I’m going to see Our Lady Peace tonight, and in true fashion, I’m psyching myself up for it by listening to all of their music today. Watching the video for Clumsy, though, has just struck me with some perspective.
My sixteenth birthday was the worst in memory. My boyfriend at the time was out of state, my parents were working, I had cramps from hell, my toilet was acting up and my dad wasn’t home to fix it, and I’d found out a rather lovely online-friend of two years had died just a couple days previous. Then, for just a bit of icing on the metaphorical shit cake, we’d taken my sisters to a concert earlier that year as a mutual birthday present since it was between their birthdays. Great, cool, I love shows, they had fun, I had fun, awesome. So when I asked my parents if I could go to one that was coming up a few weeks after my birthday, and was subsequently told no based on the fact they needed to take work if it was available, I was sincerely bummed, but I of course understood. That show was Our Lady Peace, on tour for their seventh album, Burn, Burn, an album I had bought just after it was released.
And now, what seems like a ridiculous six years later, I’m finally getting to see them. 15 year old me is dying, and watching Clumsy, I’m going back to just how oddly sad I was at that point in life. I had some great things going on around me and I certainly wasn’t very badly off, but mentally and emotionally I was a wreck. I had the same set of best friends then as I do now and I contribute a lot of my sanity then and now to them, but past that, I was not in a fantastic place. I was torn between trying to convince myself I was fine and never feeling like enough. I spent a luckily fairly short span of time eating as little as possible to not stir up any questions because I felt like my appearance was dependent on my weight, as certainly my face wouldn’t be enough to outweigh it, so to speak. I was convinced that if that particular boyfriend wasn’t around, I’d never be happy again and I would surely never again find anyone blind enough to think they loved me. I couldn’t drive, I had no friends near enough to me to actually see, and my brain was just a chaotic mess of feeling like I deserved nothing, and wanting so much with no means of obtaining it.
And at this point in life, all of those things are opposite.
It took me until last year to realize I was never going to be enough for that relationship, but also that it was never going to be enough for me. I’m at a point where I know what I need – and definitely what I don’t – and I know what I enjoy. Now it’s not that I don’t deserve things, but merely that I have to make choices between what opportunities I’ve been given and decide what I actually want. Not an easy task, mind you, but certainly easier than accepting ‘nothing’ as the only option. I’ve found that aesthetics matter – of course they do – but they only sway your life if you let them. I’ve embraced all the weird little things that make me happy, and I’ve stopped trying to force myself to stick with things that don’t suit me just for the sake of them being perfect on paper.
It’s just funny to look back six years to where I was, who I was, and to see things now. I decided at one point that petty things and pointless frustrations I had no power over weren’t going to get to me anymore, and they haven’t. I find it’s not worth getting bent out of shape over things that aren’t really going to affect you unless you make the conscious choice to let them. Yes, to a degree I may be a callous, uncaring monster, but I don’t let not being bothered leave me a black hole void of empathy or happiness. Quite the opposite, rather.
I may work an ungodly amount; I may spend a bit too much on concerts; I may be really good at cutting people out of my life when they prove they don’t deserve to be there. But I’m not worried, I’m not overthinking, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been.
And I finally get to see Our Lady Peace.
As clumsy as you’ve been
There’s no one laughing
You will be safe in here