Existential Song Reviews – “Unwritten”


Shockingly, it has been almost 11 months since my last existential song review. I don’t know where the time has gone, but I certainly have consumed a giant amount of music since then and am constantly thinking about interesting and introspective things while listening.

This one is a hit from 2004 that I am sure most will have heard of – “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield. Even if the title or artist doesn’t ring a bell, if you give it a listen, you’ll probably know it. It was the most played song on US radio in 2006, and it was a theme song of TV show “The Hills”, a show that I never watched, but my wife loved.

I am unwritten
Can’t read my mind
I’m undefined
I’m just beginning
The pen’s in my hand
Ending unplanned

The song starts off hopeful and bright, making me think of all the possibilities in life and how we have no idea what is to come next, but showing that we have some control in where we go and what we do. As I walk through my life, I always feel like my ending, or even my next chapter, is unwritten. I am not a planner, and I prefer to live life in a more spontaneous way, which makes these words come to life for me right away. I also prefer to be undefined. I love all sorts of things from all areas of life that I am sure some would be surprised by, and that’s a beautiful unique thing. I have never wanted to fit into a mold.

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

These words speak to me as growth. There have been so many times in my life where I feel a certain way, but have no idea how to put those feelings into words and it can take years to figure out how to properly form the words that just make it all come together. I had no idea how to express my feelings on some things for over 15 years and one day after all those years of thinking, it’s like it suddenly all came together at once, and I knew exactly how to describe how I feel.

I may be an extrovert and a talkative person, but I do my fair share of thinking and processing, but sometimes you need to step out from behind the lens you’ve always viewed your life through to get a new perspective and see what’s really there.

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in

How many times have you ever wanted to do something, say something, talk to someone, and all you felt was fear and self-doubt?

I am no stranger to this. Again not something many people would guess perhaps, given I am a fairly outgoing and bold kind of individual. But of course I have fears and self-doubts. I never feel smart enough until I know all the answers to my questions, and I can never have those answers, so I know I will never be smart enough. But smart enough for what exactly?

We are the only ones who can truly stop feeling this way about ourselves and actually pay attention to the outside forces that are trying to speak life into you. How many times have you dismissed a compliment that someone gave you because of your own self-doubt? You thought that they couldn’t possibly mean it and that they were just being nice. But perhaps they genuinely meant it.

Perhaps people actually do like you for who you are.

No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

I am the only one who has lived my life, and so the same goes for you.

While there are shared experiences, each piece of it is unique and unknowable to anyone other than yourself. Lived experience is such a valuable thing, but we need to always remember that while we don’t want someone to dismiss our own lived experience, we also cannot and should not dismiss the lived experiences of others.

This is hopeful and filled with unity in my eyes. There are so many people we may not agree with on issues, but we need to remind ourselves to combat our own biases and never dismiss someone without considering their lived experience and how they got to this point.

I think living your life with arms wide open is such a beautiful sentiment, and I think it can absolutely take us into a new and unwritten chapter of our lives.

I break tradition
Sometimes my tries are outside the lines
We’ve been conditioned to not make mistakes
But I can’t live that way

This small verse is quite literally how I have come to try and live my life. I cannot count how many people I have trained or taught to do something and I have included the words “Everyone is going to do certain things differently along the way, but if you get to the same place at the end, that’s all that matters”.

There are SO many ways to accomplish a task, and who am I to define those lines for someone? All I can say is how I would do it myself, but that may not be the best way at all. Do things your own way. Do things that scare you a little. Challenge your self-doubts.

Be free to take those missteps and screw up along the way. Learn from them. If you don’t allow yourself the freedom to make mistakes, how will you grow and become better, stronger, more resilient and able to help those that come after you?

I do not fit a mold, and I like it like that. I won’t ever do something in the same way as someone else simply because I cannot. I am my own unique person, and so are you, and there’s no way to know what comes next. That’s what makes life so beautiful.

The rest is still unwritten

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