Hello June, it’s so nice to see you. For this month I thought I’d have a Song of the Day theme. I’m going to be doing a theme for each Summer month this year, and who knows, if it goes well maybe I’ll do one every month moving forward. For June, the Song of the Day theme is Women from the ’90s. Think Lilith Fair. Think Riot Grrl. Think girl groups and R&B. Think alternative and indie and folk.
I was definitely all about women in music in the ’90s. The majority of my music collection were women artists. I went to every year of Lilith Fair, blasted Riot Grrl music from my car stereo, fell in love with Tori, Fiona, Liz, Courtney, PJ…and so many more.
Sarah McLachlan was one of those fell in love in the ’90s artists. I remember sitting on the hardwood floor of my second-floor apartment listening to Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, my baby daughter asleep in the infant seat next to me. I remember taking that album with me when I left a chapter of my life behind. Playing it over and over, picking new favorite tracks to put into mixtapes that I gave to friends, or hope to be lovers.
“Good Enough” was, and still is, one of my favorites from the album. It speaks so much to the woman I was then. 1994. Me at 25. Struggling with shaky self-esteem, trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted, a young mom who was clumsy at love, but who loved regardless. A huge music fan, but really, when haven’t I been? I wanted to feel “Good Enough”. I usually didn’t, but I wanted to. And I was drawn to people who made me feel a little bit that way. Not the best way to get self-esteem, from other people and from outside of myself, but it is definitely who I was at 25.
“Good Enough” by Sarah McLachlan
from the album, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy (1994)
Song of the Day – Women of the ’90s
“I never would have opened up,
but you seemed so real to me.
After all the bullshit I’ve heard,
it’s refreshing not to see –
I don’t have to pretend,
she doesn’t expect it from me.”
“Good Enough” spoke to me at the time because of the relationship I was in. I felt lost and alone, hurt, and damaged in ways that would have a long-lasting impact.
I was in a crumbling, dysfunctional, emotionally abusive relationship at the time this album came out. Luckily for me, I met people, friends, as well as someone who would end up being one of the great loves of my life, who helped me see my way through it, and helped restore some of my damaged self-esteem. They helped me feel “Good Enough“, even though, as I wrote above, I should have worked on figuring that out for myself. Life is hard. Being in your twenties is hard. Love is hard. Growing up (if we ever really do) is hard, too. Very hard. And I was certainly struggling with it.
I still struggle with it. A lot. And I still spend many days (and nights) feeling not “Good Enough”.
I remember a year after Fumbling Towards Ecstasy came out I stumbled on this incredible compilation CD that had two tracks from FTE on it, one of them being “Good Enough”. Slowbrew: Music for a Cafe Culture became a quick favorite of mine. I knew and loved every song on it. I used to play it almost daily, in 1995. This was definitely a cafe culture era for me. I spent most nights at The Winged Heart, walking distance from that apartment where I first listened to Sarah.
A few years after Fumbling Towards Ecstasy I would see Sarah sing “Good Enough” live, at the first Lilith Fair (and at the two that would follow). I remember standing there with a friend, crying my eyes out, as I sang-a-long. I was crying because it still felt relevant and true, and I was crying because I knew how far I’d come from who I was the first time I’d heard it.
I’m crying today, listening and singing-a-long to it, for those exact reasons.