“Close your eyes and then clone yourself/ Build your heart an army/ to defend your innocence while you do everything wrong” John Mayer croons in the first moments of “Age of Worry”, a tribute to the anxiety of youth off his 2012 album Born and Raised. Like many of my favorites hidden in John Mayer’s extensive catalog, “Age of Worry”, is deeply trenched in languid convictions and contradictions of the heart, two emotions I have become very familiar with on the treacherous path to adulthood.
In the last few months, a few things have become apparent to me. The first is that, when you’re young, chaos is threaded in mental notes across our mind and peace, therefore, become something to actively strive for as you grow older. The second is that sometimes there is a difference between what you want and what you need because the universe is designed (somewhat ludicrously) to only give you what you are. The most important lesson that I’ve have learnt however is that, there is beauty in process.
John Mayer sings over guitar strums about going wild in the “Age of Worry”. His words listen like a conversation with his aging self at the same time a glimpse of how he views everyone’s brief youth. In the last two lines of the fourth quatrain, he sings “Dream your dreams but don’t pretend, make friends with what you are”, this comes before a stanza break and Mayer going on to implore his listener to “Give your heart and change your mind”, just because “you’re allowed to do it”. It makes you wonder if you’re supposed to take these as advice or just a mere reflection of John Mayer’s own life.
But you will find out what it really means is somewhere in between surviving uncertainty and remaining true to yourself. That is a gloomy image every young person adulting right now can relate to, especially when Mayer sings of sleeping wherever night falls because “there is no time that you must be home”. “Age of Worry” also rings of an underlying freedom without compromise. It tells you that while trying to juggle societal expectations of getting older, you must remember to be young. But this would only work after you have made peace with the laws of action and consequence for every phase of your life. Somewhere therein lies the key to adulting.
NB: Music recommendations are tricky, but I’ve had so many people ask me to advise them on what to hear and I never do. So, I will be using my medium to bring attention to some interesting songs and playlists that have been prominent in my life. Finger’s crossed, you guys check out some of them then let me know in the comments if you feel the same way