This song, first of all, is a blast! ? It has such a joyful sound. The playful lightness when brought together with the lyrics embrace a beautiful lesson about how to hold the longing we often feel for “The way things used to be.”
The lyrics are about a changing heart.? Leslie Feist seems to be trying to reconcile the teenage hopes of her youth that have come knocking again to the truth of the way her heart is today, changed. She dances back and forth between longing for the love and hope of youth, and the immaturity of “Those teenage hopes who have tears in their eyes, too scared to own up to one little lie”.
The lesson to me lies in the way that she is able to hold the many conflicting perspectives that are with her when she reflects on her past. It’s so easy to run away with stories of how great things were, wishing our lives were different, simpler like they used to be. Or looking back in embarrassment or even shame at the immaturity of our younger self.
Ultimately we can’t change any of it, “Money can’t buy back the love that you had then”. She brings such lightness and acceptance to the many stories, accepting that change is unavoidable in life, and reminds herself of the truth of who she IS TODAY. “Oh oh oh, you’re changing your heart, oh oh oh, you know who you are.”
We can all learn from this incredibly simple approach of graciously saying “Yes I see you” to all of the stories, and gently reminding ourselves of the truth of who we are with the assurance “I know who I am.” And in the times when it doesn’t feel like we know who we are (often for me lately), I find immense peace in the practice of just asking the question, “Who am I?”. I can just let all the assumptions about who I am fall away to rest in that big question. There isn’t an easy answer to this question, perhaps it’s not even possible with language. But the simple recognition that I just don’t know, and being ok with the boundless nature of who I am rather than constantly trying to box myself into definitions, can allow space for the anxiety of reconciling the many faces of myself across time to dissipate.