Have you ever heard that song, Everybody’s free to wear Sunscreen? Perhaps you know it from the bonus tracks of the re-released 10th Anniversary Romeo and Juliet soundtrack. Or maybe you’ve heard it dancing on the airwaves of a radio station or read about it in a random article discussing the true origination of the song. Because don’t be fooled this wasn’t written originally as a song but actually as a hypothetical graduation speech by journalist Mary Schmich. The words were then added to a remixed version of Rozalla’s – Everybody’s Free by Romeo and Juliet Director Baz Luhrmann. Either way, I hope you’ve heard it because it’s one of my favourite pieces of writing.
I remember the first time I heard it. Crammed inside my tiny dormitory room in my old university halls, my best friend Stephen and I getting ready for one of our weekly Friday nights out. On most Fridays we could be found with our friends at the student bar knocking back numerous Rum and Cokes with a side of Tequila for good measure. As we got ready in my sardine-can-sized room, pouring ourselves generous measures of cheap booze from the local off license, Stephen leans over my laptop and begins typing into the search bar of YouTube. “Have you ever heard this song BBF” he exclaims, “you must listen to it”. And the Gravelly tones of an Australian man starts to fill the room and he’s telling me the importance of wearing Sunscreen. I shoot a quizzical look at Stephen as if to say, what the fuck have you just put on but with one reassuring glance he tells me to just give it a chance and listen. And so I listen. And I laugh. And I cry a little inside. Because nothing hits home harder to me than the truth that we only have once chance on this crazy little planet to live. Then in a blink, the moment is over and another song comes on shuffle and we clink our glasses together downing the remains of our vodka lemonades. We grab our coats and bustle out the door ready for the night ahead with not another second thought on how everybody’s free to wear sunscreen.
It’s amuses me now how that funny little song would stick by me and remind me of many life lessons in my older years. That little evening in my dormitory room was nearly ten years ago now. It feels like it should be illegal typing that out. Am I really old enough to encounter wild nights out getting sloshed at uni as nearly ten years ago? Surely not. But time passes us quicker than you can ever imagine and those funny snippets of advice which my younger self marvelled at now resonate with me more than I could ever imagine. Especially this one part in particular which went somewhat along the lines of this…
Try not to worry about the future or at all. Real troubles in life are the ones which will blindside you when you least expect it.
I was forever told whilst growing up that I was a worry-wart. Friends and family would delight in telling me that I worried too much over the smaller things in life and I needed to learn to let it go. And this I eventually did learn to do. But it took time. And just like the song lyrics it was through something that blindsided me around about 10am one Thursday Morning. You see, that was the morning my Dad passed away. Just like that, every little thing I had spent my life worrying over seemed suddenly so insignificant. And as I slowly grieved for the loss of the one man I loved the most it was for the first time in my young adulthood I realised the importance of not wasting time on negative energy. Life is short. There are bigger problems out there. Wasting time on worrying over things that will soon be forgotten again was something I needed to let go of.
A passage of time has passed since the last time I remember listening to the advice of Everybody’s Free to wear Sunscreen and it was by random chance I heard it again. Yesterday, whilst curating myself a Spotify playlist of my favourite movie soundtracks I came across the song and the memory of Stephen and I that Friday night came fondly drifting back. And even in my youth of 27 I can verify that all those words ring truer than they ever had before. To dance, to be kind, to love your body, and those around you. To respect your elders, to make time to know your parents and to enjoy your youth. All basic fundamentals of life yet things we can often forget the importance of. It was good to listen to the song again after all this time with a new perspective. To know that all those years ago I really didn’t appreciate the beauty in my youth, how the things I worried over were ever only menial and how I really did wish I had made more time to know my parents. I don’t have any regrets in life but a little bit of hindsight has shown me that I need to carry on doing what I’ve always set out to do. And that’s embrace as much of the one shot we have at this funny thing called life
Shop my outfit
Dress – Rixo
Sunglasses – ASOS
I’m kind of enjoying taking my blog to different places at the moment which includes a bit more of creative writing rather than just fact telling. If you guys have any thoughts on my new styles let me know! Maybe you think it’s boring and nonsense and I should steer away from it. Or hopefully you like it! I’d love to hear feedback 🙂
*Items marked with an asterisk have been kindly gifted to me