After listening to 500+ songs for my lyrics analysis project, there is this one song “If only I” by Jon McLaughlin keeps coming back to haunt me. It describes a narrator (McLaughlin) who has a crush on a girl he’s met at a café and the reasons why he doesn’t dare enough to talk to her. With McLaughlin’s mesmerizing voice, the anguish, anxiety, longingness really comes to life.
It’s more than just a tragic story of unattainable love. The narrative has represented the modern world view (logical reasoning in everything) and how we perceive the world through these lenses. It explains why we are the way we are and the paragon of perfection.
But here is the problem; do these reasonings serve as a justification for our behavioral pattern or a justification for change? In all honesty, I understand and empathize with some of us who carries burdens that are unspeakable and unbearable. Those burdens, scares, experiences are part of who we are and they do govern partially on how we think and act. Sadly, they can also be our own very prison cell of comfort zone.
It’s not about right or wrong. McLaughlin has expressed his heartfelt feeling and tells us why he freezes and back off from the girl of his dream. His reasoning is absolutely just but is it the outcome he wants? No, I don’t think so. How many times have we done the same talking ourselves out of getting what we really want? How can we bear the fact that we singlehandedly surround our dream ?
Just a week ago I was struggling in sweat and tears with a paper which required me to talk about my philosophical stand, justifications, and how it related to my line of work (working with the gifted population and female sexual violence victims). Every word I typed reminded me of the unpleasant memory of Fall 2012. In my last philosophy paper, a professor who openly encouraged us to speak for ourselves severally penalized me for my own interpretation in my arguments. I could care less about a stinking grade like C+ on my transcript but I felt betrayed, humiliated, and stifled. At one point, I was contemplating dropping out and just quit although I knew perfectly that I needed to persevere.
So there I was again up all night writing a paper and questioning myself at every sentence “What if she doesn’t like my idea?” or “What if I sound like an amateur and blow it ?” A two day writing plan turned into an entire week battling back and forth on how authentic I should be in my writing and how high my stakes are. Bracing up for the honest truth, I sat at my boarding gate at the airport and spilled my guts out.
The serenity coming from staying authentic, genuine, and passionate is good enough for me but the bonus is to know my thinking process and articulation are appreciated. Risking another C+, I was able to connect with an amazing therapist and landed me a seat for training in Calgary. It's worth taking that leap of faith and using my justification as a push!!!