It was announced last week that Alanis Morissette’s 1990s album Jagged Little Pill is going to be made
into a Broadway musical. Ahhh, Alanis. I spent an abnormally large portion of my
twenties reveling in the shared anger and validation that I found in the songs
on this album. She had me at, Do
I stress you out? Well over a decade later, many of the lines from these songs still resonate with me, as a wife, mom, writer, and occasional (frequent?) awkward type–I’ll elaborate on this later.
Another favorite line from that first song? Enough about you, let’s talk about life for
a while. The conflicts, the craziness, and the sound of pretenses falling, all
around. I think about this often when I encounter the funny, bragger-superior types. Or folks obsessed with constant correctness. Yikes, how exhausting it must be. And yes, I think of my own pretenses, too. My biggest one? Probably that feeling fearful is a measure of my caring. There, I’ve said it. But I can hear the sound of it falling. One day at a time, man …
settles. I thought in my
twenties that this line could be applied across the board. Turns out, it can’t be
applied to parenthood. When you are entrusted with the care of a
tirelessly-evolving young soul, the dust simply never settles. My child is
three. And I bet the dust will never settle even after he is old enough to be
out of the house. Because I doubt I will ever be done worrying and loving
him in a way that breaks my heart wide open, into thousands of little
pieces, every single day. That’s okay. I have no interest in this particular extraordinary
bit of dust ever settling.
sober. This basically speaks for itself.
underpaid. Now. Is it sad that this line resonates as deeply with me at age
38 as it did when I was 24? Or is it funny? Maybe sad-funny?
chicken shit. Again, speaks for itself. But I will say that I am becoming
more courageous over time. The evidence? People whose opinion I trust telling me so. And being
called a strong and opinionated woman with increasing frequency.
Whether folks meant the latter in a good way, I have my doubts (no, really). But I
count each time as a victory. And clichés notwithstanding, it is
true that we can’t really know how courageous we are unless we experience
being chicken crapola, too. I mean, right?
confusing as it was. No fun with no guilt feelings. It still is confusing.
It used to be because of wanting to be a good, always dutiful, girl. I’ve been mostly cured of that. Now it’s because of mommy guilt.
The common denominator is trying to navigate an independent identity regardless of where I am in my life and of how deeply I love those closest to me. Guilt is guilt, though. And utterly pointless 9.9 times out of 10.
was. Sweet husband of mine.
if I love you for all that you are. Same.
You are the bearer of unconditional things. To the precious three-year-old boy who made me a Mama.
patience. Beloved parents.
simply say that I was young, that’s all.