Sara Bareilles is one of my all time favorite artists. She’s has the ability to craft the tightest harmony layered vocals and gut-wrenching ballads, while also penning equally brilliant bars about heart flutters and belly butterflies. She’s an incredible live performer, she has a beautifully helpful soul, and the woman is a combination of snarky, class, and serious sass.
If you’ve never heard “Love Song” or you don’t know who Sara Bareilles is: I’ve definitely already placed you into a labyrinth and you’re most likely screaming at your screen. I’ll lead you out, I promise. If you’re thinking, who the heck is Sara B, let me introduce you/jog your memory a little bit: Her 2008 hit “Love Song” can be found HERE.
When the song was first introduced to the world, people assumed it was written for a “he.” I’m probably raining on everyone’s Sunday Funday parades here but it was actually not for a “he” or a “she”—it’s addressed to them. It was a song written to counter the expectations of what people may want from you, and ultimately standing your ground in not giving them what they want if it’s not completely you or life-giving.
The other night, I posted up an Insta Story of Sara singing “Love Song,” and just as a joke on the story, I wrote, “what she said… no love songs.” I didn’t think about it much until I glanced at a call sheet for an event the following day. On the program list, it said that someone was going to be doing a Sara Bareilles cover. Could this be interestingly a coincidence? Not likely.
Sara Bareilles didn’t write them a love song. I’m not going to either.
The world is full of expectations.
Sometimes, it honestly asks for too much—our employers might expect long days filled with constant non-stop productivity, or our families probably think we should have two doctoral degrees, one spelling out MRS with three kids, three puppies, and maybe own a two-story single family home. We also can’t forget the rest of the voices that unknowingly crave for our attention time and time again. And then somewhere along the way, we get so tied and glued to those expectations that we begin to respond with yes’s and forget how to say no’s.
I’ve lost count of all the times I’ve heard people wishing instead of living.
People wishing their situations looked differently. People wishing they could ditch the 9-5, do this instead, or travel there. People wishing they could be like that super trendy Instagram influencer with 200k followers, getting to work but not really because they “just chill” in first class flat lay beds and luxury resorts on European coasts. Okay one, those people WORK. Their jobs are HARD. But also two, I’m a strong advocate of taking ownership of your life. Obviously, sometimes things fall out of your control but too many times have I heard people say they can’t change what they’re doing or who their becoming because others expect X, Y, and Z from them.
Maybe I sound a bit naïve, but I really do think your life is what you make of it. I truly believe that people are responsible for who they are and who they become, that you may not have a say in all your circumstances, but you have the ability to make all the necessary changes if you really want to. It’s not always easy or comfortable and it may take some sacrifice, but you don’t have to stay stuck or drown in other peoples’ expectations of you.
Each person has their own life to live, but we’d rather be spectators.
Sometimes, I really do think that’s what much of society has become. It’s quite silly actually. We focus so much energy and time watching how other people live their lives through 6-inch by 3-inch screens, that we forget there’s a life of our own to live as well. We are engrossed in a society that is absolutely fascinated by how other people live. After all, studies even show that people like observing other people doing things rather than going out and doing that same exact thing themselves. Maybe because watching and interpreting behind a piece of glass is more comfortable. Maybe it’s easier because we don’t have to take risks or have the real face-time hard conversations. And if we want to “engage” then we can, but if we don’t then we also don’t have to. After all, there’s nothing we have committed to.
We do it more habitually now. It’s really scary if we start to really dive deep into peoples’ patterns through: Instagram images, snaps, Facebook status updates…
We somehow are able to peek into the lives of other people and, whether we are intrigued or are envious, we allow their daily routines to somehow take space in our hearts.
It’s kind of strange for me to be talking about this when so much of my day to day is content creation and social media. But, I think there is an extremely fine line between being inspired by content and following it because it’s visually pleasing or motivates us want to step out and live well, versus consuming it because we are simply too bored or subconsciously think we are weirdly entitled to highlight reels of someone else’s life. Side thought: Just because you follow someone doesn’t mean you actually know who they are…
Everyone has one life: Live it and own it.
It’s so easy to cling to excuses and limit yourself, living your life according to other peoples’ expectations instead of living the life you were created to live.
Way too may people try to meet the demands of others to the point that they live lives that are not theirs to live. Or with social media today, they live vicariously through others when they have a life in front of them to live.
We can’t do all the things. We can’t be all the things. That’s both the reality and the beauty of it. But it’s all a choice—and the choice is whether or not we push to live in ways that are not only true to who we are, but also give us life.