Sunday, June 9, 2013

You Can Do Better

   I've spent a lot of time on YouTube these past few months and I have found some favorite artists and creators among this medium. One of those favorites is a hilarious guy by the name of Mike Falzone, and while digging through his extensive archives one day I happened to find myself listening to a cover he made of a song called Do Better by Say Anything. I'm not even going to attempt to lie here and pretend like I had heard the song before... but I will say that I couldn't bring myself to close the tab after listening to it that first time. And I haven't. For weeks. (sorry Jason, I know, too many tabs... always, way WAY too many tabs)

   I can't get it out of my head. Something about the lyrics and the mood of the song is entrancing... and I STILL cannot tell if it makes me feel incredibly better or incredibly worse. But either way it's strangely comforting.

Have a listen for yourself:

   After listening to it on repeat for way too long I finally decided to think through why this phrase "you can do better" is so disconcerting to me. Why I can't let it go. Why it is both soothing and painful in the way that hydrogen peroxide works on an open wound (which apparently you're not supposed to do anymore?)  I haven't figured it out entirely yet but I did write this the other night as I was trying to fall asleep:

For those who can't read my messy handwritting:

You can do better is quite a dichotomy of a sentence, especially for one so short. 
It's a perfectly fine thing to say to someone going through a rough breakup. 
In that context it obviously means 'you deserve better'... 'they're not good enough for you'. 

But when someone says 'you can do better' to you in regards to just about anything else, 
or worse when you say it to yourself 
it reverberates a double meaning through your cerebral cortex 
and you're left wondering which one is more true. 

Am I capable of immeasurably great things
or am I being compared against a standard to which I can never measure up? 

Should I feel inspired or ashamed?

What do you think? Has anyone ever told you that you can do better? Did it help or hurt? Encourage or Belittle? Perhaps both... share your thoughts and/or experiences in the comment section below.

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