Once in a while, you’ll hear a new song play on the car radio or on Google play music, and the lyrics grab your attention and make your ears perk up. The words are so profound that you instantly resonate with them and you’re reminded of a particularly emotional time in your life. Sometimes, I get so involved in the words and music that I’ll start to cry. Not because I’m sad, but because I’m so deeply moved and I feel what the artist may have felt while writing those words. Does this ever happen to you?
One of those songs is Emoji of a Wave by the incredibly talented John Mayer whom I had the pleasure of seeing in concert last year. Although the song speaks of the difficulties of a long-distance relationship, there’s a certain lyric that really strikes a chord.
Oh honey, oh honey
It’s just a wave, it’s just a wave
And I know that when it comes
I just hold on, I just hold on
These lyrics are a metaphor for life. Whenever you feel like your world has turned upside down; you’ve been unceremoniously dumped by your lover, unexpected expenses have you drowning in debt, an STI scare has you googling prognoses, or you’ve just been fired from your job. Whatever the event may be, you just gotta ride that wave and hold on, because eventually that wave will break and you’ll be in calm waters once more. The swell will wash over, the dark clouds will part and the sun will warm your face again.
The most important thing is to believe that things will get better. And if you’re in despair and can’t see a way through the muck, the best thing to do is call a trusted friend. For introverts like myself, we tend to recoil and isolate ourselves from the outside world. It’s our default reaction when things get hard. You must fight the hermit-like urge to hide under your down comforter or to suppress your feelings with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey. Please pick up that phone. Do not text. Call someone you love and share your thoughts and feelings with them.
The human experience connects us. We all want to be respected, loved and understood. We’re all susceptible to suffering and pain. The events in your life that cause stress and unhappiness may actually in the end make you a stronger and more grateful human being. We assume that we have complete control over our life; but this is a common misconception. We actually have very little control of what happens to us on a daily basis. This fact is a little scary but also surprisingly freeing as it reminds us that we should let go of any desired outcomes or destination and focus on the journey instead. The waves are a part of the journey no matter who you are or what you do. Some are small wakes that you glide on, others are like tidal waves that send you whirling like a rag-doll in a sea of turmoil. It is crucial to remember that you’re resilient and you can get through anything; you just gotta ride that wave and hold on like Mister Worm until the storm passes. Oh! and definitely call your bestie for her love and support.