Monday, April 29, 2013

The Third 100 Miles

My 300th mile was not at my first 5K as I planned. It was two weeks later on a rainy April day in during of the most physically exhausting and spirit-crushing runs I’ve ever experienced. As miserable as that run was, somehow it made sense.

Buffy & I at the 5K!
Like my first 100 miles I managed to get this this hundred miles done in about three months, (unlike the second hundred which took four and a half months). I signed up for a 5K that was going to be held on my birthday as a my birthday present to myself.

Having a 5K to work towards really is a great motivator to stay on program and get outside and run. I went to my favorite running store, Fleet Feet and bought some gear to run outside. For the most part I run inside but this 5K was going to be outside and the weather in March in Chicago could get cold so I needed to prepare myself.

The lady at Fleet Feet was really nice as she picked out pants from the tightest fit to the more modest pair and gave me a tutorial on how to layer in cold weather. The first time I put on these clothes, especially the tight stuff I was apprehensive but it felt good and it seemed to make sense, so I got about too outfits of outside running gear.

At first I wasn’t sure about wearing tight running gear but when you actually run in this kind of a outfit it really feels right and honestly, it looks worse to wear shorts over tights then to just where tights by themselves.  And if someone thinks I look ridiculous when I run, so what, I’m making miles happen.

I had my outfits, I did some cold weather runs that felt pretty good and then the 5K came. I wasn’t really nervous. I had done the 5K distances as my standard running workout so I knew I could handle it. What I wasn’t ready for was all of the people.

I started towards the back and after a mile of passing people, I realized that ths was real. This was the first time I ran in a group of people and while managing the traffic patterns was tough at times, the energy was fantastic.

I finished 433 out of 1457 and beat my best 5K time by 6 minutes. While this was a big deal, it all felt a little anti-climactic.  I was happy I had done this but all of the hours and miles didn’t add up to one big pay off.

As I worked my way up to the big 300th mile the following two weeks it started to make sense. Each run had its own pay off which it's why its such an powerful thing to run. What made me proud wasn’t the 5K, but knowing that I had stuck with a work-out program for nine months. Each mile was simply a step in a journey that I have yet to complete.

I’m not sure what the future holds for me with running. I’ll probably do another 5K in the future, maybe a 10K. We'll see.  A lot can happen in 100 miles.

This past week I wasn’t able to get a run in. Every time I saw someone running I was jealous.  Today, I finally got a run in which felt like a gift to myself as I worked my way to 400.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Year 3: Week 29 - Preparing To Leave

It’s amazing how much more productive I was this week with my shadow at my side.

The person covering my paternity leave was with me this week and followed me around to get to know my job and my kids. Nothing will make you work more diligently than having someone with you watching how you work. It’s not that I was trying to prove anything to her, but of course I wanted to put on a good face and her being here reminded of how much I had to do to prepare to leave.

The hardest part about this paternity leave is that I don’t know when it’s going to start. The plan is for me to leave once Diana goes into labor which could be anywhere between now and the last week of school. Recently, I was really worried about the fact that I would have to make detailed lesson plans from now until the end of the year. That’s a lot of work that I didn’t really have time to do.

After meeting my substitute and working with her, my mind is much more at ease. She’s not the kind of teacher who needs detailed lesson plans from me and she gets the way students learn and how to pace the class.  All she needs curricular materials and outline of concepts and skills.

I’m caught up with the fact that on some level I want it all. Coming up there’s concerts, performances and the events that mark the end of the year that I really want to be a part of. At the same time, not having to deal with the work and the stress of these events and being able to focus on my baby seems like a great trade-off and one that I would embrace. It’s just tough right now telling kids that I may not be there for these important events.

With my baby boy in my arms on the night of our spring concert, will I even be thinking about that performance? I like to think that I would without dwelling on it and simply feel at peace knowing that my kids at school are being well taken care of while I’m at home taking of my baby.

I love my kids at school, and I know my feeling for my own kid will be different, but I’m excited to find out how that feels and what that means. There will be lines that need to be drawn between my students and my own child, there will be priorities that need to be adjusted and sometimes it’s going to be tough.

Right now, I’m feeling better than I ever have about taking my leave knowing that I have a competent substitute and that she has all the information from me that she needs to step right in when I make my exit. At the same time, I feel a little sad about leaving. One of my third graders asked me if I could tell my baby to come later so that she wouldn’t have to miss me when I go.   How can you hear that and not feel something?

Anyways, I know that this leave will be for the best, not only for my personal life but my school. It was a maternity leave that gave me one of the most important teaching experiences of my career and allowed me to contribute things that were meaningful to my students.

Whenever you're ready to come little guy, I'll be there for you with all of my time, attention and my love.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Anything Like Me by Brad Paisley

Before Brad Paisley was known for being an accidental racist all over the blogosphere, he was known by his fans and critics as one of the most creative and important forces in country music as well as mainstream popular music.

Paisley is one of the best representatives of country music paying tribute to his country music forefathers in songs like “This Is Country Music,” while composing clever songs about modern topics like “Online.” While Paisley’s music is full of humor his most powerful works are about his personal life.

I don’t really remember “Anything Like Me,” from Paisley’s 2009 album, American Saturday Night. It wasn’t until I heard this song on his greatest hits collection Hits Alive did the song really strike a chord with me (if you’ve been keeping up to date with this blog, the reasons to you will be obvious).



The opening of this song is exactly how I felt when I found out Diana was pregnant. You better believe when we found that it was boy, there were tears in our eyes. It wasn’t so much that we were happier that it was a boy, it just made it seem that much more real.

Brad works this his feelings of fear knowing that this boy will do the same things that he will which were a pain for his parents. My feelings of apprehension had to do with the fact that I wasn’t sure that I could father a boy.

After unpacking these feelings and my ideas about manhood partially through my “To Be A Man,” posts I’ve become more comfortable about raising a son. I’m still worried about it, but I’m beginning to see that I’ll be just fine.

Paisley lovingly sings about all of the things he thinks his son will do which he did, which will lead to him, probably like his own dad, loosing his temper. He envisions his son growing up and the little things he does wrong as being exactly that: little things.

My son may not play football but if he’s like me, he’ll have a first piano recital, get hooked on video games, read too many comic books and will fracture his elbow before a school dance but got to that dance anyways (that actually happened).

Paisley sings about this as “payback,” but the love and peace in his voice makes it seem like that he is looking forward to all of this.  It is comforting to know that while fatherhood is overwhelming, it is something I am blessed to get to experience.

The last verse is one of the most incredible turnarounds I’ve heard in a song. So far the things that the son will do if he’s anything like Brad have mostly been things that cause difficulties in life.  In the bridge, Brad sings about his son loving him (and hating him) and leaving the house. He’ll seem like he wants to go but that he’ll cry leaving home. Brad closes the songs singing “he’ll be alright, if he’s anything like me.”

This ending puts this whole idea in perspective. It’s about being confident in yourself and knowing that since you turned out okay, therefore your son will too. If my son gets the worst parts of me, he’ll also get the best parts as well and that’s a pretty amazing thing to think about.

I don’t have the confidence that our kid will be alright if he’s "anything like me." I know that it’s silly at this point in my life to feel a lack of confidence, but right now there’s a lot of things swirling around in my life. Especially with this fatherhood stuff, there’s just so much that is going to be new.

I told Diana recently that I have no doubts about her ability to be an amazing mother, but that I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle fatherhood. She told me that she has never doubted my ability to handle difficult situations. You know what? I guess my son will be alright because if he’s anything like me he’ll have a partner in his life like Diana who will believe in him in ways beyond his own confidence and his imagination.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Year 3: Week 28 - Sharing The News

A list of name suggestions from one of my 5th graders.
Because I'm a man,  I have the luxury of deciding how and when I share the news about my wife being pregnant. I'm not "showing," and which allowed me to share this exciting news with my school community on my own terms.

Around Thanksgiving and I told my administration and my human resources about the baby because I wanted to give them some time to plan for my leave. I also told teachers who were close friends.

The reason that I didn't share my news with the wider school community was first to be pragmatic. Parents and kids would want to know what the plan is for my leave. Also, this was during the end of the first trimester and I just didn't feel ready to have this news be part of my daily interactions and conversations with people.

Once the job posting for my paternity leave got posted, the ball got rolling. After it was posted a couple coworkers noticed and figured out it was me. Also, the baby was Facebook official at that time and I have a good amount of my coworkers as Facebook friends so it spread through those avenues. Even with all of those people knowing and the news spreading, many people were still surprised when I announced the news during a faculty meeting.

It was exciting to hear people respond and be supportive, but it was what I expected. They were adults, they knew what to say and many of them are parents themselves. I was much more nervous to tell my students.

I waited until after we hired my paternity substitute and set up for her to come next week to shadow me to tell my kids. I didn't want to make them sad because I was announcing that I was leaving. It's a really tough thing to know that I'm not going to see my kids all the way through to the end of the year, but my personal life takes priority here and I'm okay with that. This doesn't change the prospect of seeing sad eyes.

When I told my students across the different grades (3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th), there was a resounding exclamation of excitement. Some students were confused: "you can't have a baby, your are too young (3rd grader)" and yes, I did get some kids who were sad about the idea that I would be leaving. That quickly dissipated as kids got excited about suggesting baby names.

The first class I told exploded with baby name suggestions so during following classes I actually told them that I would give them the opportunity to do this, which made for a more appropriate discussion.  Kids also asked to see baby pictures and one kids said that she thought that I was going to be a good dad. . . which made my heart melt.

It was really special to see how excited my students were for me and the support they showed through their enthusiasm was heartwarming.  The fact that they are rooting for me makes me feel not as bad about leaving my kids for my paternity leave and I'm looking forward to returning in the fall and sharing stories and pictures of my baby boy.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Buffy Portraits - March 2013

I DOAN UNDERSTAND DIS CRIBS?!?
BEAN IN BLACK AN WITE IZ VRY TIRIN!!!
IS NED LAWTS OV PILLOWS!!!!
THARS NO DAWGGY HIDIN UNDR TEH TABLE!!!!
SOMETIMEZ MAH EARS R SIDEWAYS!!!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Accidental Racist by Brad Paisley (feat LL Cool J) - Part 2: The Hope

Now let’s talk about what everyone is focusing on: the lyrics.

I don’t think a kid who buys a Lynard Skynrd t-shirt at Target has any idea about the cultural baggage that is attached with the Confederate flag on that shirt. I also don’t think most kids when they where baggy pants have any idea what message that sends people. It’s not just kids, most adults have issues understanding the messages they are putting across.

Should we know better? Yes, but do we? Not always.

Brad offended a guy with his t-shirt when he went to Starbucks. It wasn’t his intention. But he realizes that maybe there’s something wrong and instead of blowing off this “can of worms” he takes it as a opportunity to have a conversation.

The chorus is all about understanding and accepting who you are which is the first step in having any kind of meaningful dialogue about race. He is Caucasian, and he’s from the south. He has no personal responsibility for slavery, Jim Crow laws and the sins of people who came before him. This line of thinking sometimes leads to people not taking responsibility for the past but Paisley does, acknowledging that they are still “picking up the pieces” and that he is torn between “southern pride and southern blame.”

Atticus Finch had it right. You have a walk a mile in another person’s shoes but you can’t in practice. I will never know what it’s like to walk down the street as a woman and I will never know what it’s like for my son to be mixed-race. We can try but we’ll never know and Brad points this out in the second verse.

LL’s angle is different. He brings up some stereotypes and how he thinks that we shouldn’t judge too quickly because of the clothing someone's wears. Like the point Brad makes in the chorus, he says that he wasn’t there during Sherman's march but that he also takes responsibility for the pre-judgment that he makes.

Then LL says that he wants to buy him a beer to have a chat to clear the air. Some people have criticized this line for trivializing racial issues with such a simplistic solution. LL isn’t saying that all issues can be solved this way but some can. And reaching with a gesture of good will to someone who is projecting things that you are uncomfortable with like the confederate flag is an enormous and powerful way to make progress.

At the end Brad and LL throw lines back and forth at each other. They aren’t trying to equate chains of slavery with gold chain necklaces or do-rags with the confederate flag. They are explaining their perspective. Some of this isn’t pretty and some of it is a little unsettling but that’s okay. “RIP Robert E. Lee, but I gotta thank Abraham Lincoln for freeing me. . . ” can be interpreted as a loaded or simply an acknowledgement of differences which must be acknoledged in order for a dialogue to be meaningful.

What’s concerning is that these two artists Brad Paisley and LL Cool J did something that was brave and important and instead of being praised they got heat.

My son is coming into this world in about a month. He’s coming into a society where we aren’t comfortable talking about racial issues and we don’t feel able to address the tensions within ourselves. Brad and LL bucked the trend through trying to make a world where we can move forward without forgetting the past.  Through acknowledging the tensions and the the misunderstandings we can find common ground to reach a higher level of shared humanity.

Even though this song may be mediocre, the spirit of what Brad Paisley and LL Cool J expressed in "Accidental Racist," gives me hope for my son, myself and all of us.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Accidental Racist by Brad Paisley (feat LL Cool J) - Part 1: What The Critics Got Wrong & The Music

Somewhere between the people in our society who don’t think racial issues are clear and present in our society and the people who fight racial issues as a war are the rest of us well-intentioned and self-aware individuals who do the best we can to understand each other.

Brad Paisley and LL Cool J are two of these people.

I understand why “Accidental Racist,” has received criticism. People are uncomfortable talking about race, especially when the discussion is as honest and up front as in this song. While I’ve read some well thought-out analyses of this song, most people are missing the mark and the point.


I’m going to steer away from addressing critics of this song but I got to say a couple things in reference to the many criticisms Brad Paisley and LL Cool J have received for their work together. These are two musicians reflecting how they feel about an issue in their lives. They are not sociologist, they are not experts in racial relations, they are musicians. Their responsibility is not to address and unpack the complex racial issues in America.

Much of the criticism of this song comes from people who have little expertise in the hip-hop or country genre and many of these people are not even experts in music. Whenever something in our society stirs up controversy it’s interesting how many people jump into the fray to criticize something they don't consume or understand. It’s like the person protesting a video game for being violent when they don’t play video games themselves or another person they will never buy a Tiger Woods product when they never bought his merchandise to begin with.

If you take away the critics who:
      1. Take the lyrics out of context
      2. Place inappropriate responsibility on Brad Paisley and LL Cool J’s shoulders
      3. Don’t understand the genre of music they are addressing or the nature of pop music itself

  . .. you aren’t left with a lot of legitimate critiques. Think about the larger context, stick with what you know and don’t jump on the criticism bandwagon.

First off, let’s take a look at the musical part of this song. It’s not great but it’s not horrible. Melding rap into other genres can be tough. Springsteen it tried with “Rocky Ground,” it was okay but again wasn’t great.



Brad leads in with this slick and bluesy guitar licks. The slow pace allows for a level of reflection and Brad as he usually does a nice job moving through simple but interesting harmonies. After varying through more sung and then spoken lines the chorus opens really nicely. LL Cool J’s verse isn’t as dynamic as other ones. My favorites LL Cool J verse is at the beginning of this song “Curious.”



His verse doesn’t have the swagger or aggressiveness that we are used to with LL but he moves through the verse with skill has some interesting rhymes (“gangled, DJango,”) while weaving historical context of Sherman’s march. Maybe it’s because we’re not used to rap being calmer, but it doesn’t feel right. Part of it is that rap over a non-hip-hop beat doesn’t sit well in the ear. It’s not a logical thing, but it doesn’t feel like it fits.

Musically this combination feels a little awkward when LL ad-lib's towards the end. I’m not sure what would have made it better but maybe a musical compromise or a hip-hop beat coming in during a break down would have smoothed it over a little. Regardless it’s a really pretty song but it lacks a certain energy and momentum that Paisley and LL characteristically have in their music.

It's hard for people to divorce their musical tastes from the lyrical content.  If you're not a fan of country music, you are going to be turned off from this song regardless of the lyrics.

Next week I'm going to analyze the lyrics which are where most of the scorn is being directed.  In the mean time, really think about what they are saying.  Don't just hook onto a single phrase.

We limit ourselves in racial discussions if we don't dare to look deeper not only into what is said but also how our reactions to these words reflects our own feelings and insecurities. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Choosing A Name For Our Boy

Son,
Right now, we are trying to figure out what to name you.  It's a big responsibility and a major decision.  As with every major decision in life, I decided to see what facebook had to say: 


Monday, April 8, 2013

She's Having A Baby - Film Review

When people think about films about having a baby, titles like Father Of The Bride Part II and Nine Months come up. These film take a humorous look at pregnancy and having a baby. Unfortunately these films, like many others, steer away from representing the difficult realities of these experiences and fail to deal with the more challenging and complex emotional issues relating to having a baby.

One film that is not as well known but always shows up in lists of films that have to do with childbirth is John Hughes’ She’s Having A Baby. Like Hughes’ other works, this film is based in Chicago, touches on the challenges of growing up and has some powerful honest insights into life and relationships.



This films stars Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth McGovern as a couple that falls in love, gets married, buys a house and has a baby. There’s nothing really extraordinary about the plot but the way that its told is unique.

All of this film is through the perspective of Kevin Bacon’s character Jake. There are cut-scenes and altered reality as Jake deals with adulthood. He doubts whether he should get married, he’s unsure about settling in the suburbs, the job he takes seems like its crushing his spirits and his relationship with his wife doesn’t seem very loving.

Jake wanders through life, not fitting in; trying hard to reconcile his doubts with the responsibilities he’s taken on as an “adult.” Then his wife Kristy gets pregnant in the last third of the film. The relationships between Kristy and Jake seem to get better leading up to the childbirth scene.

Hughes can’t resist making one more childbirth cliché as Jake drives off to the hospital leaving Kristy behind but once they get to the hospital, the film takes on a very different tone.

Things don’t go as planned as is often the case with labor, and Jake is stuck out in the waiting room as Kristy has an emergency caesarean section. As Jake sits in the waiting room, his life with Kristy flashes in his memory. We see scenes from earlier in the film but instead of them fighting, we seen them laughing and enjoying each other’s company.



Kate Bush wrote and performed “This Woman’s Work,” for this scene. This song is full of hope and belief. It’s a song that honors the strength of women and captures the complexity of the emotions in this scene.

She’s Having A Baby is a flawed film and what it’s trying to say is more powerful than how it says it.  Regardless, John Hughes is right.  Sometimes we don't see the happiness that's right in front of us and sometimes our dreams are out of perspective from the realities that fulfill our lives in ways that our dreams never could.

A lot of people have told me that having a baby will change the way I view my life.  Is having a baby really going to change my entire perspective?  I don't know.  But after watching She's Having A Baby, I'm looking forward to that change. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Year 3: Week 27 - The Other Side Of The Table

 . . .  This was the first time that I had ever been a part of an interview process from the other side of the table. When I first got the invitation to be part of this committee, I was a little shocked. I’m still working through the transition from being a rookie teacher to be more established professional at this school and overall in my career.

I think it’s been to my benefit that I think of myself less as an established teacher. It keeps me from walking too tall in the hallways or having too much confidence in myself. At the same time it’s been important for me to accept where I am in my career. When people ask my for advice, the “why are you asking me? I don’t really have that much experience,” – response doesn’t really come across well.

In the past three years I’ve become much more comfortable with my place in this school. Even in my first year many people asked me for my perspective. This was odd at first but it made sense that people wanted a fresh viewpoint and as the years have gone on I’ve become much more comfortable expressing my thoughts.

Now people come to me not only for new ideas but also to know how things work in this school. Initially this really seemed weird but I had the knowledge and even with only being at this school for three years, it seemed that I was in a good place to provide guidance.

The committees I have been on have been eye-opening and humbling. It’s not so much that I feel like I’m the dumbest person in the room, more it’s that I’m simply in awe of the insights and the conversational prowess of people I’m honored to call my peers. I’m so grateful to be in conversations where there is so much for me to learn and also be in a situation where people seem genuinely interested in what I have to offer.

At first, it didn’t seem like I had much to bring to the table but I’ve realized that I don’t necessarily need to be able to draw from some academic well. It’s more about relating my experiences and my teachers I represent. While this approach is sometimes easier, often it’s extremely challenging putting into words the thoughts and feelings of others.

Nothing about being on the interview committee was easy. Asking question to these candidates, discussing our reactions after he or she left, drawing information from teachers I represented and bringing these thoughts back to the committee took a great deal of attention and care. But it was worth it.

I’ve learned so much about our school as people have described their own hopes and visions for the school as they talk about what they are looking for in a new head. This has also been a great bonding time with the people in the committee as I have a new level of respect for every person on that team. Like anything else in life, there’s nothing like the feeling of giving back to a place that has given so much to me.

You hope that you have the opportunity to give back to the community that has allowed you to flourish professionally and personally. I never thought that in three short years I’d already be at that point.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to serve.

-Kingsley

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

How I'm The Worst Kind Of Student In Birthing Class

I’m the worst kind of student in our birthing class. It’s not that I’m being horribly disruptive or it’s just that I can’t help but giggle my way through a good portion of the topics. The awkward part is that no one except for Diana seems to understand what I find so funny, or so uncomfortable.

There’s eleven couples in our birthing class and they are all very nice. It’s very comforting to be in a room full of people going through the same emotions and struggles that Diana and I are going through. It’s nice to know that while pregnancy is a new and amazing experience for us, it’s also a shared an common experience.

There’s a lot of things about pregnancy that no one tells you about before you have a wife that is pregnant. First off, almost everything you see in films or television (except for maybe 16 & Pregnant) about pregnancy isn’t even close to the reality of the situation. It makes you wonder why. It really wouldn’t hurt our culture to more accurately depict pregnancy, birth and labor.

Part of is has to do with our general squeamishness with the female body. There is an incredible amount of hypocrisy when it comes to women’s bodies in our society. The fact that women having agency over their bodies is an issue politically and culturally sadly leads to many problems in our society. Also, the fact that these issues are often discussed without woman present is also aggravating, unacceptable and simply primeval (i.e. Catholic Church).

The other reason that not a lot seems to be known in our culture about pregnancy and birth is because women don’t seem to whine about it. When a guy faces a monumental struggle in his life like climbing Mount Everest or fighting in a war, films are made and books are written.  That doesn’t seems to happen with woman and their birth stories. Maybe it’s because of traditional patriarchal views, which allow guys to ignore these stories.

More and more of these stories are being written and shared in books and blogs.  Jenny McCarthy’s book “Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth,” is one of those books that  goes into this whole process in excruciating detail.

I’m laughing and making jokes to get through class because a lot of this stuff is shocking and scary (I deal with discomfit often by making jokes). Also there are a lot of things about the birth process which seem very humorous out of context, like the different positions a woman may get into to help them through contractions (just google “positions for labor” and imagine 11 couples practicing these different positions at the same time).

There’s a lot a stuff that I’m learning for the first time in class that I feel like I should have known before. If it wasn’t so new, then I wouldn’t be me giggling so much and then making a mouth-open shocked face pointing at the screen in disbelief.  When we watch these films of births in class I feel like the one guys in the room who’s watching a suspense film for the first time while everyone else has watched it numerous times.

There’s two more classes.  I should try not to laugh so much, but I'm sure that the other future dads in the room are holding in their laughter at times. So you know what? I’ll laugh for all of us just so y’all know you’re not alone in your discomfort, fear, shock and awe.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Always On My Mind by Willie Nelson

You know one of your friends is really into someone they like when they bring that person up in conversation all of the time. If you’ve been on the other side of this you know what it’s like to have someone always on your mind.

Like the first burst of emotions when you fall in love, the intensity of your thoughts about this other person wanes over time but it never really disappears. What happens after years in being in a relationship with someone isn’t that they leave your thoughts, it's just that you get so used to them being in you thoughts it becomes normal to think of the them all of the time.

“Always on My Mind,” is one of the most famous and beautiful love songs in popular music. It’s as much an apology song as a statement of commitment. Brenda Lee first recorded it in 1972:



This song was a moderate success but it was Elvis Presley’s cover the brought this song into prominence:



My introduction to this song was through Willie Nelson:



Brenda Lee is a fantastic singer but what works with Nelson’s and Presley’s version is the fact that they both exude this feeling of regret and heartache. This song isn’t an open apology. It’s not saying: “I did all of these things wrong,” instead it goes with “maybe. . . I did something bad.” That’s a big deal for this character in this song.  You hear that in the desperate voice of Elvis in his later years and the beat-up and battered voice of Willie Nelson.

Willie Nelson really owns this song. It feels like songs that he wrote for himself. There’s a conversational feeling to the verses that opens up into a beautiful chorus. There’s desperation, a feeling that this is the last attempt to bring this person back into his life, yet he can’t just come out and say that he was wrong. It’s tragic on some level how much he just can’t bring himself to open himself up. But you feel like he’s trying and maybe that’s enough.

What consolation is it really that someone who has done you wrong was thinking about you the entire time?

It depends on the situation, but for me it means a lot. It’s a statement that other things in life aren’t as important and through all of stuff they did wrong, they couldn’t help but think of you. The knowledge that someone is thinking about you is comforting. It lets you know that you matter, that you mean something and that you are always with the people who love you.