For the past few days, I’ve been listening to a lot of Something Corporate in honor of their upcoming concert in Orlando (tomorrow!) that I will be unable to attend. As I mentioned in a previous post, Something Corporate was a staple of my life from about eighth grade to my early high school years, when I felt I had completely over-exhausted their North album. Anyway, I’ve been a SoCo enthusiast for years, but most recently while listening to their song Me and the Moon, one line really caught my attention.
You marry a role and you give up your soul till you break down.
The line really brings me back to the whole idea of a paper girl and the paper town where she takes form. For those unfamiliar with the song’s lyrics, Me and the Moon tells the story of a suburban housewife who kills her husband as an escape from the unfulfilled life she’s been living. Morbid, yes, but the song dives kind of deep into the woman’s innermost thoughts, and some of them are eerily relatable.
The way I see it, the woman becomes so invested in this one persona because that is exactly what is expected of her. And in turn, each of us has a role to fill — the star basketball player, the dedicated student, the wild child, the pageant queen — to the point at which people expect us to be those same two-dimensional paper versions of ourselves. With each role comes the pressure to embody a specific image of that role, and society will only pay attention to those labels and expectations. When we follow our hearts and the process leads us slightly astray of the the roads expected of us, other people don’t know how to react. It scares them.
But when we don’t follow our hearts because we’ve married a role, what do we have to lose? According to Something Corporate — everything. Become too focused on perfectly portraying that one impossible image, and in the process you will risk losing the essence of who you really are. The pressure can become too much to bear, and while hopefully you won’t do anything as extreme as the woman in the song, there is the chance that you will sabotage yourself.
In the end, the most important thing is to not become eclipsed by an image and revert to a mere shadow of your true self. Listen to what your mind is telling you, regardless of how consistent it is with what others think of you, and base your decisions on what is going to make you happy. In turn, please try not to judge a book by its cover. Others are just as complicated, multi-faceted, unique, intricate, and worthwhile as you… and no one deserves to be placed in a box.