On Saturday night in Central Park, my homegurl Mariah Carey performed with the New York Philharmonic for the MLB’s All-Star Charity Concert for victims of Hurricane Sandy. I didn’t get to go because I already tickets for Cinderella on Broadway, but I wish I did because she performed one of her most rare cuts, a song called “Looking In” from the Daydream album.
“Looking In” is a heartbreaking song that is lyrically naked and showcases the incredibly tender vulnerable side of a tour-de-force Diva with a Capital D. It’s one of those songs that I steer people towards when they say they don’t like Mariah Carey because it allows them to see her in a different light, away from the glitz and glitter and rainbows and dahhhhhhling’s.
You look at me and see the girl
Who lives inside the golden world
But don’t believe
That’s all there is to see
You’ll never know the real me
She smiles through a thousand tears
And harbors adolescent fears
She dreams of all
That she can never be
She wades in insecurity
And hides herself inside of me
Don’t say, “She takes it all for granted”
I’m well aware of all I have
Don’t think that I am disenchanted
It seems as though I’ve always been
Somebody outside looking in
Well, here I am for all of them to bleed
But they can’t take my heart from me
And they can’t bring me to my knees
They’ll never know the real me
She’s never performed this song live. And I can’t believe I missed it.
My favorite moment in this stunningly emotional performance is when she breaks down and can’t get through the lines, “She wades in insecurity / And hides herself inside of me.” #epic
It’s a song that I’ve always related to in some way.
When I was growing up and I didn’t know where I fit in, I would listen to that song and know that someone else got it. Somebody else understood what I was going through. Somebody else was out there and felt the same pain that I was feeling, growing up different in a world that applauses conformity and sameness.
When I would get into fights with friends because I felt that they never truly understood me, I would listen to that last verse and be stronger.
When I’m feeling disenchanted, I listen to this song and feel again.
It’s amazing what one song can do to my psyche.
I always feel like I’m on the outside looking in. Even when I’m technically on the inside. I guess that’s the cross that I bear in life. I walk on eggshells with certain people because they can’t handle absolute truth. I struggle as I watch others successes, especially in the publishing world. I’m always on the periphery of true greatness. I always feel left out. I bite my tongue to preserve feelings. I fight to stay alive. I fight to truly live.
There are days when I feel like nobody will truly understand every piece of me. Except maybe Steve. He gets it. He knows everything there is to know and without a word he lets me know that I’m understood, that I matter, that my opinions and thoughts and stance in life matter. He makes me feel, even if for a moment, that I’m not on the outside looking in.
But outside of that? I fear that I’ll always be on the outside of something. I’ll always be misunderstood.
They’ll never know the real me …