On reaching the age of your heroes

I love talking about pop culture; it’s my greatest pleasure. Last week I started a list of my favorite Lady Raps about sex – the types of songs that put women in the position of power. I realized that I’ve been listening to GIRL POWER since I was in middle school. Of COURSE I was going to turn out the way I am.

One album that really shaped my middle school years was P!ink’s Missundaztood. Today I fired up Spotify and went down memory lane. I still know all the words — it was like slipping into a comfortable mental blanket. A part of my mind that was preserved in innocence and budding personality.

Then came track 11, “Lonely Girl”. Written by Pink and Linda Perry, this track really reached deep into my soul as an angsty 12-year-old trying to get my mind right for high school, and again as a terrified 17-year-old deciding where to go to college.

There’s one lyric about 2:00 into the song:

I’m looking for a way to become the person that I dreamt up when I was sixteen…

                                                        – P!nk – Missundaztood

When I heard that line, I had to pause. When I was 12, I hoped to be 16. When I was 17, I was barely no longer 16. I just kept trucking along because I was well on my way to becoming “Her”, that person I had dreamt up. Today, I am 22. I am the same age as Pink when the album dropped.

Am I Her? Am I the person that I was dreaming I would be?

No. Absolutely not. And I’m glad. She wasn’t very excited about life. She wasn’t as ready to tackle the world as I am. She was too quiet about her politics. But I loved her. I love me!

I am.

I am who I wish I had wanted to be when I was sixteen.

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