How SZA’s album teaches us not to Ctrl Alt Delete

You can’t always have control over your situations/ You don’t have to alter your experiences for the approval of others/ You can’t always delete your doubts, worries, fears or insecurities…and that is okay.

These are the main messages I’ve taken away after listening to Ctrl, SZA‘s masterpiece of an album, on repeat for the past five days.

“That is my greatest fear, that if I lost control, or did not have control, things would just, you know… I would be fatal.”

‘SZA’ Solana Imani Rowe begins the album with these raw, honest words that immediately awaken the insecure parts of myself, as well as other listeners. In the first line, she instantly unpacked the feelings many of us, specifically women, are uncomfortable talking about.

I read an Instagram caption via arielle.nicole (visit her blog: arielle-nicole.com), recently that read “Undoubtedly, SZA is doing for the heart what Solange did for the mind/body.”

I have yet to see a more accurate description. SZA’s vulnerability on every single track tackles the endless feelings many of us experience during our 20’s.

Many have asked if Ctrl is that good or if it’s worth the hype.

My answer is yes. I have analyzed a majority of the lyrics, and as a result have connected the three messages mentioned before as the three reasons why this album is indeed worth the hype.

  1. You can’t always have control over what happens in your life.

Everybody goes through the good, the bad and the ugly. Some situations are better than others. Some days you might be feeling up and of course there are some down days. That’s life. But many of us want to be able to control our circumstances at all times, and I believe, regarding relationships, it’s key to understand the importance of either letting it flow, or letting it go.

Doves in the Wind (feat. Kendrick Lamar)

We take things, and my influence so far, and then it’s out of my hands. And, y’know, while as I said it can be scary, it can also be a little bit comforting. Because I’ve learned that when I get to that point, and I can acknowledge, “Okay, Audrey, that’s as much as you can do,” I can actually let it…go.

 

Aside from relationships, it’s also essential to grasp the fact that we don’t always have control over where we are in life. Seasons come and go. Happy seasons, sad seasons, and the in between. There may be times when we feel like time has stopped, times that we feel stuck, and that times may never ever change. But when it’s understood that life does go on, it is then that you can take your power (control) back.

Broken Clocks

All I got is these broken clocks
I ain’t got no time
Just burning daylight
Still love and it’s still love, and it’s still love
It’s still love, still love (still lovin’), still love
It’s still love but it’s still love
Nothin’ but love for you (nothin’ but)
Nothin’ but love (nothin’ but)
Nothin’ but love

2. You don’t have to alter what you do in life or what you experience for the approval of others.

We are currently living in the social media era. For 20 something’s (millennials), much of the way we think and view life is affected by what we see on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, etc. If someone on your timeline posts a picture of a brand new Benz, captioned “just bought this baby by myself”, you might think to yourself, why don’t I have a job that makes Benz money yet?” Or, if someone who graduated from college with you posts a picture of her shiny 24 karat engagement ring, you might also think to yourself “Why can’t I at least find a man?”

But there’s a love/hate relationship with your 20’s, because while it can be a difficult time in terms of knowing what you want to do with your life, it can (and should be) the most free and liberating time of your life as well. It is absolutely critical to recognize that whatever you are currently experiencing is a part of your personal journey, and no one else’s. Your story is your own, and it’s okay to do you, for you, always.

 

20 Something

Stuck in them 20 somethings, stuck in them 20 somethings
Good luck on them 20 somethings, good luck on them 20 somethings
But God bless these 20 somethings
(God bless, oh God bless, oh God bless, oh God bless, oh)
Hopin’ my 20 somethings won’t end
Hopin’ to keep the rest of my friends
Prayin’ the 20 somethings don’t kill me, kill me

3. You can’t always delete your doubts, worries, fears or insecurities…and that’s okay.

I know Kanye was the first to admit his insecurities, but SZA is definitely a close second.

After understanding that we should not alter our experiences for society’s approval, neither should we feel the need to remove every doubt, worry, fear or insecurity we have about ourselves. When we attempt to rid ourselves of those things, we are simply hiding from who and what we are. I am not saying you are your insecurity, but I am saying your insecurities are what make you HUMAN.

Insecurities flow straight from the heart. And without our hearts, how can we feel? How can we love? How can we be? It’s in our best interest to love and embrace those vulnerable parts of us, opposed to running from and hiding from what’s real; when in fact some things can be changed and growth can occur. The important thing is realizing and accepting that we cannot and will not change all things.

Supermodel

I could be your supermodel if you believe
If you see it in me, see it in me, see it in me
I don’t see myself
Why I can’t stay alone just by myself?
Wish I was comfortable just with myself
But I need you, but I need you, but I need you

Drew Barrymore

I get so lonely, I forget what I’m worth
We get so lonely, we pretend that this works
I’m so ashamed of myself think I need therapy-y-y-y
I’m sorry I’m not more attractive
I’m sorry I’m not more ladylike
I’m sorry I don’t shave my legs at night
I’m sorry I’m not your baby mama
I’m sorry you got karma comin’ to you
Collect and soak in it right

Garden

Need you for the old me
Need you for my sanity
Need you to remind me where I come from
Can you remind me of my gravity?
Ground me when I’m tumblin’, spiralin’, plummetin’ down to Earth
You keep me down to Earth
Call me on my bullshit
Lie to me and say my booty gettin’ bigger even if it ain’t
Love me even if it rain
Love me even if it pain you
I know I be difficult
You know I be difficult
You know it get difficult to

Normal Girl

Normal girl
I wish I was a normal girl, oh my
How do I be? How do I be a lady?
Normal girl, oh
I wish I was a normal girl
I’ll never be, no, never be uh

SZA outdid herself with #Ctrl. Amid society’s notion that we should act a certain way, go through certain experiences, or be certain kinds of individuals, SZA reminds us that we don’t have to do any of those things.

It’s okay to lose control. It’s okay to do you, for you.

Go, Gina.

 

xo, mjb

Author: Maya J. Boddie

Daughter. Sister. Friend. Lover. Giver. Writer. Dreamer. Doer.

2 thoughts on “How SZA’s album teaches us not to Ctrl Alt Delete”

  1. Just what I needed this morning longtime friend. Awesome, you make me proud to be the man behind WO(man). – KO

    Like

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