Sometimes there is a voice inside my head that basically is the opposite of Rodney Dangerfield’s “You’re not good enough. You’re not smart enough. No one likes you.”
It’s mean voice.
When I discovered Sara Bareilles a few years ago, I gained a much better voice to push back with.
I learned about this amazing singer, songwriter, author, actress, person thanks to a blind date. The date went nowhere but whatever-his-name-was did gift me with the name of a musician he recommended. I started with King of Everything, and was hooked from there. Ironically I listened to that song a lot to get over the bleh date. Thanks whoever-you-were.
Sara’s music was basically the soundtrack to my graduate degree. A fact I told her with glee at a book signing. Little Black Dress was the sassy response for when nothing seemed to going right. When it was time to pump up the energy, I cranked up Brave. And Let The Rain would go on repeat when I couldn’t find my own words.
The music video for She Used To Be Mine was the official announcement that Sara would be writing the songs for the musical Waitress. My favorite singer writing songs for my favorite movie. The 25 million views on YouTube include at least a hundred from me. It was about two years before I got to see the show live, with a hand over my face to help stop me from singing all the songs I’d memorized long before.
When I finally got to attend a live Sara Bareilles concert this fall, it felt like the end of a chapter. The lyrics washed over me like the waves at the coast. I remembered parts of my journey over the past few years; through graduate school, job changes, running, dating, and nights wondering what was coming next. I wore a soft smile throughout the night, just happy with where I was in that arena and in life as a whole.
As Sara sang Satellite Call, audience members held up their cell phones as lights in the darkness, each one promising to be a safe space and each one helping to turn the dark arena into twilight comfort. I held up my phone as well, recognizing that the voice inside my head has changed over the years. It still has that mean tone at times, saying things to myself that I would never say to a friend or enemy. But much more often, it believes there is a light out there in the darkness that is waiting for me.
I like that voice.
PS – One more video that I have to recommend because it is fabulously sweet and tear-worthy: I Choose You.