Riding the Waves

I’ve actually been sitting on this post for a while now, because I wasn’t sure how to write it.  So, here goes nothing.

I already reviewed Rachel Platten’s new album, but I’ll admit, it wasn’t my best review.  Today, I’m going to make up for that.

The first song on the album is “Perfect for You”.  It really strikes a cord with me, because I’ve finally realized that pleasing people, getting along with everybody, what have you, is impossible.  No matter what, there’s always going to be someone that you can’t please.  It just hurts when that’s someone who is close to me:

And it’s true, I can’t seem to shake it loose, ’cause all this insecurity’s hurting me.  Tired of trying to be perfect you, I’m done jumping through hoops, there’s so much time I’ve wasted on chasing it, face it, I cannot be perfect for you.

I think I lost sight of this in college.  In fact, I know I did.  I was so obsessed with what other people (including but certainly not limited to my professors) thought of me that I lost sight of why I was in college at all.  I forgot that I was doing it for me and my career as a journalist.

I’ve already analyzed Broken Glass, but it bears repeating that this song is special because it helps me keep my eye on the prize.  I’m going to get it, it’s just figuring out how that’s the hard part.  I’m used to having everything planned out that sometimes I wish there were a direct route to my dream job; I’m good at doing what’s expected of me. But if everybody had a path set in front of them, there would be no room for anything else.  No freedom of expression, no room to explore.  Sounds kind of boring doesn’t it?

“Whole Heart,” is a tricky one.

So come on baby open up, I swear you won’t be sorry.  You know I never ever judge, I swear you won’t be sorry.

I don’t really have any problems opening up to people.  It’s just recognizing the time, place, and appropriate people that trips me up.  I wish I could turn to my family, but most of the time I feel like I can’t.  But the truth of it is that my friends can only handle so much “woe is me”.  I wish I didn’t fixate on things so much.

“Labels” is a bit like “Helpless” from Hamilton.

I’m not stressin’, I’m not doing what I usually do.  Normally I control situations but I don’t with you.

Why we need the labels?

I’ve never understood why being friends with teachers/professors seems to be taboo.  At least, it’s been that way for me.  I know that they do have authority, but why doesn’t that mean we can also be friends?  I can’t help but be inspired by and look up to my teachers and professors.

Rachel always manages to have one song that – occasionally – makes me cry.  This time around, it’s “Hands”.  This is particularly poignant for me because I lost three of my grandparents last year.  But it’s really cool how she incorporated voicemails from her grandmother into the song.

And last but not least, there’s “Fooling You”

You saw my wild ways, stuck around through my ugly days.  I know you mean everything you say, so why do I feel like I’m fooling you?

College wasn’t easy.  I made a lot of mistakes.  My professors saw me struggle, and yet somehow they don’t hate me for it.  It hardly makes any sense to me.  If I were them, I would have expelled myself a long time ago.  It was really ugly, but they stood by me and believed in me.

All of this seems to beg the question of whether Rachel Platten and I are the same person.  Because she seems to struggle with some of the same things I do.


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