“I will become what I deserve.”

By Jamie TworkowskiMay 14, 2013

Every now and then, a song finds you like a friend. It ends up on repeat and becomes more than just a soundtrack. It ends up a North Star, a reminder of something true, some dream you used to dream.

It feels a bit silly, or impossible, to explain it. Why it moves you, or how exactly. But it does and so, for a season, it’s the only song in the world.

This was my experience recently with Ben Howard’s song “The Fear,” specifically the bridge inside the song.

“The Fear” begins upbeat and the first verse leads quickly to the chorus, that chorus a confession.

“I’ve been worryin’ that my time is unclear.”

“I’ve been worryin’ that I’m losing the ones I hold dear.”

“I’ve been worryin that we all live our lives in the confines of fear” 

Two and a half minutes in, the song changes. It breaks before it builds.

Just before the three minute mark, Ben sings:

“Oh I will become what I deserve.”

“Oh I will become what I deserve.”

“Oh I will become what I deserve.”

“Oh I will become what I deserve.”

“Oh I will become what I deserve.”

He sings it five times, for sometimes once is not enough.

i’ve never met Ben Howard so i don’t know what the song, or that lyric, means to him. But i wonder if he was trying to remember. i wonder if he was trying to believe. Some dream he used to dream. i wonder if he was trying to make a numb heart feel, trying to make a numb heart move. i wonder if he was sick of coping and settling and chasing cheap distractions.

That’s what i found and that’s what i felt. After a bunch of months of not. Something like, “Calm down. Slow down. Your story isn’t over. It’s not too late. That dream inside you, the biggest dream, the one that’s been there for so long now, it doesn’t have to die. There is still time for that to happen. But you will have to do more than cope. You will have to make some changes. You will have to be patient. You will have to fight.”

“Become” means it hasn’t happened yet. “Become” will take some time. “Become” will require hope.

But you deserve it. You deserve love. You deserve to be known. You deserve the chance to start again, the chance to be yourself. You deserve healing.

You deserve that dream you used to dream, the thing that’s true inside it.


All of the above inspired our new shirt. i reached out to my friend Gabe who lives in England. It turns out his brother works with Ben Howard. His brother said Ben would love to let us use the lyric. My friend Ali brought it to life. We made one for guys and one for girls. The lyrics to the song are printed inside. You can find both in the TWLOHA Online Store.

And then we wondered if the shirt could be more than a shirt. If it could be more like a conversation, where people are invited to share, where you are invited to share. And so we settled on this: On Twitter or Instagram, add your voice to the mix using #iwillbecome. What will you become? What do you deserve?

Peace to you. And a huge thanks to Ben Howard for allowing this to happen.




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Comments (23)

  1. Anonymous

    This is really what I needed to hear right now. The last couple of weeks, I’ve been doubting my decision to go ahead and do what I planned to do in order to achieve the future I had envisioned for myself, because I wondered if I could cope, if it was a good idea, if it was something I wanted to do or not. I was doubting everything. This bit especially rang true: “There is still time for that to happen. But you will have to do more than cope. You will have to make some changes. You will have to be patient. You will have to fight.”

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  2. Boomzy

    Wow. I found this post more moving than the actual lyric. I like this. When I get some money, I’ll have to nab one. 🙂

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  3. nohipnolies

    This makes me believe in second life chances. I deserve better. Thank You.

    Reply  |  
  4. Lele

    for days, weeks, months upon months I’ve been on the verge on cutting myself just a little deeper to end all the pain. all my dreams are gone. i don’t believe my future exists. i hear all day long that i’m not worth it, that i don’t deserve anything. This gave me a glimmer of hope though… I deserve healing, love, life. I want to fight to get that. Thank you.

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    1. Christa

      I don’t know if you will ever read this, but I just wanted you to know that you ARE worth it. If you have never heard before, God loves you. He declared you worth it when He sent His Son, Jesus, to earth to die to cover the penalty for your, my, and every other person’s sin. God created you and loves you so dearly. He knows what you are going through today and He cares. He desires you to allow Him to be Lord over your life. He desires to give you hope that is only found in Him. He desires that your identity would be found in Him. He desires to give you rest from striving. He desires to show you life and light.

      Here are some verses for you:

      Jesus said: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” —Matthew 11:28-30

      “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'” —John 14:6

      Reply  |  
  5. Charlotte

    This made me realise that it’s okay to still have dreams, and that those dreams are still possible to reach. It made me realise that it’s up to me to make those dreams happen and that I need to start fighting. I can’t let the world get me down.

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  6. Erin

    …just–thank you.

    Reply  |  
  7. Christin

    I can’t count how many times TWLOA’s blog has been the hand up out of the darkness for me. Sometimes I hear the lie in my head that says because I’m a social worker I’m not supposed to struggle like this. Thanks for reminding me that I’m just a person & it’s okay to be flawed. There is so much I deserve still & this is not the end. Thanks again

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  8. Beck

    Love Ben Howard and this shirt!!! And because of it now I know about TWLOHA…amazing! Just got my tee….and ordered five more today, and will keep ordering for as many friends as I can! Keep doing what you do!!!! With gratitude ……

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  9. Elisabeth

    Ben Howards song Keep your head up has had the same effect on me…I have been in straits…but a song can just bring joy and hope like this and make all your convictions come foaming to the top of a wave of uncertanity. Thanks for this post and encouragment. I love Bens song….just have not heard Fear yet. will give a listen today.

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  10. Birgit

    It is when I feel that I have reached the edge of things that I find a word or lyric that calls me on, something that soothes the fears and frustrations and keeps me walking forward. I will keep fighting, keep believing that more and better are possible. I will cling to hope as my anchor instead of letting go into my darkness. thank you for continuing the story that breathes into my own story.

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  11. ashley

    Thank you for sharing. Hope is sometimes all i’ve had left; it is what keeps me from giving up. The song that gives me chills everytime i hear it is called Need you now by the artist Plumb…it is about her own struggle with anxiety plus she has a beautiful voice. I have never heard of Ben Howord but I will definitely check out his muSic. Please know when you are struggling you are not alone…thanks for those who also left comments, I understand this struggle too. Take care

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  12. Anonymous

    I’m struggling, but this song has become a reminder that things can get better.

    Reply  |  
  13. Heather

    I absolutely love Ben Howard and his band. I have been fortunate enough to see them live in NYC and San Fran. Beautiful music and people. I did not know about TWLOHA before this tshirt-what great, inspiring, and honest work! Thank you so much for doing what you do! I love all of your blogs and FB posts. Bright spot in my day.

    Reply  |  
  14. Jodie

    This song helped save my life. If I wouldnt have found Ben Howard, I wouldnt be here right now, I know that for sure.
    Thankyou so much for sharing this, its kinda nice to see someone feel the same connection with the same song.

    Reply  |  
  15. Kara

    I am in a moment in my life where I have been feeling like I am constantly making a mess of me and running far from who I want to be. In a moment and a place where I was finally ready to start over, I again, made a mess and have never felt so ashamed. I have been comparing myself to others and thinking of who I should be instead of the person I am now. I deserve better. I need to be better to myself.

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  16. Pieter van Heerden

    This lyric really spoke to me, but after this blog vit opened up my eyes to what it can mean to me in my life. Thanks guys! I really needed this #iwillbecome the best person I can possibly be

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  17. Fiona

    Thank you. For everything and all your stories. Know that you are loved too.

    Reply  |  
  18. Aartje

    Hi love,

    Could you tell me when this t-shirt is going to be in stock again? I like my clothes oversized, so 2XL (ladies) will do:)

    Great initiative by the way, love it!
    To all above: YOU ARE WORTH EVERYTHING. Don’t ever forget that and don’t let anyone tell you any different.
    Keep your heads up, keep your hearts strong. The Universe loves you.

    Have a lovely day!
    Much love from The Netherlands

    Reply  |  
  19. Pingback: This is Where I Am Right Now// I Will Become What I Deserve – Jenn Swaine

  20. Victoria

    I’m heart broken I just found out about this. It’s not available anymore

    Reply  |  
  21. Michelle Slade

    Hi, My name is Michelle.

    I found to write love on her arms through Ben Howard. Years ago I struggled with depression and sucidal thoughts and I was in a really bad place in my life. I found Ben Howard was the only artist who I could listen to, I would put me headphones on and he’s the only artist I had on there. My favourite song being Esmeralda, small things, the promise and keep your head up. One day I googled Ben Howard shirts and twloha came up, I purchased it straight away. I only discovered Ben Howard when I was in my darkest days and finding this company through my love for Ben Howard feels like it was fate. Ben Howard and your organisation played an immeperative part in saving my life and I can’t thank you enough. It’s now 2018 and I am almost finished my nursing degree to become a registered nurse, I hope to specialise in mental health and make a difference. Thank you for being you.

    PS – feel free to design more Ben Howard shirts, I’ll always buy.

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA


      Thank you for sending this message, it made our entire team smile! You are the reason we strive to do what we do. We are so glad you found us along your journey, and we’re so glad you’re still here fighting alongside us.

      Sending you all the love,

      Reply  |  
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