You know when a song engulfs you, sweeps you off your feet, and makes you feel safe? That’s how “Self Help” by Olivia Klugman makes me feel. Upon first listen, it only took about 30 seconds for my eyes to fill up with tears. When they sang the words,
“Who I was three years ago would have a crush on me today She'd take secret videos from the back of the house while I'm on stage Ask "who did your tattoos", and if you're ever in the mood I'd love to take you out so I could learn a thing or two Who I am today would think that 21-year old was sweet I'd indulge her bright-eyed inquiries and wouldn't tell her she's naïve And though she'd think I had it all figured out I'd let her know I'm full of headaches, fear and doubt But I'd say thank you for reminding me what this whole thing's about I guess I've grown a lot and you have showed me how.”
I was overcome with emotion because I’ve been in a major “reflection period” lately. Reflecting on the person I was a few years ago, and observing who I’ve become today. Truthfully, I’ve often fantasized about what it would be like to be face-to-face with the 21-year-old version of myself. To listen to her dreams and watch her face glow with hope. I’ve thought about the millions of questions she would ask me, and how she would endlessly ramble with a twinkle in her eyes about the future. I have no doubt in my mind that the 21-year-old would think I have it all figured out. Best believe that’s not the case at all.
It’s about the journey, not the destination.
In the second verse, Olivia begins to meditate on what connecting with the future version of themself would be like.
“Who I'll be three years from now will have some shit to say to me Relax your furrowed brow, there ain't no reason to worry And if you feel like giving up You gotta remember that you're tough You'll find your power in the tears that line your cheeks Who I am today would ask that older person for some cheats But I'd secretly hope they wouldn't give any to me And in my fantasy, they've got it figured out And all their confidence outweighs their minor doubts But I'm wise enough to know that's not what this whole thing's about I got some growing left and you have showed me how.”
“Self Help” is a love letter. It’s a love letter that’ll make you feel connected to your younger self again. While simultaneously calming your racing thoughts about the future. From now on, I’m recommending this song to any person who is doubting themselves, fearful of the future, feeling out of touch with themselves, or downplaying their achievements. “Self Help” is a wonderful reminder to be present. To remind yourself that you’re exactly where you need to be. Loving the person you currently are and going after the dreams your younger self could only imagine.
Olivia, thank you for this.