Dodie Clark’s “When” and related emotions– Monday Morning Ramblings

Happy Monday! And welcome to my blog!

Today I begin my comfy weekly randomness series called “Monday Morning Ramblings.” I did this series with my previous blog as a means to get myself up earlier in the mornings. It was nice to have a reason to face the week with a cup of coffee and a smile. Okay, maybe not always a smile. But at least a hopeful heart? Maybe?

Well, I’m starting the series back up on this blog. I want to blog more. I want to write more in general. This series was fun for me before and even if it was only fun for me, it was worth it. I love the challenge, I love the sense of positivity and accomplishment it gives me, and I love being able to share the random bits of my brain without worrying too much about editing and perfectionism and all of that.
Today’s ramble is a something I wrote last week about a particular person and a particular song. I felt like it was somehow important so I decided I’d spruce it up *a bit* and bring it to the blog this morning. Enjoy!


Hello there. So, I feel the need to say words about this song, “When” by Dodie Clark. And this is not exactly meant to be a review of the song. This is not an open letter to Dodie. Even if she did somehow end up reading this, I have opinions that would probably, sadly, make Dodie not like me very much. Which is alright. (And it’s not exactly for you, dear reader, either — even though I will put this on the blog because with Monday Morning Ramblings comes the random over-spillage of my heart, but I have no idea if any of this is actually helpful to other people in any way. And I guess I don’t really care because I’m in a period of learning and growth anyway.)

Agh.

The reason I wanted to talk about this song is because it so emotionally impacts me that I can barely listen to it. I did my eyeliner earlier and I wanted to listen to the song to refresh my memory before I wrote this but had to turn it off immediately for fear my eyeliner would get ruined. Just the first notes before she starts singing tug at my heart. The memory of the song alone makes me feel like crying.

But before I comment on the song, I want to talk a bit about Dodie Clark herself as she’s such an interesting person and I have a lot of thoughts on her. I’ve had sort of a weird, conflicted relationship with her content and to explain why the song above affects me so much, I should probably first explain this relationship.
I first got acquainted with Dodie’s music and videos in 2016. She is so quirky and adorable and genuine — I immediately loved her. I fell in love with her and her voice and her videos and subscribed right away. Her taste is so similar to mine — specifically the Dodie with shorter hair, but I still love her style now as well.

I quickly became very interested in her circle of friends and fellow YouTubers. I followed people like Evan Edinger, Noodlerella, and Tessa Violet as well. All of them adorable, adorable humans.

After awhile, I realized I was following them *a bit* too closely. I realized their beliefs were nothing like my own. And I realized I was watching way more content from people whose beliefs I absolutely do not agree with than content from people who encouraged me to pursue my own faith. And it was taking a bit of a toll. I mean, at one point I legitimately watched more Dan and Phil Let’s Plays than I read the Bible, haha.
And so, for awhile there, I just unfollowed and unsubscribed and didn’t watch their content at all.

Since then, I’ve subscribed once more. Why? Because I do actually love them. I love their art and their ideas and their friendships with one another. And I love getting to be involved in their life-story in this really small way.

But it was good for me to step away for awhile and to reevaluate what I watch and consume. It was good for me to evaluate how I involved my heart in these people’s stories and how I let it influence me and to remember that I have to choose what I consume.

I don’t mean to be overdramatic here. Because I believe there’s nothing wrong with being a fan of YouTubers — or other creators, for that matter — who have different beliefs than you. For me, it was a matter of choosing what I let influence me.

All this to say, though I differ greatly in mindset, Dodie’s story has still been of great interest to me. I relate to her on a deep level. Even her mental health struggles sound so similar to my own. When I listen to her music, I often hear myself. And though there is so much about her belief system that, as a Christian, I find problematic, I still love this child. I still absolutely love the way she expresses herself.
So now, if you’re still reading, I’m just going to go over the lyrics of the song a bit and tell you what they mean to me — I guess — from a Christian point of view. And why, though this song makes me sad, I know deep down it shouldn’t make me sad, because it isn’t true.

But we’ll get to that.

I think I’ve been telling lies,
cause I’ve never been in love.
Everyone falls for the sunshine disguise, distracted by who they’re thinking of.

I’d rather date an idea;
something I’ll never find.
Sure, I’ll live in the moment,
but I’m never happy here
I’m surrounded by greener looking time.”

I’m going to start here. I want to firstly say, these lyrics are so beautiful. And the music with them — agh. I think part of the reason I get so emotional is because of how tragically beautiful it all is.

Dodie sings a lot of songs about love. We all do, I suppose. I do, anyway. I mean, a great number of songs are on that topic, so it’s kind of unavoidable. But for those of us who have never experienced that sunshiny love that we sing about — and I think it’s more people than you might think — it’s really, really hard to be certain that this happy, perfect love will ever come around.
Am I the only one
wishing life away?
Never caught up in the moment
busy begging the past to stay
Memories painted with much brighter ink;
they tell me I loved, teach me how to think.

I’ll take what I can get
cause I’m too damp for a spark.
Kissing sickly sweet guys
cause they say they like my eyes
but I’d only ever see them in the dark.”

Part of what Dodie’s shared about mental health struggles is a thing called depersonalization. She’s talked about how it made it hard for her to enjoy the present because she measured it up to happy moments in her past and she just ended up overthinking the whole thing and ruining what could have been new happy memories.

And this is about when I start weeping again. Because, oh, can I relate.

When you’re a young teenager, everything has just begun. You have so many hopes and plans for your future. And nothing is tainted because it hasn’t touched reality yet. Everything is hopeful and new and you’re just waiting for your amazing, beautiful life to begin — happy enough to be young and innocent.

And then you actually begin the process of growing up. And it’s not like how you thought. Yes, yes, it’s not always the worst and there are so many beautiful moments that make it worth it, but sometimes you get trapped, thinking the future will never be as bright as the past and that you were so wrong about how you thought life would be. This is my experience, anyway.

I’m sick of faking diary entries,
got to get it in my head; I’ll never be sixteen again
I’m waiting to live, and waiting to love
oh it’ll be over, and I’ll still be asking when.”

This is the last part I’ll go over because it will just repeat after this stanza. Stanza? Verse. Yeah, that one.

For me, sixteen and seventeen were this sort of peak. The top of the roller coster, if you will. I was so much happier than I’d ever been. A lot of this was because I was newly a Jesus follower, but I think it also comes with being that age and feeling like soon — very soon — you’re going to morph into something amazing.

But somehow, I’ve come to realize that growing up is not very fun at all. I’m clinging so much to my past. Or maybe, what I could have done with my past before things became so utterly difficult and confusing.

And now it just feels like I’m going to be hurdled down a hill and it will only get worse and worse. This song speaks to the fears I have — what if things only get more and more confusing and what if I never find time just to love someone and be happy?

It’ll be over and I’ll still be asking when.”
Only, I really needn’t weep, for there is an answer.

No matter what people tell you, life really, really isn’t about being happy. That is absolutely not a viable goal. If you chase nothing but happiness all your life, you’re going to end up completely empty by the end of your life. Happiness, without anything deeper attached, is meaningless.

So what do we chase instead? We chase Christ-joy.
Happiness is a sensation. Joy is something much deeper than that.

We humans are very, very messed up. It is entirely obvious to anyone who pays attention that we cannot do it — all of this life thing — on our own. Three seconds into the beginning of my day and I’ve already thought forty-two murderous thoughts. I’m not a morning person, okay?

If we go around chasing nothing but happiness, we’re going to be hurt by people we thought we could trust and we’re going to begin to think that love is a lie.

Joy can be found when we lay down our troubles at the cross. Joy can be found when we realize that God loves us so purely that we can’t even comprehend it. Joy can be found when we are forgiven.

Happiness is passing. Happiness is temporary. Happiness cannot be captured. Christ-joy is something that, once you have it, nobody can ever take it away from you.

Christ-joy is a product of belief. It is present regardless of circumstance. And no fear of death or fear of growing up can take it away.


Ahh, thanks so much for reading!!

I know that was super long for a blog post and they’ll probably be somewhat shorter — though probably just as random and rambly — in the future, but I was just full of righteous-energy there and wanted to share my heart on a dear person’s dear song.

I guess I should note here that I will not always be super prepared with a pre-written blurb like I have today. Some days will be messier than others.
The only goal is to get me out of bed to write and edit and post without fear or regret or rampant perfectionism.
Just a little heads up there, haha.
So yes! Thank you so much for joining me here! I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful week!
Love, love,

Brookie


{Lyric credits, of course, go to Dodie Clark. Check out doddleoddle on YouTube for more of her lovely content. Cover photo my own.}

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