I remember driving home one night, I opted for the radio and not my aux cord, and this song came on. The serene beginning was refreshing from the fast-paced tunes currently trending. It caught my attention and ears without a question. The soft and subtle piano keys playing in the background of the song reminded me of a Spoken Word night and when I listened to the lyrics, I was hit with how much the lines resonated with me. Sam Smith must have read my mind and now I demand some song writing credit. Kidding, of course, but I’m comforted by the notion that we aren’t all perfect and sometimes lose what is good for us, and sometimes we lose what was once right in front of us.
Sam Smith is an English singer and songwriter. Born in May of 1992, this 25-year-old is known for songs such as, “Stay With Me”, “Latch”, and “Omen”. As of right now, he has 4 Grammy’s, one Golden Globe award, and many more. In 2014, he publicly came out as gay and in October, he revealed that he is gender fluid. A talented vocalist to say the least and his lyrics in this particular song will be the topic of this post. So, thank you Sam, for your voice and writing.
Now, let’s break down the lyrics and I will reveal to you as to why this song spoke to me so well.
I’m never gonna let you close to me / Even though you mean the most to me
I have an insecurity of letting people in and allowing them to see how less “perfect” of a person I am. I like people to know that I’m funny or a light-hearted person but I fear that the moment they catch a glimpse of how serious I am and how seriously hurt I was – I fear my true self will be what ruins my bonds with others. When I say I have baggage, I mean that I have an endless amount of demons I carry inside. I am enduring a never-ending battle and I cannot allow you to see how much darkness there is within me. You seeing me for who I truly am… is a risk I am not willing to take. I’m sorry that even when we are face to face… there will always be a locked gate between us.
‘Cause every time I open up, it hurts
I am no stranger to a painful past. Emotional scars are scattered all over my mind and body and I can tell a story for each and every inch of me. Talking about my past is never easy because I have to revisit all the moments I was broken, unearthing what I’m trying to bury, and then relive the past during the present. There is never a day that goes by where I wish I wasn’t someone else. I hate my past more than anything else and frankly, no one hates me more than I hate myself. It hurts because I haven’t healed. It hurts because I am still working on making sense of everything and how I can move on. It hurts because I don’t know how and I don’t have all the answers.
But every time you hurt me, the less that I cry
Pain is something I’ve accepted to be the norm. I have been hurt so many times that I’ve learned to protect myself – perhaps too well – so whenever something terrible happens, I am not shocked. Luckily, I take each disaster as a lesson: to be smarter and stronger. I almost become jaded, learning to wear other people’s disappointment like jewelry I’ve owned for ages, but at what cost? I noticed myself trying to predict future failures, envisioning the evil of people that has not yet appeared, and attempting to protect myself from mishaps that may never happen.
I know you’re thinking I’m heartless / I know you’re thinking I’m cold / I’m just protecting my innocence / I’m just protecting my soul
Stuck up. A bitch. Rude. Angry. These are just a few words that I’ve heard others describe me, more to my face than I’d like to hear, but we cannot choose what others say about us. But, I can choose what I can say about myself. And, right now, I will let you know that I care, maybe too much, about what others say about me. The fact of the matter is that I do care about the truth versus what is not. Am I stuck up? Am I a bitch? Am I always angry? Yes, perhaps not all the time, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t rude and unfriendly at times when I meet strangers or see former friends. Despite being 23, I very much feel that I am 10 and still retain that inner child who I am trying to protect at this older age. Call me repetitive and redundant, but what happened when I was younger makes me reluctant to pursue any personal relationships in fear of history repeating itself. Not everyone is evil, but I’ve met and experienced enough evil to always keep my guard up.
Baby, we don’t stand a chance, it’s sad but it’s true, I’m way too good at goodbyes
I’m a firm believer and spokesperson for not giving people second chances. Actually, no, I am an ambassador of self-destructive habits. In 2017 and years before, I’ve made countless goodbyes, some deserved and some I regret, but I’m not comfortable with being so ‘good at goodbyes’. I pushed people away before we prospered in friendship and love. I carried scissors secretly to cut ties with people I had not yet properly embraced. And if I wasn’t destructive enough, I lived to see the embers of bridges I had burned but couldn’t muster the strength to stride through the ashen layers of memories I scorched. How much longer will I let go of people before I am alone with only myself? This cannot be my anthem forever or for much longer, so I am seeking a new melody now. In 2018, I am saying, “Hello.”