If you were ever a dweeb, a nerd, a geek, an outcast, or a teacher’s pet, and you struck out swinging in the popularity contest, then THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is for you. I never struck out swinging, because I wasn’t even invited to the baseball diamond, and I probably wasn’t even in the same zip code. I didn’t raise my hand, or climb the social ladder, or attempt to end my life, but I do know rather well what it feels like to hover outside the norm. Hell, I’ve taken up residence in that state and built a house on a cement foundation, to the point that I need fictional authenticity and an optimism filled IV just to make it through reality. Luckily, I have a treasure trove filled with books and music and movies and pixie dust to fill my world from one moment to the next.
Elise Dembowski might have discovered music at the same time she discovered pessimism, but I don’t think it’s fair to judge her as a teenager filled with negativity. Frankly, being a teenager sucks. Being filled with hormones and testosterone and awkwardness and secret codes and tile-filled hallways and compact classrooms and having doubts about the rest of your life is not exactly a world where the pixie dust flows freely. And when you struggle to fit in, because you don’t know the secret handshake, or you’re ahead of your time, or you have a knack for saying and doing the wrong thing, life sucks just a little bit more. The cool kids ensure you know just where you stand, and most of the time it’s with your head hung low and hovering over the rim of a toilet bowl.
It’s a good thing Al Gore didn’t invent the Internet until I had come along in years, and Facebook and social networking weren’t around when it all went down on the playground. I’d like to think I could have handled the cyberbullying and negativity and trolls and gnomes in my younger years, but the truth is I don’t know if I was as strong then as I am now. Inner strength and thick skin aren’t gifts; they’re earned through hard work and maturity and offering up the second cheek when the first one just won’t do.
When you can make fun of yourself, it’s hard for anyone else to rattle your chain, and when you smile and whistle and wink and just walk on by…well, that’s the greatest revenge of all. That, my friends, is both long-lasting and gratifying.
If you want to read a much more articulate and fulfilling review, you should check out what Emily May has to offer the world. I hope her story moves you as much as it did me. As for me, I’ll put my iTunes on repeat and see what pops up next.