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One of my biggest musical regrets is that I didn’t discover Ben Folds until my senior year of high school. I could listen to his stuff for days at a time without getting bored. And because I’ve been in a thoughtful mood the past few days, I’m going to share with you one of his songs that makes me cry:

“Still Fighting It” made me cry when I graduated high school and headed off to college. It made me cry when I put it in a photo montage for my sister’s high school graduation. It made me cry when my friend’s son passed away. And it made me cry at pretty much every life change in between.

You see, I have this bad habit of looking at the past through rose-colored glasses, holding it up next to the ups and downs I’m trudging through, forgetting anything bad that’s happened, and wistfully saying how “It was better then.” (I could write an entire post on this, and probably will someday.) Add that to the fact that with the majority of my 20’s behind me, I still occasionally marvel that I am able to accomplish the basic tasks of being an adult–getting an oil change, buying an airline ticket, feeding myself vegetables–and this song is a recipe for a wave of nostalgia that’s easy for me to get lost in.

The story is from the perspective of a dad talking to his son, telling him all about how “it sucks to grow up.” (And doesn’t it?!) My favorite part is the chorus:

Everybody knows
It hurts to grow up
And everybody does
It’s so weird to be back here
Let me tell you what
The years go on and
We’re still fighting it

Then Ben Folds ruefully tell his son, “And you’re so much like me, I’m sorry.”

I love the song because to me, it perfectly describes The Human Condition. It hurts to grow up; it sucks. But we’re still fighting it. We can still have fun, we can still love, we can still strive to be in the present moment and throw away the rose-colored glasses we use to look at the past. So while it still makes me cry, it also makes me smile.

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