maybe that would be good for both of us.  And so that’s what I’ve been doing in small ways and it feels really good.

What have you always told yourself?  What would it be like to change the story?

If you’re curious to hear the song, click here.    It’s attached to a video on YouTube with scenes from an Ingmar Bergman movie.  Personally, I would just listen and not watch…didn’t make much sense to me.