As all of you MUST know by now, Adele released her newest single, “Hello,” this past week. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please click here immediately before continuing to read this post.
People all over the world are freaking out about this song. In a good way. “Adele is back!” “What an amazing song!!” “All praise Queen Adele.”
All for valid reasons, and I 100% agree.
But I’ve also heard some push back that I need to address. “It sounds selfish, Adele making this album for herself.” I’m sorry, what?
Adele has said this: “My last record was a break-up record and if I had to label this one I would call it a make-up record. I’m making up with myself.” Well, damn. Isn’t this the pinnacle point of all relationships? Break-up, make-up, repeat. The catch here, which I absolutely love, is that it’s Adele making up with herself. And the whole entire reason I’m writing about this is because of that idea. Yeah, sure, I love the song and it’s been on repeat nonstop all week. But for me, it has a deeper meaning. This isn’t a break-up song. It’s a make-up song.
And speaking unitedly as a group of twentysomethings (and people of all ages, really), I’m going to generalize and say that we all need to embrace this concept. Make up with yourself. The past is the past. What’s done is done. I’m more concerned about looking ahead. Living in the present, yet still being able to move forward. And how can we do that? Make up with the past, and make up with yourself.
In the song, Adele says three simple (yet oh-so-complex phrases) that start with “Hello.” All of which lead to “Hello from the other side.” In my mind, the other side is after we have made up with ourselves…embraced the past, accepted it, and moved forward. So how do why get to the other side? Let’s start by acknowledging the three “Hellos.”
- Hello, it’s me.
- Who are you? This is a real question, not rhetorical. Take out a piece of paper and a pen, and write down five of your most salient identities. For example, I am a son, a brother, a writer, a student affairs professional, and a graduate student. Reflecting on your identity is such an important concept in getting to the other side and in moving forward. Who are you? Who do you want to be? Are those two visions aligning? In order to get to the other side, you need to be able to say, “Hello, it’s me,” in a clear, confident tone. Know who you are, who you want to be, and where you are going.
- Hello, can you hear me?
- Listen to yourself. Can you hear yourself when your intuition is telling you something? I have found this to be especially true in coming to term with your values, especially if you find your own personal values to be changing in ways that you would’ve never thought of before. Just listen to yourself. What feels right for you? Getting to the other side requires a certain amount of self-awareness, and in order to get there, you just need to listen.
- Hello, how are you?
- Self-care. How are you doing? How are you feeling? This one is so so important. After you discover that new sense of self-awareness, think about how you are going to maintain it. If you know that you need to have a challenging conversation, have it. But make sure that you are doing everything you can to take care of yourself first and foremost. Some see it as selfish, I see it as wise.
One last thing: this is a process, people. Getting to the other side is not as easy as One, Two, Three. I think you can hear the pain in Adele’s voice with this new song. AKA, it’s not going to feel easy, but it’s going to feel right.
For more inspiration and everything good, please refer to the letter from Adele herself below: