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.

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The End Of The Semester As Told By Todd Chrisley

Because we're all a little dramatic like Todd sometimes.

The last 3-4 weeks of every college student's semester are always crazy hectic.

We have last minute assignments, group projects, and exams all squeezed into the last few weeks before break.

Sometimes we all need a little humor, and sometimes we are all a little dramatic, so why not experience the last few weeks of the semester as told by the king of drama himself, Todd Chrisley of "Chrisley Knows Best."

1. Sitting in class listening to your professor explain upcoming assignments/exams.

2. When your group project members refuse to do anything until the night before it's due or just show up the day of to present.

3. When you and your roommate try to cook with whatever few ingredients you have left in stock.

Because we definitely want to avoid going to the grocery store at the end of the semester if we can.

4. When your parents get tired of you calling them about every little inconvenience in your life.

5. Sitting down to work on assignments.

6. Your thoughts when the professor is telling you what they want from you out of an assignment.

7. When you've had about 30 mental breakdowns in two days.

8. Trying to search out the class for the right group members.

9. The last few days of classes where everyone and everything is getting on your nerves.

10. When your friend suggests going out but you're just done with the world.

11. This. On the daily.

12. When all you want to do is snuggle up and watch Christmas movies.

13. Studying and realizing you know nothing.

14. When your finals are over and it's finally time to go home for break.

You're finally back to your old self.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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Part 1: Necessary Changes

One of my favorite movies is "Fried Green Tomatoes" with Kathy Bates. In the movie Bates' character Evelyn Couch says, "Someone helped put a mirror up in front of my face, and I didn't like what I saw one bit. And you know what I did? I changed." I know the feeling.


I looked in the mirror over the weekend and didn't like what I saw.

The person I saw looking back at me is petty, selfish, manipulative, and unattractive. It wasn't that I hated what I saw, but I definitely didn't like what I saw either. It's a surreal feeling, looking at yourself through a critical lens, and it doesn't make you feel good in any way shape or form.

The image that I see of myself is not how I want others to perceive me. I want to be someone that people look at and see kindness, compassion, strength, and confidence.

I have enough general life experience to know that these types of changes aren't going to happen overnight, and not all of them will be physical; most of these will have to happen from the inside, from within myself.

When you find out you are all broken and damaged, it's hard to know where to start putting the pieces back together. I figured the best place to start would be the most literal: my actual insides; so, I decided to embark on a deep-cleansing journey to get all of the toxins out of my body, from the inside out.

I found this book on 10-day green smoothie detox stashed away in the dark corner of my bookshelf. The science behind it seems accurate and legitimate. By eliminating certain foods, your body is able to detox itself off of chemicals and foods that are slowing down your metabolism; the smoothies are specifically designed with combinations of foods that help restart your metabolism. Part of the detox process is getting rid of all dependencies on caffeine, alcohol, and sugar.

Every day you are given the recipe for a specific smoothie; you make the smoothie (about 40 ounces) and sip on it throughout the day whenever you get hungry. Every smoothie is a combination of leafy greens, water, fruit, and flax seeds. If you do happen to get hungry throughout the day, you are encouraged to eat raw nuts, hard boiled eggs, and a wide variety of crunchy green vegetables. There is also a detox tea that you have first thing in the morning, but other than that no other beverages are allowed except water.

I know that this is only the beginning of a very long, emotional, and draining journey. But I think I'm at the point in my life where I have to make these changes. I have to put my pieces together, I have to become a normal functioning adult, I have to find out who I am. I think that this is the perfect way to start.

For the next 10 days I am going to be documenting my experiences, how I'm feeling, what my emotions are doing, and any results that I see.

Stay tuned!

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