Shattered Glass

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


After a nightmare of insomnia, I spent my afternoon dozing off and on to some of my favorite tunes. I've never really classified myself as a lover of "genres," more so a lover of lyrics. For me it's about the content - whatever that content may be. 

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:

"You've got the words to change a nation but you're biting your tongue.
You've spent a lifetime stuck in silence afraid you'll say something wrong
If no one ever hears it how we gonna learn your song?
So come on, come on
Come on, come on...."

"You've got a heart as loud as lions 
So why let your voice be tamed?
Baby we're a little different 
There's no need to be ashamed
You've got the light to fight the shadows
So stop hiding them away
Come on, Come on
Come on, Come on...."

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:

"Yeah we're ALL wonderful, wonderful people
So when did we all get so fearful?
Now we're finally finding our voices 
So take a chance, come help me sing this..."

So I ask you: You - sitting in the corner, afraid to raise you're hand for fear of being wrong. You - the little girl who never fit in because she never chose to stand out. You - the one living on eggshells afraid to fall - "When did we all get so fearful?"

My mother always says, "I have one thing on this earth and that's my name." I get it. All I have is my name and it's time to stand up and SCREAM AND SHOUT. It's time to let people read all about me, read about what I've done and what I haven't done. How I succeeded and how I failed. What I stood for and what I stood against. It's time people knew me. 

Perhaps after reading my words you know something more than what you see. 


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