Death of A Bachelor: Jitters

Alright, Alright.
I might be a tad bit obsessed with Panic! At the Disco’s Death of a Bachelor Album. Only a little, mind you because it’s not like I’ve listened to it for hours on repeat. It’s not like I sometimes catch myself humming it while on the road or at school during class. It’s not like I haven’t been quoting it everywhere waiting for someone to get one of the references. Nope. Not at all.
It’s a hell of a feeling, though.

 

 

But this album is so very Panic! Who else could have written the line “Every night in my dreams, you walk on a tightrope of weird.” [Crazy=Genius]
But at the same time, you can see that Brendon Urie’s done some growing up. In his eventful life, he’s regretted some of the stuff he’s done. Urie’s told fans over and over again that he regretted the I write sins, not tragedies video but it’s the first time he’s immortalised his feelings in song:  “You shoulda seen what I wore/ I had a cane and a party hat.” [Don’t Threaten Me With a Good Time]

As always, Panic! at the Disco’s lyrics are so weird, I’m completely befuddled. Is he trying to call up the imagery of drunken revelrey in Las Vegas with “I lost a bet to a guy in a Chiffon skirt/ But I make these high heels work”  or is there some deeper meaning. We will probably never know.

But I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the title track. Yep, Death of a Bachelor. It’s significantly slower than the other songs and I think so far, it’s the only music video in this album in black and white.

While there are a lot of songs in this album which directly refer to the craziness of his wild days, like La Devotee, Victorious and The Good, the Bad and the Dirty and another several which refer to making new memories like House of Memories and Golden Days,  I think Death of a Bachelor is the one that is most obviously reconciling the two.

He refers to a change that’s already happened with the lines “People have told me I don’t look the same” while the song in itself refers to the change marriage brings to a bachelor’s lifestyle.

This song is interesting because it has all sorts of implications tangled up in it.  A major part of the chorus: “A lifetime of laughter at the expense of the death of a bachelor.” very clearly states that sacrifices have to be made. Taken literally, somebody else needs to die  for a person to be happy.  That has all sorts of ethical connotations to it. For example, is it okay for one person (the bachelor) to die so that two people (the married couple) can live happily. Society would have us believe so.

Even if we take it as a metaphor for two aspects of a person like we’re probably supposed to as evidenced by “I’m cutting my mind off/ It feels like my heart is going to burst”, Brendan’s still literally talking about suppressing a part of his personality. That’s horrible and honestly it makes me very afraid of marriage.

Image result for death of a bachelorThis song is very much a groom’s pre-wedding jitters. What else could it be with all the references to thinking as you drink, veils strangling people to death and being pushed off a cliff. But at the same time it’s a very deep, metaphor for society’s rigid expectation that you actively change your personality every time you enter a new phase of your life.

As someone who has a bunch of friends who will be heading off to college in a few months, this is an unnerving thought. If you’re heading off to college soon or making some other massive life change, I just want to remind you that you are not compelled to change. It’s true that nothing in life is constant but change, but don’t feel pressured to change yourself. You do not need to be more mature, more grown-up, more patient, more understanding right away.
There’s a learning curve to change and no one expects you to be a perfect adult who’s in total control of your life the day you turn 18.  If it happens, let it happen. If it doesn’t happen, don’t force it.

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Confronting Change: A reponse to Mountain Dew’s #RiseAgainstFear Challenge

” Do one thing everyday that scares you.”

Ever since I did a project on Eleanor Roosevelt in 3rd grade, she’s been a role-model. She was charismatic, fearless and bold- all things that I want to be (but I desperately fear I’m not).  I’ve done my best to follow this quote.

Doing one thing everyday that scares you can be a daunting task, but like all tasks, it gets easier with practice. I’ve deliberately pushed myself into doing things which scare me; stepping out of my comfort zone in tiny steps.

If you include pre-kg and nursery schools, I’ve been to 10 different schools. Considering I’m in 10th grade, that’s pretty impressive (or weird- you choose). Sometimes I switch schools despite the fact that I’m living in the same city. It’s all part of the master plan: to confront change.

Change is something that, by definition, humans are scared of. But it’s true- Nothing in life is certain but death and taxes. So, I guess it’s up to us to get ourselves used to change, to learn how to cope with our life altering.

“Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.”
– The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Changing schools frequently is my attempt to get used to change. Every time I switch schools, I desperately miss friends (who promise to keep in touch and are actually pretty good at keeping their promises) and am overwhelmed by the thought of having to make new friends, deal with new teachers  and starting over again with a tabula rasa (blank slate). Does it get easier after 10 switches? No- not really. Every school is different, with different groups of people and different priorities and while I’m acclimatizing to it, I face a lot of uncertainty. There are tears, there are regrets and of course, there’s second guessing. For the first few months (sometimes a whole year), I’m constantly wondering “Did I make the right choice.”

I still don’t know. It’s impossible to guess what might have been (I think Aslan said something similar in Prince Caspian). But then along with the tears there is laughter to balance it out and with the old regrets come new and great friends. Every school and every set of friends and teachers has helped me shape who I am- for better or for worse.

Change is scary and the idea of confronting it is even scarier but I promise it gets easier. Change  is inevitable and it’s something we have to learn how to deal with.

“You can’t stop the future
You can’t rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret
…is to press play.”
– Thirteen Reasons Why

Change and overcoming the fear which comes with change is a major theme in young-adult books. Here are a couple of must-reads about change and about learning how to overcome it.

  1. What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
  2. If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson
  3. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
  4. Hatelist by Jennifer Brown
  5. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

These books will inspire you to  go ahead. Confront change; Rise above your fears.

This post was in response to the Mountain Dew challenge #RiseAboveFear.
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Video: Warning the video is not in English