I decided I need a theme song. Actually, I decided this a long time ago, and throughout my life, I have dedicated particular songs to the theme in my life. It’s just a weird, strange ritual I do. When I was doing the work to unlock some repressed memories, music reminded me, even things as simple as the lyrics to a song from Beauty and The Beast. Music surrounds my life, and always has.
So, when things got amazingly shitastic (see what I did there? I made it sound funny and awesome, even though it’s not really at all) over the last few months, I decided I needed a theme song. That very day, I watched a clip from the new No Doubt single, and I actually shed a tear of amazement.
Growing up in a Mormon home, I was often told that there were many things I would not be able to do because of my gender. The boys I grew up with got to go on these cool camps, and we stayed back and baked cookies. The boys got to rock climb while we learned to cross-stitch. I mean, I didn’t hate cross-stitching, but I grew weary of the blatent gender stereotyping that occured.
One night, after I had spent a youth group activity avoiding the girls choosing to hangout with the guys who were some of my closest and best friends, I wound up with a lecture from both my parents, and the church leaders about the appropriateness of being alone with the opposite sex. From what I understand, they did not get the same lecture. And, that pissed me off.
After eye-rolling at my parents until my eyes almost came out of their sockets, I retreated to the basement that I used as my sanctuary to blast music, read, and pretend I was a rockstar.
I pressed power on the stereo, and there she was, the lovely Gwen Stafani crooning from the Tragic Kingdom tape that I had sort of played on repeat for the past few months.
Cross legged in my plaid shirt, and jean shorts, I listened to her rebellious voice of reason:
“Take this pink ribbon off my eyes,
And it’s not big surprise.
Don’t you think I know
Exactly where I stand
This world is forcing me to hold your hand.
Cause I’m just a girl, little ‘ol me.
Don’t let me out of your sight,
I’m just a girl, all pretty and petite
So don’t let me have any rights”.
And on it went. After it went onto the next side, I rewound it to put it back on. And again, and again. That song became the theme of who I was, and who I was not. She knew what I was dealing with, it felt like. An oppressive force trying to make me conform into this robot of a woman, a woman I didn’t like nor did I want to be. I couldn’t fight too hard, so I used her voice to help get my point across, in case my parents were listening.
Years later, and I won’t say just how many, I sat on my couch, my own kids playing around me. I was feeling rather down in the dumps for one reason or another (no seriously, I’m not sure I could pinpoint the actual event, because well, there have been so many). The Brother was yammering about all the music he could have on his newly acquired iphone, and I was doing my best to seem interested. Suddenly, I realized that No Doubt had released their single this week, so I immediately downloaded it.
And it, has officially become my theme for the rest of the year. With lyrics like,
“No big deal, (I can handle it)
It’ll bounce off me (I can handle it)
Been around the block before.
Doesn’t matter anymore
Here we go again, (Are you kidding me?)
Are you insane? (Are you kidding me?)
Underneath the avalanche
So heavy again. “
Again, Gwen, a woman I have admired for years had done it again. She’d crossed over from my angst ridden teen years, and into my adulthood to communicate that I could do this, and everyone should get in line and settle down.
Well, yeah, they should. Because I said so, and because Gwen said so. And I just needed a little encouragement to tell everyone, including myself to do so.
“I’m A Rough and Tough, I’m a Rough and Tough, Nothings Going to Knock this Girl down”