I’m absolutely loving the new song, Easy on Me, from Adele that you all have been listening to and gushing about for the last five days or so. Yes, the amazingly talented Adele released her first single after a six year hiatus and it is breathtaking.
Some music, some songs are going to hit people in some kind of way that will leave a lasting impression forever. I’m being serious. For those of us who love music, like it’s our therapy, a song can literally bring you to tears and knock you off your feet.
Adele’s upcoming album might be about the last six years, it might be about love and loss and divorce and change, but this single is so profound and reliable that my guess is it is going to mean a little something different to each of us who listen. The underlying message in the end might be similar for all of us though. It is a message of hope after a period of despair and anguish.
Easy on Me
“Easy On Me” has been one of those songs for me. Take a listen and then let me explain.
We’re gonna get real for a hot minute, okay?
Fair warning, if you’ve been abused, sexually assaulted or put through some sort of traumatic ordeal the rest of this post could be triggering.
My first sexual experience happened when I was very, very young (about five years old). It’s not something I talk about or anyone talks about, right? Most of us don’t remember our early years of childhood. We look back and think and try to pull memories out from photos we see. Sure, I remember going to Sesame Place when I was little and I remember going to the Italian Festival in Wilmington. But I also remember being sexually abused. What happened became a defining moment in my life. I didn’t understand and I blocked it out for a very long time.
When I got older and began looking at boys as, you know “boyfriends,” I found that I was often picking boys who treated me poorly. In fact, if a boy treated me well then I wouldn’t date him (in most cases). You see, in my head the only way to keep that person as a friend and to be safe from that person was to make sure that I didn’t get involved with them in any other way.
I was still a child
Didn’t get the chance to
Feel the world around me
I had no time to choose
This warped way of thinking lead to a lot of abuse from boyfriends over the years and eventually lead me into worse and worse situations.
I have been sexually assaulted and raped, more than once and always by people I knew. When it came to relationships, when it came to any sort of romantic love, it was doomed from the start. I was still a little girl inside my adult self and I had missed out on the opportunity to “choose the life I would have chosen.” I don’t know exactly what Adele means in her new music, but for me her lyrics cut deep.
Once I had my first child (who just turned 18 last week), I worked very hard on coming to terms with how I became the person I was and began working on who I wanted to be. Becoming a Mom made me want to be stronger. It made me want to be brave. But in hindsight now, while listening to this song for the ninth time this morning, I still wasn’t making changes for me. I wasn’t looking deep down inside myself and wanting to repair and heal for me. I was doing it for my kids.
You may, or may not know, I had been married for almost 10 years to the father of two of my three children. Our marriage started out great. We had fun, we went out to concerts and movies, we ate a lot of Hawaiian pizza. But as time wore on there were more sad times than happy times. Neither of us were taking care of our brain health. Four years ago we hit a breaking point, one that left me bruised and broken in more ways than one. I had to make a decision then, stay and risk my life OR leave and struggle in other ways.
I know there is hope in these waters
But I can’t bring myself to swim
When I am drowning in the silence
When we separated and eventually divorce it was so hard. Even though it was a decision that I had to make, because things were really terrifyingly bad, I was leaving a man who had been my safety and stability at one point in time. How did I cope? I drank too much, I went out too late, there are nights I don’t even remember. My kids saw me that way. They saw me come home completely trashed one night. After that night I vowed to get my act together. No amount of drinking would change my past or fix anything. It only kept me numb temporarily.
Did you know?
In the United States, every nine seconds, a woman is victimized by domestic violence; six women a minute, 360 women in an hour and 8,640 women each day.
It is incredibly difficult to share my experience, but if it is possible that I can help someone who is a victim, become a survivor, then I’ll share.
The person who is the hardest on me, is me. I doubt myself, I question myself, I make excuses for everyone else but don’t allow the same leniency for myself. That’s what this song means to me, it means that I’m aware of who I am and how I got here. The journey has been arduous. So, this morning I’m going to be easy on me.
So quick to cancel
I’m listening to Adele’s song and I’m realizing that I need to go easy on me. We need to go easy on people in general. We’re so quick to judge, so quick to ridicule and criticize, so quick to cancel people.
Maybe Adele ended her marriage, maybe it was her choice to walk away. Why should anyone berate her for a life decision that has nothing to do with them?
She’s hard on herself over how her decision impacted her son, Angelo. I know the feeling. When you’re a parent every choice you make has consequences on everyone around you, intentional or not.
The star’s albums – 19, 21, 25 and now 30 – are all named after the age she was at the time of writing her music. They are literally the biographical soundtrack of her life.
Adele’s upcoming album 30 is due to be released on November 19.
Prior to the album release, Adele will be the star of a two-hour special that will feature a concert performance that is set to include some of her new material as well as an interview with Oprah Winfrey.
The two-hour event will be broadcast Sunday, November 14 (8:30-10:30 PM, ET) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on their streaming platform Paramount+.