Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

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Back to Blogging: Significant songs

This post is part of Alyssa’s back to blogging nonchallenge challenge. I think I got that right.

I love music. Always have, as long as I can remember. I even write about it a lot (like my playlists with Erin, a regular feature I did back when I wrote about money, and I have some other random playlists floating around, too). So when the prompt came up to list 3 song that define your life and why, I had to get on that. 

I’ll say, it was hard to narrow it down. I went with 4 (because I do what I want) and while one isn’t a surprise since I mentioned it a couple of weeks ago, I’ll repeat it anyway. I also went with songs that define my life now, rather than overall because I’m a much different person than I was when I was 18 and even 30 and to use songs from back then would be fun but not necessarily accurate. However. Some of these songs have been constant in my life for the last 10 or so years so maybe what I just said isn’t entirely true. I don’t know. Music, especially good music, is timeless. 


Song #1: Maybe by Sick Puppies
This song changed my life. I wish that were hyperbole but it’s not. It came to me during an extremely difficult time, personally and professionally, an while 2 years went by before I took the message to heart, it stayed with me the whole time. It’s like the song was giving me permission to walk away from all the horribleness and let me know that yes, it’ll be hard but things have to be hard and change before they get better. 


Song #2: The Middle by Jimmy Eat World

For whatever reason, when I’m in the middle of any sort of crisis or weird situation or some sort of tough, awkward time, this song appears on the radio almost every day. I take it as a sign, like the universe is sending me a message that it’ll all be okay in the end and whatever I’m going through is temporary. 

Song #3: America’s Sweetheart by Elle King

I love everything about the song. Specifically, the message. It’s amazing. Essentially it’s about embracing who you are, loving yourself, and everyone who doesn’t like you or wants you to change can fuck off.

Song #4: I’m Not Alright by Shinedown (also, Amaryllis by Shinedown. Is it cheating to have 2 songs by the same band grouped together if they’re from the same album?) 

What I love about I’m Not Alright is that it gives permission to be not okay. To not be perfect, to be flawed, to be weird and quirky and that if you have a mental illness, it’s okay because it’s not the sum of who you are but the sum of all those parts make you who you are. That’s exactly how I feel about my depression. And Amaryllis is a song I listen to on my bad days; it helps give me clarity and perspective and keeps me going.



Song #5: Count on Me by Default

I am not a big crier but this song gets me every. Single. Time. Not even kidding, I can not listen to this song without getting choked up. I’ll tell you why, too. I heard it when I was pregnant with the child and it says exactly everything I wanted and want her to know . Everyone knows that life sucks sometimes and that there’s one person in their life who is there for them all the time, unconditionally, no questions asked, no matter what, and I want her to know that that’s me. 


I’m sure I could have added to the list but we’ll just stop here. How about you guys? What songs provide the soundtrack to your life?

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You have my permission

You know what I’ve noticed? And it’s something I am guilty of, too. 

I’ve noticed that women, in general, often wait for permission to do…well, just about anything. We sit and wait for someone else’s opinions or approval before we make decisions because we’re afraid of the ramifications, whatever they may be.

I think this is bullshit.


So, for all the women, even though you don’t need it, if it gives you strength and confidence, you have my permission:

To express any and all opinions you wish. Someone might disagree with you but go ahead and say them anyway. Stop worrying who you offend. People take offense to everything anyway.

To wear whatever the fuck you want. And to love your body exactly the way it is. Or want to improve it. But throw that self-loathing shit out the fucking window.

To not feel pressured or forced to explain, justify, or defend your choices and decisions. 

To have lofty goals and work like hell to achieve them.

To unapologetically say no to anything or anyone that makes you uncomfortable, unhappy, or you simply don’t want to do. It is not your obligation to people please or jeopardize your own comfort level to accommodate someone else.

To go back to work after you have a child. Or to stay home. No judgment here.

To leave a job, relationship, friendship, or any other situation that puts your health (physical and/or mental), safety, finances, and self-confidence at risk. If you’re afraid, there’s resources and support. Can’t find them? Reach out to me. I got your back.

To be outraged, regardless of political affiliation, that in 2016, we are still fighting the same battles for equal treatment we fought 100 plus years ago. No joke. It’s okay to be pissed about that.

To spend your money how you please. Travel, buy books, clothes, spoil your kids or pets, go back to school, start a business, save it all for retirement…whatever you choose. You earned it. You get to decide. 

To live with no regrets. Yes, there will be things you wish you hadn’t done or choices you had or hadn’t made but you can’t change it. You can only learn, make amends, and move on.

To be private. To keep yourself guarded and quiet and protective of yourself and your feelings and cautious of who you let in and not share everything. Social media is not a requirement. 

To do the opposite of everything in the above statement.

To watch, read, listen, or create any form of entertainment or art you want. 

To ask for help when you need it. And refuse it when you don’t.

To put yourself before your kids. Seriously. I cannot stress this enough. Yes, they require care and attention, especially if they’re young, but it is FINE AND NECESSARY to take care of you, too. In fact, sometimes, taking care of you first makes you a better parent. Breaks are crucial to reset and refocus. Doing so makes you a good parent, not a bad one (Note: this can be it’s own post).

To recognize that you are capable of accomplishing absolutely anything you set your mind to. It might take awhile and you might have setbacks but you are fierce and you got this shit.

To do whatever makes you happy. Nothing more, nothing less.


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Friday Six-Pack: Rant ahead

Thank you to everyone for our Show Us Your Books birthday wishes and for participating and making the last 2 years bookish and amazing! There’s still time to enter the giveaway if you haven’t. In other reading news, I finished The Couple Next Door and started both Eileen and Adnan’s Story. Picked up nothing new from the library.
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18 months after

This post is part of Alyssa’s back to blogging nonchallenge challenge.

Saturday is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. Up until last year, it was one of those days that went noticed but unnoticed in my life. Then my miscarriage happened and now, it’s a day that has more meaning than I’d like (you can read here for my thoughts from last year). 

Since I’ve told people about it, I’ve learned that it’s way more common […] Continue Reading…

Show Us Your Books, October edition: Celebrating 2 years!

YOU GUYS. This month marks two years–TWO YEARS–of Show Us Your Books. I cannot even express in words how amazing that is and how honored I am that every month for the last two years, you have linked up and talked books with me and Steph. It is amazing to connect with other readers from all over the world and there are dozens of books I’ve read that maybe I wouldn’t have if it weren’t […] Continue Reading…