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Life Lessons from Alanis Morissette

‘Jagged Little Pill’ was one of the first CDs I had ever bought.  I was 13 at the time and maybe I didn’t really understand the concept of her having her hand in her pocket but I enjoyed the 90s rock beats and her sick harmonica skills. Up until last week, Alanis Morissette was, to me, a female singer who was engaged to Ryan Reynolds. I don’t remember exactly how her music made me feel as a young girl, but I had memorized all of her lyrics and boasted her in my music collection.

A few days ago, Pandora created some sort of life-changing event. I created a Spanish station and was glued to the “thumbs up” symbol because Pandora had nailed every song that would make my hips bust a move. In the midst of this music revival, Alanis Morissette popped up out of nowhere – on my Spanish station. It was the infamous ‘Hand in Your Pocket’ and I was easily swayed into her voice and alas, reminiscing my Morissette days. But this time, it was different. I stopped singing and started paying attention to the lyrics. Was it possible that Alanis Morissette was trying to tell me something? Was Pandora trying to tell me something? ‘Hand in Your Pocket’ was not just about her giving a high-five with one hand or smoking her cigarette or playing the piano. The song was about much more that I could have used in my life at times when I thought the world was against me and only nachos would heal me.

That week, I started listening to every single Alanis song. I was starting to realize that I had not used my CD wisely. There I was, a chubby 13-year-old girl that knew nothing about boys, knew everything about History and just wanted to make friends at school. What I should have been doing was taking notes how to deal with life and I should have stored those notes in a “in case of emergency” box.

Well, now I understand Alanis Morissette. 15 years later, I am writing down my notes on how to handle life. After re-listening to ‘Jagged Little Pill’, here are a few things to remember when life turns sour:

1)     Know what you want. (‘All I Really Want’)

2)     Be open. (‘You Outta Know’)

3)     Everything is going to be fine, fine, FINE. (‘Hand in my Pocket’)

4)     Fall in love. (‘Head Over Feet’)

5)     Bad stuff happens. (‘Ironic’)

6)     Life is learning process. You live…you learn. (‘You Learn’)

Since then, Pandora has been blasting Alanis Morissette all throughout my Spanish station. And I don’t mind taking a break from hip action for a little life advice.

You can read more from Nancy Mora on her blog.

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