Learning The True Meaning Behind Adele’s Single 'Chasing Pavements' Caused Me More Pain Than The Song Itself

Learning The True Meaning Behind Adele’s Single 'Chasing Pavements' Caused Me More Pain Than The Song Itself

Seriously, I can't be the only one who thought it was about chasing your dreams!


As a 16-year-old with my head in the clouds, I discovered Adele's "Chasing Pavements" and found it timely. That was the age I decided I wanted to be a writer instead of following in the footsteps of my father and pursuing the business world. Naturally, as an old-fashioned man who just wanted his daughter to be successful, he rejected my dream. It was a crushing blow for me, the girl who loved making her father proud, to see his face fall when I told him. Though it hurt me, I understood where he was coming from. It's not easy to achieve dreams of any kind, and I was afraid myself.

I was afraid I'd fail. Whatever that means.

But without my dad behind me and such a hard, possibly disappointing future ahead of me— I was unsure.

Maybe I should throw my dreams away. Maybe it'd be better for everyone if I just stayed quiet and live the life society tells me to live.

But my hands wouldn't stop typing. Every day, it was normal to see me in class typing at a word document with comically small text. Each school year I started a new one and it would grow so large that I'd eventually I'd have to move it off my cheap Netbook's memory hard drive and onto an SD card. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't some genius and it was all cheesy garbage I'd be nuts to show someone but I loved it. I couldn't help it.

And I couldn't stop reading, either. In sleepy, foggy mornings I'd read on the bus and I'd pour over my Pulitzer prize winners and classic fiction towards the end of lunch (I had the second to last period lunch and my friends would literally just take a nap on the table, so I read).

So, on a sick day from school where I was stuck in my bed and thinking way too much about the future, this song was comforting— or so I thought!

A refrain where Adele sings the lyrics,

"Should I give up

Or should I just keep chasing pavements?

Even if it leads nowhere

Or would it be a waste?

Even if I knew my place should I leave it there?

Should I give up

Or should I just keep chasing pavements?

Even if it leads nowhere yeah"

As someone considering to "chase" her dream and afraid that it may "lead nowhere" and that she knows her "place" and feels like she "should give up," these lyrics really hit a nerve.

So I listened to this song everywhere, for years. Whenever I was nervous about my life choices, this song was one of the ways I coped.

So, naturally, when my English Professor in college asked me to do a contextual analysis of a text, I decided to analyze this song's lyrics. I didn't even look up a biographical evidence at first, because I thought I had it down packed: she's a singer who didn't get famous till she was much older, and there were many times she wanted to give up. Writing this ballad and performing it was her way of expressing that emotion. But then, I figured I'd look it up, just to get some specific details I could address and I saw it— the truth.

Independant.com writes, "Adele Adkins had an argument with her boyfriend in a London club," for its first line. I read the line over and over. Then I skimmed down to where the website reports the song was " declared by the singer to be 'heartbreak soul.'"

Well, after reading that, I certainly was heartbroken. Luckily, this truth has come to me in a time where I'm nicely entrenched in working towards my goals and my goals are slightly more reasonable, although in the same vein. At the time of writing this article, all I am now is disappointed that Adele, a person who I had built up in my mind as a strong female figure to look up to, is not quite as goal-focused as I had projected her to be. I guess that's contextual analysis for you.

Popular Right Now

10 James Charles Quotes To Live By

Hey, sisters!


Whether you love him or hate him, we all have to admit James Charles has some of the most iconic quotes of all time. Personally, I live for James Charles and his Youtube videos. He has the best content by fair of any beauty influencer. UM HELLO?? His collaboration with Morphe is absolutely stunning and of course, I had to buy it. But here are some of my favorite James Charles quotes, most I use on a daily basis.

1. Sister spooked

Let's face it, we all get a little sister spooked when we look at our grades or bank account. This quote is the perfect way to describe that feeling.

2. TEA!!

OH THE TEA!!! We all love a good tea spill. I have to be honest, I do use this on a regular basis.

3. Not with that attitude

The phrase to use when someone is being a negative Nancy.

4. Good and fresh

Because when something is good, it's not just good, it's good and fresh.

5. Good and FUN and fresh

When it's really good and fresh, it's good and FUN and fresh. Perfect phrase for all situations!

6. Use Code James for 10% off

If you're a true James Charles fan, you know that this is THE quote James is best known for. We all love some sister savings!!

7. Hello?

This is the question you ask yourself after you study all night for a test and see the first question.

8. Love that

We don't say "I like that" or "That looks good," we say "Love that." Why? Because it sounds better.

9. Spill the tea sis

This is the saying you use when you know your friend has some juicy information to tell you, but just won't say it.

10. Hey kitty girl

If you're close friends with me, you know this is how I will greet you because saying "Hey" is just too boring.

Just some of the iconic quotes that James Charles has blessed us with! That is all, kitty girls.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Not Going To Lie, I’m A 'Little-stitious'

Michael Scott showed me that it's okay to think you have the power.


If you're like me and you've watched "The Office" 7 times all the way through, then you'd remember the episode where Michael Scott hit Meredith with his car. This episode happens to be my favorite because while there are countless lines from all 9 seasons that are very relatable, this episode holds what I believe is the best office quote.

"I'm not superstitious, but I am a little-stitious".

In my eyes, there has never been such a perfect description of myself seen in "The Office", because I'm extremely a little-stitious. However, my little-stitions don't have anything to do with walking under ladders, opening umbrellas indoors or having a black cat cross your path. I wouldn't even say that mine are true superstitions, they're basically me being overly aware of my actions on a certain day and thinking that if I mess up the routine then the world will cave in.

For example, I have a necklace that my sister gave me that I truly believe I have to wear to every day or bad things will happen. And while I've had bad things happen to me while wearing the necklace, I've had worse things happen when I'm not.

Coincidence? Probably. Is that going to stop me from making sure that the necklace is around my neck every day? No.

However, the days where I become the most little-stitious are test days. You don't mess with test days. I have the same PJs that I wear the night before any test, and during finals week if they get washed, it's bad luck. Necklaces on test day also play an important role. On top of the necklace that my sister gave me, I also wear a necklace that my parents got me. A few days before one of my Spanish tests earlier in the semester, the necklace my parents got me unclasped and one of the charms fell off. When I realized that in class, my first thought was… "I'm going to fail my Spanish test on Friday if I don't find it". I retraced all my steps and finally found it lying outside the door to my room. I passed my Spanish test.

The morning of a Spanish test is different than any other test. I have to listen to Spanish music. However, the day of my Spanish final, I forgot. And while I didn't fail the test, it was my lowest test grade of the semester.

The issue with a lot of my little-stitions is that everyone thinks that it really just comes down to coincidence. And if I'm being quite honest, they probably are. But that doesn't change the fact that in my mind I believe that the only way I'm acting as my 100% best self, is when I follow my routines. They bring me good luck because even though I've done pretty bad on some tests when I've worn the necklaces, worn my hair in a bun, worn the PJs the night before, worn black socks, I didn't fail. Even tests that I truly believe I did fail, I still got by on. Days where I've sat in my room crying, I realize that I'm not wearing my necklace, so I put it on and everything gets a little brighter.

There's nothing wrong with having a little-stitions, because even if in the end they don't truly make a difference, they do in my mind. Without my little-stitions, I don't think that I would wake up every morning and be prepared to start the day.

Or maybe my necklace and clothes just have magical powers? I haven't ruled that out yet.

Related Content

Facebook Comments