When I wrote the song “I Wanna Be” (off the FORWARD album), it was about all the women who inspire me. I was at a point where I felt lost and sad; I felt rejected by my old band and I was hurt and angry still (that’s been a long process), and I didn’t feel like I fit in anywhere. I felt like a fraud, I felt fearful, and I felt alone. I had a big case of the I can’ts. I looked at so many great women who had picked themselves up and made themselves into something different, and I thought, I want that to be me! I want to be her!
I was looking outside. I looked to all these role models and I knew, that’s what I want. I want the strength to be the best I can, to be strong and beautiful, imperfections and all. I don’t want to cry in the dark anymore. I want to own who I am and be just like all those incredible women I see, everywhere. And in the original lyrics, I listed those names off in the song. I talked about each of them and about who I wanted to be: those individuals I admire.
But as I continued to develop the song, I realized that looking outside and wanting to be someone else was off the mark. The more I wrote, the more I started to realize: this person I needed to be was already within me. I just had to get her out! Why couldn’t I end the negative self-talk and habits I constantly spiraled through and break out this new, better version that’s in there? Why couldn’t I change and be version 2.0?
The important part was realizing that I had this person inside me. This person, this amazing “us”, is already within us all. We hold the power to change and to become who we want to be, because she’s already in there! Isn’t that a great thought? She lives within us! We just have to access her! For me, I felt a little embarrassed to just be realizing this at my age, but better late than never.
The old habits and the negative thoughts still pop up, and it’s easy to slip back into feeling alone and comparing myself to the old band or other, more “successful” women. But this latest version of me prevails, usually. I know she’s there and I know she is strong. She’s been around long enough that I also know she’s a huge part of who I am, and she’s accomplished a lot in overcoming all that shit, and she will again. It gets easier and easier to be her- to be this version.
She looks like us, she sounds like us, she is us. She’s new, but she was there all along, waiting to get out, waiting to spring through the cracks and burst from old, dead ways of being. You wanna be her. She is you!
Here are the lyrics and a link to the song “I Wanna Be”. Enjoy!
Someone inside me wants to get out
Tucked away, she cries at night
Wish I could break apart from habits
And let the old me die
Oh, what could be
What could be
I wanna be
I wanna be
I wanna be
I wanna be that girl
She’s breaking out in spite of butterflies
Nagging doubts that try to grab the reins
Seems like I’d have this down at my age
But holding back won’t keep me sane