“A Better Son/Daughter” by Rilo Kiley

My favorite Rilo Kiley song. Not an easy thing to narrow down, but this one hits my every emotion every time I listen. It sings to me of the anxiety I deal with, the highs and lows of being in my skin, and the challenges that I deal with most days – alone. Being the responsible party, the head-of-household, the single parent, the provider, and the rock that is relied on is a lonely undertaking some days. Never as much as the mornings when you wake up with your insides more tangled than your hair, when you feel stuck in a kind of limbo that is both familiar and unbearable. You know that something has to give, that change is inevitable, but all your really want is for someone to be there for you, to take the wheel for a spell, let you nap a bit, take a day, not feel the overwhelm of feelings and obligation. But, that isn’t the life you are living, that isn’t the consequence of the choices you’ve made. You have options. We all have options. But some of those require hard decisions and long roads that you need to steady yourself for. Gather the necessities, a flashlight, a bullet proof vest, a kindness you struggle to summon.

Maybe what you really need is a break. A few days to think, to write, to decide. But, when you are the rock, the head, the responsible, the one to provide, well, a few days off is just not in the job description.

So, you write. You wake up before the sun. You put headphones in and turn up your favorite Rilo Kiley song, and you think maybe you’ll cry. You don’t though. Today you have no fight left, and tears don’t come much anymore. You’ve been here before. The numb before the storm. Maybe it’s how you get stronger.

“A Better Son/Daughter” by Rilo Kiley
from the album, The Execution Of All Things (2002)
Song Of The Day

“But you’ll fight and you’ll make it through,
you’ll fake it if you have to and
you’ll show up for work with a smile.
You’ll be better and you’ll be smarter and more grown up,
and a better daughter or son and a real good friend,
and you’ll be awake,
you’ll be alert,
you’ll be positive though it hurts.”

This song is a fight song to me, a rally call to my inner self, a get up and get on with it, you got this, even if you don’t. It makes me feel less alone when most days I feel so desperately alone. It reminds me to smile, to show up, to fake it until you make it, as my best friend’s mom used to say. I’m trying. I feel like I’m falling apart, but hey, I’m trying.

And sometimes when you’re on, you’re really fucking on
And your friends they sing along and they love you.
But the lows are so extreme that the good seems fucking cheap,
and it teases you for weeks in its absence.”

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