Jagged Little Pill: Soundtrack to My 20s

If I could choose any album to depict life in my 20s it would be Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill.” Yeah, I know that album was released 16 years ago, but it is still relevant! There’s a song on that album that fits my mood at almost any given moment in my life. For instance:

When I finally meet the man of my dreams. He likes the same things I do. He understands and accepts me and my quirkiness. He isn’t swayed by my occasional outbursts. He thinks I’m great even when I’m being unbearable.  He possesses all the qualities that are rare to find in one human being. Then, he moves halfway across the world to be a PeaceCorps volunteer in an African country. In a turn of events, his new career require him to live in Africa permanently. You admire his tenacity, and his drive to give back, but you’re saddened by the realization that a relationship with someone across the Atlantic Ocean will not work.  Situations like this, I play “Ironic.”

When I run into the lanky guy who had a huge crush on me back in 10th grade. Back then, he was awkward; he sat in the back of the classroom reading Harry Potter books and playing with his pet frog. He wore mismatched outfits that were the topic of everyone’s conversation.  I run into him at the local mall. Only this time, he’s not lanky and awkward anymore. He’s handsome and refined. He’s funny; he’s a gentleman. He’s an engineer at a company in Atlanta and in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression, he’s managed to hold down a full-time well-paying job. Now, he’s someone I want to date, I say to myself. Only drawback is, he always brings up the “time when” I wasn’t feeling him. He dangles words that I once said that he found hurtful like “Let’s just be friends” or “You’re like a brother!” in my face.  I meant those words on that day, but today, I want to take them back. Moments like this, I play “Head Over Feet.”

When stuff hits the fan. You’re tired of hearing what you should do from your parents, from your friends, and from your relatives. You decide to do it your way. And your way is to get in your car and drive away from your problems. You fill up your gas tank and drive as far as your gas tank permits. Alas, you can breathe. You can hear your own thoughts, your own inner voice. Freedom, and it smells and feels so good. In this moment, “Hand In My Pocket” bleeds through my speakers.

And when all is said and done. I’m lying in bed counting sheep and gazing at the ceiling. Reflecting on life and its lessons. Why I left the good guy – the one who would do anything in his power to make me happy – for the bad guy – the one who would do anything in his power to make himself happy.  How I should have listened to my parents when they gave me advice that was hard to take, that’s when I play “You Learn.”

Yep, Alantis Morisette, she knows the experiences I’ve had in my 20s very well.

What album would you choose to be the soundtrack of your 20’s? 30’s? 40’s? Or whatever decade you’re currently in?