I thought emotional depth made me Special. I was looking for any reason to think that God had Chosen me. I needed an excuse to think there would be more to my life than what there was. And so I wrote A History of Sleepwalking, which I saw as an honest tale of living with the darkest emotions and finding a way to be true to your faith.
No one got it, of course. People usually got hung up on the song about Internet porn. My opus was lost! (How melodramatic.)
Thankfully I learned not to take myself quite so seriously. But there is something to be said for innocence, the way we experience every moment of life with the utmost intensity before we are hurt. I thought life as an adult meant not being ruled by my emotions. I matured, I grew a bit less self-righteous, but I also caged my emotions in little song boxes, compartmentalizing everything so it was only experienced when I sang.
Then I was confronted with the canyon I've created between Song Jana and Day-to-Day Jana. Song Jana could sing about selfless love in "If I Ever Break Your Heart" (if you haven't heard it yet, it's on Ideals & Deals, yay!) but Day-to-Day Jana could never admit to feeling that way. It would be weakness!
Then it hit me. Not showing weakness is a weakness. Not showing emotion is silly. I only have one life! What's the point of pretending not to be The Girl Who Feels?
So I'm trying to live my songwriting, take that emotional intensity that I've packaged up so nicely in chords and lyrics, and spread it out across my so-called mundane life.
We shouldn't write to escape how boring our lives are. We should act to make them unboring, and writing should be an overflow of how richly we live.
Self-help blog over.