In the past I had always loved hearing her powerful voice belt out catchy and hilariously sarcastic melodies. I adored her hidden message to her record company in “Love Song” and the rebellious message in “King of Anything”. “Uncharted” always reminded me to look forward rather than backward with the perfect line- “Compare where you are to where you wanna be and you’ll get nowhere.” After a while though, Sara slowly slipped out of my mind.
Fast-forward a couple of years to my friend, Angela, begging me to come to the Sara Bareilles concert. I agreed and we packed up and headed to my hometown, Tulsa.
I didn’t know any of the songs from Sara’s new album, The Blessed Unrest, so I was prepared for a night of awkwardly swaying in the crowd to music I had never heard before. However, when the lights dimmed and Sara took the stage, everything changed.
Her voice, strong and clear, pierced through the room like an arrow. It was a confident and flawless sound. Her unwavering vocals gave weight to each lyric she belted out. I was instantly enthralled by her performance. Her skill made me obsess over each song she played and this obsession made me question what was so alluring about her concert.
After much thought I realized that I admired Sara’s strength and comfort within her own skin. I even envied her ability to be so sure about herself and her opinions, especially within the lyrics to “Brave.” My jealousy made me realize that I lacked her confidence and that it was something I craved.
I believe within many women’s hearts (especially in christian women) there is tragic conflict that leaves many of us upset and confused. I believe this war is between the struggle to be humble and the fight to be a strong woman. No one wants to be called a doormat and alternatively no one wants to be called a crazy feminist. Society places this huge burden on women to balance gentleness and boldness.
This struggle has torn me apart many times. I feel both a tug to place others’ happiness and wants above my own and another pull to stand up for myself and vocalize my own opinions. However, I typically give into meekness and repress the voice crying out inside.
Thanks to prayer and Bareilles I’ve been able to recognize the war inside me and attempt to make peace. I hope I can one day merge the quiet and calm part of my spirit with its brave half.