My sister, a doctor, tends to remind me on a rather daily basis that, "not everyone has the innate ability to express themselves sensibly like you do." A confession I tend to brush off. In my mind, we all do. We all have words. The difference is how we assemble them and produce more than just a sentence, but a meaning, a movement.
The remarkable thing about music is that in many ways it speaks for you, with you, to you....or maybe to someone else. The movement has been created, all you have to do is step in line.
One of my favorite artists is Emeli Sande. There is so much truth in her lyrics, so much truth in her life.
When I first heard, "Read All About It", I admit it was her musical genius that captivated me at first. A British-born Alicia Keys. There's something majestic about the way that she plays the piano - like a delicate butterfly landing on a flower.
Not a day goes by when I don't think about other people. I guess you could say I am to some degree consumed by the thoughts, feelings, opinions and stories of my loved ones and in some cases complete strangers. Now I know what you must be thinking, "You're a journalist." Yes, you're right. I am. But before anything, I am a person.
I'm affected by the very same words that my sources and characters are. I am affected by what people think of me, feel about me, say to me. I cry. I fear. I care. It's hard to publicly admit that - surely I'm one of very few individuals who've revealed themselves.
"People-Pleasing" has in short become somewhat of an unconscious past-time of mine. It's almost as effortless as people watching or bird watching. At times, well most of the time if I'm being honest, I rarely call myself out on it.
It's taken me my entire life to understand why I spend time caring about what other people say, think or do in regards to me, myself and I. I have yet to come to some sort of logical conclusion other than the obvious - jealousy. But can that really be it? Why do I care what they think about how I dress or the choices I've made? Why has it been so important to keep pretenses up for 26 years?
If my sister is in fact right, why is it that I don't OPEN MY MOUTH?!
And then I heard these words....and suddenly in the matter of 5 minutes and 24 seconds my feelings, thoughts and story came pouring out of Emeli's mouth. Maybe my story isn't just mine:
I chose this profession because at times I grew up feeling as if my words didn't matter. You know, us kids, we "don't know what we're talking about." I beg to differ, we do. We are talking about our feelings and those feelings matter.
I wouldn't say that I bite my tongue as much as I would say I live in fear at times that people will learn my story and suddenly view me differently. But I guess the point of this song is celebrating the fact that "we're a little different, there's no need to be ashamed." Simple and sweet.
I think every single individual walking this planet earth has a story. Something to share, something to say and yet rarely are these stories heard in their truth. We are taught to be tamed, taught to "fit in" when maybe the circle was never meant to fit in the square - it was meant to fit in a circle.
I listen to this song every morning without fail. It's become somewhat of a ritual if you will, as organic as brushing my teeth.
People wonder, "If today were my last day on earth, how would I spend it..." I can't say that I live in that frame of mind, but if I were asked that question my answer would be that I lived in light.
I shared my story and authentic self with the world. I was loved and perhaps I was hated, but I was known. And that to me is paramount. "I Was Here," as my idol Beyonce said.
Emeli majestically closes this song with this poetic question: