Lesson 1: Live your life in the present. “Goodbye Alice in Wonderland” is all about the need for reality in a world filled with “ideals” of fame and fortune. Jewel sings about wanting to live in a real way, and that “I hit the bottom when I reached the top”. We can all relate to the idea of wanting this “dream” life, that ultimately distracts from the here and now.
Lesson 2: Love can be confusing. Does he love you? Is this feeling one-sided? Have you imagined this grand romance when in reality it is nothing more than friendship? “Standing Still” speaks to coming to that point in a relationship when you have to determine if things will progress. Do you need me, like I need you too? And do you want me, like I want you?” We’ve all been there, when we wish we could just straight up ask those questions.
Lesson 3: Do something positive with your life. We all have the capability to make change, and with every positive thing we do we can ultimately better the world. “Hands” is a good reminder that “In the end only kindness matters”, and there’s no point in being worried about the state of society. Do something! Don’t be useless! One of my favorite lines, that pretty much sums this up: “I won’t be made useless, I won’t be idle with despair; I will gather myself around my faith, for light does the darkness most fear.”
Lesson 4: Breakups are the worst. “You Were Meant For Me” describes that feeling of loss after a breakup. There was so much certainty that this was it. That this was meant to be for forever. Time seems to completely stop, and things that used to be beautiful reminders of your love are now too painful to bear. “I saw a movie it just wasn’t the same ’cause it was happy or I was sad, and it made me miss you oh so bad.” That says it all.
Lesson 5: Things will get better. When the going gets tough, remember it won’t last forever. “Down So Long” speaks to that helpless feeling you get when you are going through something difficult. Will I ever feel better? When will this end? This song reminds us that yes, as cliche as it may sound, the night is darkest before the dawn. Hold fast!
Happy birthday, Jewel, and thanks for the wisdom!