I’m gonna share a little story with you. Surprising, right? *eyeroll*
When I was in middle school, I LIVED for my Walkman cd player. I took it everywhere with me – especially on car rides with my mom, who was a fervent country music fan.
I was being bullied in shop class by the biggest jock in the school (middle school jock – what a title, right?!). He harassed me daily, in front of the whole class.
I had boundless anger for it. I shook, and held back fear that I’d end up breaking his face in front of a room of my peers.
My mom saw my struggle (One of the many reasons this woman is amazing). She bought me Sticks and Stones by New Found Glory, and honestly, it changed my life.
The pop punk era of the early 2000’s produced a lot of shit. Truly. Honestly.
ANYWAY, Sticks and Stones got me through the fuckery and utter humiliation I was experiencing.
Since then, a few of the songs have lingered on for me, “Singled Out,” being the biggest one. I actually featured it on my “Whiney-Time Sounds,” post back in 2015.
Regardless of the fact that a lot of the songs border on emo, and Jordan Pundik’s nasally vocals make them seem whiney, this album has huge significance for me. It is an album that helped me feel empowered and not so alone.
Now, as a grown-ass adult, few things hurt worse than a breakup. And the biggest secret of all? Friend breakups hurt the worst. Sticks and Stones is back in heavy rotation lately due to a shit-ton of stressors in my life, and I’m honestly happy about it.
“Singled Out,” for all its simplicity, speaks the exact words I’ve felt over and over, without marring them with adult complexity:
“What will you do when there’s no one to fall back on? I won’t be there – I’ve learned my lesson. What will you do when there’s no friends to fall back on? Because they’ve all been stepped on.
Why’d you have to go and make me say these things about you? Why’d you have to turn around – after all that we’ve been through?”
When life decides to flip you the bird, there’s no shame in picking up an album that makes you feel more empowered, and less hope/helpless. Coping’s great, isn’t it?