We have waited so very long for new material from Adele that most of us, myself included, had just resigned ourselves to waiting indefinitely. I’m happy to say that our stint in purgatory is over.
Yesterday Adele dropped “Easy On Me”, the lead single from her forthcoming senior album, 30. 30 is due to be released on November 19th and I’m holding my breath just like the rest of the world. Adele occupies a special place in my heart. When 21 first came out I was just shy of 15. I was figuring out who I was and my place in the world. My emotions were everywhere and every small tragedy felt like the onset of Armageddon. Are we ever as emotionally raw as we are during those early teen years? I can’t imagine we are because otherwise our hearts would eventually explode out of our chests.
On a school trip to a bigger city north of where I live, I bought 21 in a Hot Topic. Impatient and still wholly unmedicated, I opened up the packaging and made the bus driver play the CD on the way home. I honestly can’t remember my first reaction to hearing those songs for the first time but I distinctly remember uploading that CD to my iTunes account and adding the album to my 2nd-generation iPod Nano, which I still have by the way.
21 became the soundtrack to my life, narrating every facet of my existence. You could map my entire topography of feelings from the years 2011-2013 on the track listing to that record and I am so grateful to Adele for being there for me while I was trying to figure everything out.
I suppose 30 will be the same thing for me. Like Adele, I’m in a much different place than I was a decade ago. I’ve gained and lost friends. I’d like to think that tender and fragile young man who performed impromptu concerts in the living room at fifteen is proud of the person he became. I think he would be. I suppose he is. If I could tell him just one thing, it’d be this: Go easy on yourself, kid. What you’re feeling now is valid but the pain won’t last forever. Believe in yourself and everything else will fall into place. I’m rooting for you.
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