Self Expression Magazine

Kelly Clarkson Wrote a Song About This Once.

Posted on the 21 January 2013 by Laureneverafter @laureneverafter

We Heart It

My favorite CD of Kelly Clarkson’s has always been Breakaway. Not only do I love the majority of her songs on that album, but I find most of them still highly relevant to my life these days. Perhaps, even more relevant than when I was in high school when the CD was first released. “Breakaway” was probably my least favorite song on the CD, though, in the year following its release. I took hormonal adolescent issue with its sentimentality. Whenever I heard the opening chords peel through the speakers of the radio, I would gag — sometimes physically, always inwardly. Eight years later, I’m singing an entirely different tune (pun intended, of course).

As I sat down to write this post, the song came back to me, and as I started singing it to myself in my head, really listening to what the song was about, I realized just how familiar her words felt. Take the first verse, if you will: “Grew up in a small town / And when the rain would fall down / I’d just stare out my window.” Did I grow up in a small town? Check. Did it rain in my small town? Check. Did I stare out my window when it rained in my small town? Check. Take the next three verses: dreaming of happiness (always); trying to find my place (life after college); wanting to belong somewhere and to someone, but struggling to find my footing (relationships and career). In a sophomore year journalism class, our teacher more or less poked fun at us teenagers for fawning over musical artists, exclaiming “It’s like Alanis just GETS me, you know?” And for a while, I tagged along with his condescending (though very true) opinion of teenagers, because he was older and knew things about real life and thought I was a promising student. But I’m going to buy a ticket for the Melodramatic Train and make my exclamation of Kelly Clarkson JUST GETTING ME.

In the chorus, she writes about spreading her wings, learning how to fly, reaching for the sky, taking chances, and most importantly, breaking away to find her footing. You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this. Let’s flip back a few pages to last week, when I read a blog post, Legacy of Love, written by Lauren McKenna, eulogizing the memory and legacy of her grandmother. “The clearest message from seeing her,” Lauren wrote, “from the tears, from twirling her ring around my finger and speaking to her in my heart, was one of love.” She later writes of the family her grandmother created, and something in the words ‘legacy’ and ‘love’ and ‘create’ stuck with me for the rest of the week. Whenever Lauren writes of her grandmother, I always feel so moved and inspired and hopeful, and what I’ve come to realize about these posts of Lauren’s, isn’t so much that I’m inspired by her grandmother, it’s that I’m inspired by the feeling Lauren’ grandmother instilled in her — one of love and loyalty and familial (not necessarily blood-related) community. Her grandmother created that inside of her and inside her family, and that is what sticks with me the most in her writing. The more I read about her grandmother, the more I wished I had what her family had, and even though I may not be able to get that right now, it’s something I could create for my future family, God willing I get married and all that.

The only problem in wanting that was all the feelings I needed to sort through. Which brings me to the next chapter: my friend and coworker, Brittany, asking if I planned on participating in Lent. Honestly, I hadn’t thought about it. I’ve never seriously committed myself to Lent before and rarely thought about it when the time came, because I haven’t been going to church regularly for years, so its mention always sneaks up on me. As we mulled over the possible sacrifices (Brittany’s pastor says giving up chocolate is not allowed), one possible sacrifice nudged me in the gut. It wasn’t until Thursday, however, that its presence was undeniable. For weeks, I’d been struggling with the concept of my blog: what it meant to me, what I was trying to portray, what I actually wanted to portray, and where I planned on going with it. I guess because I’m a writer, I like to have a plan for things. And I suddenly realized, grudgingly at first, if I wanted to be in a place — not just with my blog, but with my life — where I felt happy and at peace, I needed to deal with my feelings. Break away from my blog, and just deal with my crap. Write about them privately, not for the world to see. Allow myself to get closer to God without feeling like just writing about it on my blog or not writing about it at all will make things better somehow or go away entirely.

The need for this has become undeniable in the last few days, and now that its necessity feels so present, I’m resigned to the task of giving it up. I know it’s going to be hard, but I like to think of it is a sort of adventure. Giving up blogging will not only force me to direct my writing at God, but it will force me to reassess what I want, and to hopefully have that aligned with what God wants for me when I’m done. The way I’m going to do this is write a response journal and work through the book, A Perfect Mess: Why You Don’t Have to Worry About Being Good Enough for God by Lisa Harper. It’s a book I picked up in Wal-Mart one day and had intended to read long before now, but I like to think its purchase was opportune, even if not for the time-frame I bought it. It’s funny how things come to you long before you’re ready for them, and then when the time is right it’s right there waiting for you to take it in.

The book has 12 chapters and 6 questions at the end of each section. My plan is to read two chapters and answer 12 questions each week, which — if I stick to the schedule — will have me finishing the book three weeks before Lent is over. I don’t want to do this exclusively for Lent, but it’s still something I’m doing for my relationship with God. I’m not going to say I’m going to be done with it by the end of February or by the end of March. It may take that long, it may take longer. I’ve even considered taking each chapter one week at a time. I just want to make sure that I’m away long enough to get my thoughts and feelings in order before coming back to blogging. I’ve realized I’ve started using it as a way to portray a version of myself I only wish I was, and that the faulty translation is causing me discomfiture.

I still plan to read all of my favorite blogs, because I would miss y’all so badly if I tried to cut out everything related to my blog entirely, but I’m not going to say that may not happen down the road. Already I’ve felt tempted not to take this break by reading about my favorite bloggers’ lives. I’ve also decided to cut Twitter out, as well, as its intertwined with the presentation of my blog. I have, however, created an in-between account where I can still follow book review blogs and websites to keep up with interesting articles, but that will be all I use Twitter for — a sort of makeshift RSS feed. I will also not be using the email address associated with this blog. While I’m away, I’m disconnecting my blog email and Twitter accounts from my iPhone apps. Because I don’t want to put my personal email address on here, if you’d like to talk while I’m away you can email me at [email protected]. I still have one more interview post scheduled for Thursday and another one that I’ll be posting to, but after that, I’ll be gone. I thought about waiting until Lent season started or even waiting until next wait, but this is something that I can’t really put off. I’m already committed to doing this and I just feel like I should go ahead and start right away. The thought of putting it off makes antsy.

I’m not sure where this is going to take me, where I’ll be when I come back, or if I’ll even feel connected to this particular blog once it’s over, but I’m eager to forge a new relationship with God, even if it means having to deal with a lot of suppressed feelings that just make me want to curl up in a ball and hide. I’m sure it’s going to take a lot of Mumford, a lot of Ray, and a lot of Rachael to pull me through. But I have every confidence that God will let me know when I’m ready to come back, how to do it, and where to go.

Until next time,


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