The skipped song. I felt for the theme I was going for, it worked better at the end rather than where it falls in the album.
I think a mistake that is often made is that the second we get through a difficult time, things magically get better and there is no more work has to be done. But that’s not the case. Dealing with the fall out and aftermath is an important part of getting through and living a happier and healthier life.
At first glance, this song sounds depressing. It kind of has a “there is no point in continuing, everything is lost” sound to it. But that’s not how I see it. I hear it more as a sobering song, and one that has honest hope. The song opens with some fairly melancholy lyrics “There’s no more wind to be found, in the sails / Hands full of fallen stars and comet tails”. Doesn’t really seem to be the embodiment of hope. But as I said, it’s an honest hope.
What I mean by honest hope is this. It’s realising where you are, and where things are going to go. It’s a sort of realist view. But it’s not looking at things without any wish for things to get better. “I don’t want to pretend” is repeated through the chorus, which ties into that honest hope. It’s a desire to get through it, with the understand it won’t be easy. There isn’t a magical gust of wind that fills our sails, or a star to wish on that’ll bring us unlimited joy.
But it’s also, in a sense, a realisation of your own mortality. At some point, we all die, it’s just the way life is. To me, this song acts as a reminder to use the time we have. Each day we spend defeated is one less day we have. It’s important to remember that and live each day to it’s fullest, and strive as much as you can to overcome.
The chorus is full of that same hope. As I mentioned earlier “I don’t want to pretend” is repeated. It’s so easy to think of life like it is in the movies or books. Where seemingly right after the climax, the characters live happily ever after with little or no adversity. We don’t see that daily struggle. But it’s important to remember, and understand, you don’t have to be stronger right after. You don’t have to be the happiest person on Earth. The important part is make sure you are back on solid ground, and that you have a real, lasting peace, not just a pretend face you are putting on for others.
There is no secret sauce, magic wand, genie in a bottle, or any other sort of magical way to get through that. It’s getting up each day, and slowly working on it. Which the third verse sums up perfectly “There’s no respite to be found in the waves / Each rise and retreat will scrub the blood away.” The world doesn’t back off because we’ve been through a difficult time. It keeps coming wave after wave. But, if we keep getting up every day, keep working on bettering ourselves every day, the blood eventually is scrubbed away.
A friend of mine recently talked about habits and why they are important. Even though it’s mainly focused on writing, the truths are universal. It’s the same way when dealing with the aftermath of a difficult time. One habit that I’ve formed after going through a rather difficult time is journaling daily. I have formed a habit of writing in my journal every day at 7PM. It helps me to process the day and make sure that my headspace is ok. I’ve also had to set reminders to form habits to eat, talk with friends, go on walks, do homework, or whatever else I might want to form a habit on. It doesn’t matter how big or small that habit is. It’s one of the most important parts of getting back on track.
The important thing to remember, it doesn’t stop once the foundation is laid and the house is built. You still have daily cleaning to do, and storms that come to take you out. But, if you have an understanding of the reality of the situation, and put in the hard work, form habits, and strive every day to better yourself, you’ll be prepared for the next storm. You’ll gain the strength that the fair tale characters get right off the bat. The sadness of the experiences may never fade entirely, but they get easier to deal with, because you develop healthy coping mechanisms. Set an end goal, but start small. Form one small habit “I’m going to wake up at X time every day” or whatever else it might be. Once you have that habit/goal formed and accomplished, build from there.
Whenever I’m going through a difficult time, my dad loves to ask me a question: “How do you eat an Elephant?” He’s been asking me that question for years. He knows I tend to look at the bigger picture, and that question acts as a reminder to chunk things out into smaller, more manageable pieces. Which is what I want to leave off this series with. Take it slow, take it in as small of pieces as you need. But work at it each day. At least take one step every day. Eventually, you’ll get to your goal. You will get through it, you will rebuild, but it takes time, and that is ok.