both sides now.

Tears and fears and feeling proud,
to say I love you right out loud.
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds—
I’ve looked at life that way.

But now old friends are acting strange.
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed.
For something’s lost and something’s gained
in living everyday.

– Joni Mitchell [1969]

Both Sides Now has always been one of my favorite songs to sing not only because it has a beautiful melody, but also because of it’s reflective nature. Recently, this verse in particular seemed to spark a lot of emotion in me. I don’t cry very often, but when I sang this part of the song, I found myself tearing up.

I guess the words just hit a sore spot. Aside from my sister, I feel like the people in my life who’ve known me the longest aren’t pleased with the changes I’ve gone through in the years since my high school graduation. That thought really saddens me because I would like to think that those people who’ve seen me the most vulnerable, insecure and overly dependent should be proud of who I’ve become and who I’m coming to be instead of resenting me for changing or being someone they no longer know.

But I guess that is what the song is about. With every loss, there is a gain. And in the last few years, cliché as it sounds, I’ve gained the courage to like myself and I will never apologize for that.

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