Here’s the thing about chemistry: You can fight it, vehemently, but you will always lose.The desire to be with someone can often be like a leaky faucet. Quite nagging, at first, especially if you’re trying to focus on something (or someone) else. But soon, it becomes like a tidal wave, crashing over you again and again, reminding you how numb you felt before this insistent, demanding, exhilarating, and even frightening experience. But giving in…Giving in can be like dancing outside during a thunderstorm: risky, exciting, fortifying. So what if you get a bit wet? It can feel so good to surrender…
Polite disbelief radiated from him,
At the idea that I wasn’t as beautiful as he’d imagined.
“I’m ordinary”, I insisted.
But he would always see me as supernally beautiful.
Thus, I was incapable of loving him
In any way that wasn’t extraordinary.
Sometimes, a song captures you not necessarily with words or melody, but because of this inexplicable mixture of calm, adrenaline, nostalgia, and euphoria it evokes. This is such a song.
“There’s beauty in the breakdown.”
Letting go of the past can be difficult. Letting go of the present, of relevant, poignant, on-going pain, and allowing oneself to be removed from that which causes it, no matter the sacrifice, can be impossible. Humanity’s greatest asset and largest flaw lies in our ability to adapt. Unfortunately, being able to adapt and function in new circumstances always comes with a rough adjustment periods, which in tun leads to complacency with bad situations. Because most of us have ourselves fooled that our situations, no matter how unhappy they make us, are better and far more favourable that starting over would be. Pithy, trite sayings like “It could always be worse” or “Better the evil you know than the evil you don’t know”, help us to justify our own fear of change, which is very often tangentially linked to a fear of happiness.
The truth is, there is always room for growth, for change, and many of us will never reach our full potential or personal success or happiness because we are too afraid, and have become best frenemies with fear and anxiety, making no attempt to let go, start over, and fall in love with life.
“Let me be your lullaby, playing in your head this song every night.
Give me ten minutes, let me bare by soul…
I don’t wanna be alive if it doesn’t feel like this, right now…
I’m not afraid to die if you are by my side…”
Sometimes, despite distance, the intensity of our passion for another can be an emotion that eclipses all others. The sensations are familiar yet foreign, all senses heightened so that life before seemed black and white, and life with them, even for brief periods, is technicolour. Feeling like we’d die without that person, or that life would lose all real meaning without them, is so common, and often has a hurtful conclusion, and yet many of us willingly jump into the treacherous waters of love. Why is that?
If we are to be friends,
Then be kind to me.
Treat my shortcomings with tolerance,
And my pain with compassion.
If we are to be friends,
Then know me.
Take the time to learn
The secrets lurking in the moments between
My laughter and the silent pain behind my eyes.
If we are to be lovers,
Understand that I require love.
I need my hand held and my eyes stared into
Just as I need my body embraced and my toes curled.
If we are to be lovers,
I have to love you.
Open up your mind to me.
Bring down the walls; I need transparency.
If we are to be more than eventual
Then nurture my place in your life.
Do not block out the sun with coldness, distance, and lies.
Water us with sincerity, nearness, and warmth.
Allow us to fully bloom.
“All the cool kids, they seem to fit in.”
Nearly everyone wants to fit in with their peers as a child. We want more than just to be respected and tolerated, though some still fail to achieve even these basic things (often though no fault of their own). No,we want to be included, liked. We want to belong. What no one ever tells you when you’re a child, though, is that the need to belong, to have a group that knows, accepts and loves you, never goes away. They don’t tell you that peer pressure never goes away, either. It just gets subtler. The popular clique gets replaced with affluent neighbours or the stylish co-workers or the naturally fit people at the gym. There will always be a set of “cool kids”, and if you’re not one of them, their lives can often seem flawlessly easy and glamorous, especially when you’re dealing with difficult matters.
When I first heard “Cool Kids” by Echosmith, my first thought was that this sounded like something I would have written as a teenager (I didn’t realize at the time that the band was, in fact, comprised of teens). Then I felt a bit of self-conscious irritation at the fact that, at almost thirty years old, this song was incredibly relateable to me. I’d been a loner as a child (due to a combination of frequent moving, an unusual voracity for reading, incredibly large glasses and a bit of shyness). This lead to my becoming even more introverted as a teen. I wanted a group of friends, and I collected a couple every few years (some of whom have stood the test of time and that I’m still close to), But I always have and still often do feel like I’m on the “outside”, Never the cool kid, always the loner, living in my head and wondering why that is. “Cool Kids” struck a chord with me because, as often as we hear songs about love, loss, heartache, lust and the quest for riches, rarely is anyone ever so honest as to admit that they want a friend, that they want to belong, and that they envy others who do. The truth is, this feeling, this need for gregarious socializing, might be the most common of all.