Meh, I figure this is somehow fitting. I've been hearing this song all over the place for the past few weeks and just didn't take the time to listen to it until last night. I recognized it mostly from the Chanukah-themed parodies by Pella and Standfour. (Shoutout to The Maccabeats' original Chanukah song, which has an important, great cause behind it.) But then, yesterday, I gave it a listen for real.
I may be a little bit in love with the lyrics, and not just because I briefly considered the title "Some Nights" for that webcomic that never happened back on Arbitribe (the subtitle for it was supposed to be "...in the Heights." I know, terrible).
This is probably the first time I've listened to a song and thought, this is me. But not just me, everyone my age I've had any sort of discussion with. A song about knowing you stand for something, knowing you want something, but just not being sure what that is. A song about oscillating between thinking your life sucks and counting your blessings, because except for that one thing that sucks, you've got everything you need. It might as well have been called "So you're in your early-mid twenties."
Apologies to the easily-offended for the one curseword in this song.
Besides, it's just another clear indication that Fun is trying to be the new Queen, an artistic choice I wholeheartedly approve of. We could use more Rock n' Roll. Come on. Listen to that beat, those power-harmonies, and the lead singer's melodic yelping and tell me he's not picturing himself with the Mercury 'stache.
The song features verses which sound oddly to me like some religious/ community complaints I've had and heard:
Why don't we break the rules already? I was never one to believe the hype, save that for the black and white. I try twice as hard and I'm half as liked, but here they come again to jack my style.
A verse about pursuing people you don't care about just to keep from thinking too hard, a verse about wishing you had your real friends around to make sure you're not forgotten, a spoken verse about disillusionment.
So this is it? I sold my soul for this? Washed my hands of that for this? I miss my mom and dad for this?
Obviously, many of the experiences named are not ones I've had or relate directly to (I don't think there's a martyr in my bed, anyway), but the sentiment rings true. I think my personal favorite one, though, is the one that just seems to cover all of it (and sorry, but it's the one place there's cursing).
Well, that is it, guys. That is all. Five minutes in and I'm bored again. Ten years of this and I'm not sure if anyone understands. This is not one for the folks at home. Sorry to leave, mom, I had to go. Who the ---- wants to die alone all dried up in the desert sun?
To me, this song is just essentially a summary of prayer. These are essentially the things I think about when I talk to G-d (seeing G-d's ghost, I guess? Hey, I'm Jewish, so not every parallel is perfect). I wonder if He cares, if He's listening at all, wondering why He didn't listen to some things I prayed for so hard. Wondering if, like the closing verse says, it's for the best You didn't listen.
I don't know about anyone else, but if I was singing this song, I'd have a siddur in hand and be staring straight up.
So what is this post other than an ode to one of the first songs I've heard on the radio and right away loved in a long time? It's an expression of an odd sort of smile I felt this week.
I realized why I've been so freaked out. It's because I realized just how little control I have over what happens to me. Sometimes it feels like the only things I can control is what I eat and when I take a shower. But then I realized there was one more thing I could control.
I couldn't control what other people did. But I could control what I did. So I did the only thing I could think of. I responded to emails and messages I had left fester in my inbox because of school. And I made a little Chanukah resolution. It's the same resolution I've been working on this entire semester, but this time I decided to really throw it into high gear. I've been working on what I consider my worst two qualities: my impatience and my tendency to react before I process.
So that's what I've been working on. Someone pointed out to me that if the last time I'd been having a hard time, which was two winters ago, someone had told me that in just a few months I'd be starting the best year of my life so far, I would never have believed them and demanded, "Well, why can't it start now?"
So now, that's how I'm choosing to view things. Things may be difficult now, but just like that concept of Karma, maybe it's difficult now so that it can be easier later. Maybe I'm confused about what I want now so that when I finally decide on a path, I will be sure of it. Maybe my first semester was so crazy difficult so that my next few won't be so comparatively bad.
I read a quote on the whiteboard in the hall at NYU last week: "One thing at a time, all things in succession. That which grows fast withers as quickly. That which grows slow endures." -J.G. Holland
Yesterday, the whiteboard said: "Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." -Leonard Cohen (for those who don't know, the guy who wrote 'Hallelujah')
I took both of these to heart. Patience. And remember, not all is lost. It's just that nothing is perfect, and maybe it's better that way. Just because the bell is cracked, it doesn't mean it can't ring anymore. Who knows, maybe it'll sound better, like a slightly warped record.
G-d, maybe it's for the best You didn't listen. As long as there's a reason I just don't know about yet.