Words Wednesday is a column where I share whatever quote I’m most in love with this week in the hopes that it will make both of us better writers. Whether it be from a blog, a movie, or a song, these words rocked me emotionally and I want them to inspire you too.

I first listened to Kimya Dawson on a rainy day while wandering around my girlfriend’s apartment and staring at the water droplets hitting the windows. The rhythm was pure joy, folk music accompanied by a simple guitar. The lyrics, on the other hand, were darker than I’d expect for an artist who also sings children’s music. Needless to say, I became a little obsessed.

“i got good at feeling bad and that’s why i’m still here”

Kimya dawson, the competition

It is probably obvious to all of you that are regular readers of my words wednesday by now, but I chose those quote because I resonated deeply with it. I think for a lot of us, we have embraced the way it feels to always be at least a little bit sad, regardless of what else is happening around us. Happiness, while a noble goal, is ultimately elusive. I can have moments of happiness, moments where I am laughing and not thinking about anything else except the here and the now. What keeps me alive, though, is learning how to deal with all of the other moments of my life where I feel like shit.

Society tries to convince us that the way to overcome depression and live a fulfilling life is to learn how to be happy. But the reason I’m still here is not because I learned to be happy, it’s because I learned how to cope with being sad. When I wake up with a general sense of melancholy, I do not compound that by lamenting the fact that I feel that way. Instead, I greet it like an old friend, and relish the moments of happiness as rare life excitements.

These twelve words perfectly capture that emotion when I listen to them.

From a syntactical point of view, there is power in placing two opposing words so close together in a sentence. It calls attention to the dispirit meanings that are somehow able to exist in harmony rather than in contradiction. After reading (or listening) to the sentence, you are not left with a feeling of “good” or a feeling of “bad” but rather a weird mix of the two that add to the emotional complexity of the situation. It is especially interesting to me in this case because “good” and “bad” are not particularly emotionally evocative words, but somehow placing the two of them into one person at the same time creates a level of emotion you wouldn’t expect from the words individually.

What are some of your favorite song lyrics? Let me know in the comments!

Like what you read? Consider helping us fund the site and pay our writers