I often wonder about balance. When it comes to sharing personal information, how much is too much? As a person who has been regularly described as “guarded,” I’m not one to go deeply personal in a public setting.
This seems contradictory in some ways, due a lot to the lyrical content of my solo music, which is all very personal, yet released publicly.
That seemingly random bit of an introduction leads me to a story. I have not shared this story with many people, at least not in this much detail. It starts with a song: “What Sarah Said” by Death Cab for Cutie.
The lyrics are absolutely brilliant as the song details a hospital ICU waiting room and a mixture of hope and despair, but then it gets to the end where it says, “Love is watching someone die.”
Back in 2006, my cousin, who was a year younger than I am today, was in a crash that put her in the Neuro-ICU at a hospital about three hours from my home, and every time I hear that song, it reminds me of all the time I spent there, hoping for the best.
I remember being with my family. I remember my girlfriend at the time, also a Death Cab for Cutie fan, walking with me in the hospital while both of us sang the lyrics to “What Sarah Said” in unison. I remember it feeling like I was living that song.
I remember the long drives, one of which had me leaving home at midnight. I remember my roommates who woke up to check on me and hug me before I left. I remember being at my worst emotionally, wishing there was something I could do while knowing that there wasn’t.
I began writing, which tends to be what I do in bad situations. I wrote about that experience. I added to what I had written. A year after that, I picked up what I had written previously and added more to it. And while it is not nearly comparative lyrically to any Death Cab for Cutie song, it represents a time in my life where I lost someone that I really cared about. I released the song “Midnight Drives” on my first album Note from the Georgian Hotel.
I don’t normally explain the stories behind my songs in detail; I suppose this is the exception.
As cliché as it may sound, take a moment to tell the people in your life that you love them. I have some very supportive and encouraging friends who have stood by me at my best and at my worst, and I hope they know how much I love and appreciate them.