Rich kid poor kid

Because I’m not a social scientist in any but the most amateur way I don’t feel bad mixing poor and working class but furthermore in Alberta it’s easy to find working class guys who are rich, poor people who think they’re rich, rich people who came up from being poor and kept the mindsets, and probably other social variants as well. I don’t actually want to classify people, I enjoy exploring various mindsets.

I spend extremely little time around rich kids, (rich compared to me meaning middle class) so I notice the seemingly intrinsic little differences.

One external thing is access to a network. Everything rich people need, including information, is a contact away. The sheer difference between going anonymously to a doctor and going to a doctor referred by your uncle who’s also a doctor could literally be life and death. On even the lower level though you notice what it’s like to see them being treated like someone when they go most places.

And I’ll be the odd man out and say that I think strong work ethic is evenly split along class lines. There are lazy poor people and spoiled rich kids just as much as there’s two jobs to pay for community college and there’s making sure you get into med school while padding your transcript with a dozen extracurriculars and I think it’s unfair to think that because the rewards are greater the struggle is any exhausting in the moments.

But more so this is about the mindset instilled by parents. I think the poor person’s definition of good is character driven – good is the dignity with which they endure.

You can hear it in the Paulo Nutini song  Simple Things:

‘You’re never gonna hear him grumble and groan, Cause it’s the people in the line that have built his home’

Working class pride is in humility.

And while I respect that sentiment, meeting people who take visible pride in how humble they are is often annoying. Maybe just because I always find them in bars.

The poor mentality is that problems happen and how you cope with them defines you. The less you complain, the more of a good characteristic you have.

You see this mindset go right when a parent works years at a job they hate so their kids can go to school and dream of never hating their job. You can see the mindset go wrong when people are sick or in pain or have a rash or whatever for days before they tell their friends, a week before they decide it’s a problem, and another week before they see a doctor. To be fair that hesitation is also because the doctor is going to make you feel stupid for not coming in right away and they’re going to treat you like an anonymous poor person.

the rich mentality on the other hand is that the quicker, better, smarter you are at getting a problem out of your life the better off you are. So not only do they have access to doctors through social connection, they often have a relationship with their doctor because they see them a lot, even for small things that get cleared up easily.

For a last point on doctors I have to paraphrase something Malcolm Gladwell pointed out. In What The Dog Saw he quotes a true social scientist who studied the parenting style of rich people and poor people and one anecdote from that study talks about poor parents letting their kid go to the doctor by herself while rich parents not only were driving their child but also prepping her; telling her on the drive to think of questions she has for the doctor.

Which I think touches on a pivotal difference that I see in the cultural mirror of fiction. We all absorb the feeling that rich families are cold, distant, always disappointed in the kids, and hiding tons of addictions while poor families have flaws and fights but are bastions of unconditional love. Which is in no way supported by data. I assume it’s a product of poor people being the main consumers of escapist fiction so by evolution it’s come to pander to their fantasies, both in the image of the poor-but-together family and the idea that being rich is freedom from consequences.

So the instinct to hate rich kids, or even just to slander someone by calling them a rich kid, is something I’m getting away from. I want to adopt traits like ambition and resourcefulness, I don’t think simplicity is an emotional end game.

Finally, my current outlook is that happiness comes from overcoming obstacles and while it’s easy to say that rich people have fewer or zero obstacles that’s extremely unlikely. Aiming to get into Harvard starting in grade 5 is a massive obstacle, a ton of pressure, and achieving it probably feels pretty great. I think the bigger problem in society and for each of us personally is a tendency to not overcome obstacles, to consider them permanent, consider them built into the fabric of society, and then to pride or pity ourselves while using escapism to short circuit defeated feelings of ambition.

Posted in Pragmatism

Misinterpretation, Subjectivity, Art, and Politics

If art matters, it has to be because its interpretation is multiple, confused, and, not infrequently, broken. Art’s value isn’t in objective expertise, but in its ability to confound subjectivity and objectivity, to scramble the barriers between how one person thinks, how that other person thinks, and how everybody thinks. In art, a misinterpretation may be wrong, but it is always an opportunity.

You can read the whole piece here and btw it’s a cool piece, this paragraph hints at something that bothers me and has been parroted at me throughout my life. Because it doesn’t draw a line between a plausible new interpretation and a clear misinterpretation.

I declare that it is possible to misinterpret art and that misinterpretation is bad.

When people say everyone is entitled to an opinion it’s always in the context of wanting their opinion to be valued the same as another, better informed, one.

Arguments from subjectivity always bother me and especially in art because if we can’t agree on shared values then we can’t actually discuss anything. If we’re looking at a painting and a painter says it’s bad because the brush work is sloppy and a mechanic says it’s good because it’s a painting of an apple and he really likes apples then they haven’t actually said anything to each other. It’s entirely possible for both of them to like the painting with sloppy brush work but one is more qualified than the other to say if the painting is good.

So when people something is good and their explanation for it’s goodness is that they like it they are saying nothing. If you point that out however you will be called pretentious, not because you are but because that’s the quickest way to cut down someone you’re afraid is more knowledgeable than you and knowledge is power.  It’s an intellectual sin to assert that something is beyond criticism and especially if you’re only reason is you’re now conflating criticism of it with criticism of yourself.

Listening to the song Photosynthesis by Frank Turner (Peace be unto Him) a friend remarked that for him the song was about people who refuse to change, that the negative trait he’s describing in others is an unwillingness to adapt. Which is perfectly what the song isn’t about, the song’s protagonist is the one refusing to change and he’s saying that adapting means giving up. When I pointed this out my comrade’s response was “I like my interpretation better.” and for him that ended the discussion. Once someone invokes the myth of infallible subjectivity any conversation is over because there’s no meaningful common reference anymore. So it wasn’t the opportunity as described in the above quote at all.

And the problem with the myth of infallible subjectivity gets much worse when it creates a lack of skepticism. I’ve never met someone who didn’t pride themselves on questioning everything, everyone thinks they are the exactly correct level of skeptical. But while everyone thinks they’re questioning everything I’ve met very few people who are good at questioning themselves. As if the universe is to interpreted by them but not including them. This is why we have an epidemic of undeclared and unaware solipsism.

It starts with art because they are so many more millions of people who aren’t artists than are that the non-artist segment can be it’s own echo chamber on the issue. So it’s populist to say that no one could know what’s good or bad and every interpretation is equal.

It’s taken for granted that art isn’t as important as other things like politics but that’s where the idea has spread. There’s a lot of talk about living in a post-fact era right now, and I think it’s because with so many lines of contrary thought running passed, over, and around one another it’s easiest to decide we’ll never know the real truth about anything.

Anne Applebaum made a great point when talking to Sam Harris in which she points out that when the Russians were accused of shooting down the Malaysian airliner rather than deny it they flooded different medias with different stories, dozens of different -and often ridiculous versions- of events. And what happened? When people were asked later what happened to the air plane the most common response to agree with was that we’ll never really know.

And when one can’t know the truth one has to hold on strongly to whatever one believes, whatever one feels. Made worse by the fact that we can all silo ourselves in internet echo chambers that confirm even the suspicion of those who don’t understand clouds and conclude the world is flat.  Made even worse again by the fact that because great political authority always proves itself untrustworthy people have leapt to the conclusion that all authority is not just untrustworthy but surely deceitful. So people only want to have an ‘honest’ conversation with those who agree with them and are not smarter and only want to ‘debate’ people they think are much dumber. And now we live in a world where everyone’s dumber than everyone else.

So when we cop out talking about art we’re framing the way we will cop out talking about other things. We need to get to a point where people feel accountable for their opinions and to each other.

Posted in Pragmatism

“It’s Never Too Late”

It’s too late to become the world’s youngest Olympian.

It is essentially too late to become an Olympian at all for me and everyone I know. Someone could drop everything and take up target shooting (the sport in which the oldest recorded Olympian competed) but even then they’d be competing against people with a lifetimes head start.

The same thing applies if I wanted to become a doctor. I’d have to spend a few upgrading my current academics just to be eligible for 8 years of med school which I then wouldn’t be accepted to in favour of younger candidates who could actually afford to go.

So even if it’s never too late to start doing something, it is often too late to become the fruition of that something.

So despite the tautological argument that it is possible if a thousand conditions went our way and we were absolutely unwavering in our concentration (as people always imaginable they’ll be before they do anything for real), yes, it is too late to become a doctor.

In fact from the minute we’re born our options start narrowing – actually from before we’re conceived – because we didn’t pick our genes and we didn’t get to pick our parent’s income. Which is the single biggest indicator of early opportunity and future success.

Life is what you make of it. I have no problem with that. What I hate is people deluding themselves and encouraging others to delude themselves into thinking they can make it anything they want. And not just to be a cynic but because I think dreaming so big you know you’ll never reach it is a mental hamster wheel that stops people from reaching their actual potential. It’s equivalent to always imagining you’re someone else by immersing yourself in television and talking about winning lotteries.

If the piano of your life has 46 keys there’s nothing gained imagining the songs you’d play on someone else’s 88.

Just in case you assume I’m making a case for docile determinism I’m not. What I’m saying is once you accept what you’re options really are you can gauge opportunity cost. I could become a doctor (allowing for consecutive miracles of course) at the cost of maybe 15 years. Is my desire to become a doctor higher than other uses for the years between now and 47? Nope.

So the question to ask oneself is; why did I want to become a doctor? I’m sticking with the example but this will also be true for all the astronauts, presidents, and rock stars we’re not going to grow up to be.

The answer will always be that we think it will make us happy. So then the insightful person, rather than talking themselves to sleep about how it’s never too late, asks why do I think that would make me happy? What comes with being the rock star president of the astronaut doctors club that I want?

Human happiness is remarkable simple to quantify in the abstract. While every individual anxiety is unique to each person the qualities of every self identified happy person are pretty much the same.

And they always include a sense of purpose.

When people say it’s never too late the hope they’re trying to give is that a sense of purpose can arrive in your life at any time and in a lot of unexpected ways. That’s why we use grandiose examples like doctor when we talk about optimistic futures because we assume a sense of purpose comes lock, stock, and barrel with being something important.

But being important just means other people need you to do things for them a lot.

A sense of purpose is with you when there’s no one else around. If being a doctor suited your internal sense of purpose you’d already know it. In a conversation about this someone remarked “I’d hate to find out that I’m really good at hockey and that’s what I should have done.” to which someone who had played hockey for years retorted that after age 10 no one ‘finds out’ they’re good at hockey, it takes decades of honing various skills (skills which aren’t analogous to many other things in external life)  just to not suck at hockey as an adult. However what this dreamer was saying on a lower conscious level is that they’re scared the path they’re on (playing guitar) wouldn’t get the results they wanted (fame and fortune) and being and NHL star was a path they considered parallel.

That’s what bugs me when people dream about their ‘ideal careers’, they don’t care about the job itself, they mentally jerk off about what they could afford to do in their downtime, monetarily yes but also socially. I knew someone who aspired to get rich simply so he could commit crimes and then bribe his way out of it, as if the key to happiness is simply freedom from the consequences of impulses society controls.

And that word, freedom, is pivotal here. Because I think it isn’t ever too late to free oneself from material concerns and become happier. Not all-caps happy in the paradisical sense but happier than we are in the rat race cycle of ambition and defeat.

The social test mentioned in office space applies well here; if you never had to work again what would you do(?) and the answer is supposed to tell you what you should do for work, like if you’d fix classic cars then you should be a mechanic, etc.

I’d write.

Posted in Pragmatism


It’s a scientific fact that taking a positive attitude to a shitty situation makes it less shitty.

I know that’s easy to say, effortless in fact, and when people doubt it I think they’re tapping into a fear that if one has to try to be happy then the happiness isn’t real. The explanation for a culture that uses the trope money can’t buy happiness and then is the wealthiest and most detrimentally wealth-driven society in history is that we don’t think money buys happiness, it just removes every obstacle between you and happiness so happiness just happens.

Which every recorded philosopher and the emergent scientific study of happiness will tell you isn’t true or helpful. The fact is either life happens to you or you happen to life.

If you have the mindset that happiness is on the other side of something (a purchase, a promotion, a move) and that the realities of your situation are withholding that happiness one becomes bitter, resentful. That drags dangerously close to entitlement.

And as a side note; resenting the absolutely indifferent conditions of life is a waste of energy you could be putting elsewhere. As is the unconscious idea that life is supposed to be one way over another.

As this veers toward a wholly impractical philosophical point I rein in it. Whether you believe in free will or believe that we live under conditions which perfectly replicate the illusion of free our moment to moment emotional responsibilities are the same.

Back to the attempt at practicality and away from the fact that I listening to a lot of Sam Harris podcasts…

To quote Rush: If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice. Choosing to not try, choosing not to be insightful, choosing not to search, can only have negative consequence. If you are happy and you examine your life and your self then you will simply confirm that happiness and congratulations to you. If your happiness is precarious though and you’re the sort of person who thinks that simply not thinking is the secret then periodically the effort to maintain that ignorance will falter and you will be unprepared to deal with it. And they’ll be crying and tequila involved.

So yes I, Alastair Robertson, firmly endorse the power of positive thinking. Since I’m probably the most cynical and hateful person you know (and if not then take a break from reading this to change all your contacts) this requires explanation.

What I think no one tells us is that being positive doesn’t mean being fake happy. That shit’s annoying for everybody. Suffering as I do from frequent severe depression for me being positive includes things like wearing clean clothes. Still doing the self care stuff that, while it can’t push me over the baseline to being happy, slows the spiral like putting your hands against the side of a slide. When I feel negative and I feel like it doesn’t matter if I eat I tell myself that it does indeed matter and I can go back to thinking negatively after I’ve eaten and taken my vitamins. Thinking positively is as simple as choosing to do something rather than nothing.

Being positive for me also means not moving backwards. Furthermore, not ever wishing to go back. When the lens of history gets blurry and I miss something or someone I tell myself that if it had really been that good I wouldn’t have left.

It’s also true in the very short term as well. I wanted to get my cardiovascular system in shape so I took up jogging. Which demolished my knees and I wasn’t able to walk without a painful limp for about 9 days.

I kept trying for a while, I kept stretching, doing half hours on the step machine, I got braces for both knees, I added even more to my vitamin ritual, and I stayed positive by pretending I was fine.

Until I couldn’t. I started to despair that I’d never get better, I’m so old and out of shape it doesn’t matter anyway. I wasn’t able to focus on other things because of the pain and I wasn’t able to fix that so my mind went stagnant, my motivation and creativity was gone, I couldn’t socialize. And I still stayed positive,  I knew there was no way to go back to before so I had to keep looking for solutions no matter how I felt inside, I had to do something rather than nothing. Which in this case was doing nothing because that’s how one recovers from an injury but my point is I was consciously doing nothing, doing less than before, as an active way to recover so that I could get back out there rather than thinking I can’t exercise and that’s how life will always be so fuck it, on to the crying and tequila.

It’s okay in any life trial to stop so you can start over. But if you’re stopping because you made an attempt at the way it’s supposed to be and it didn’t work out then you’re just letting life happen to you and the consolation prizes in life are incredibly disappointing, trust me.

One thing the popular impression gets right is that people involved in self-improvement become condescending and smug. It’s just because all advice is autobiographical though and we’re resenting our unreachable past selves for the wasted time.

‘Acceptance’ isn’t my bag yet so I’ll have to work that out in another post a year from now probably. Then it’s all laughing and tequila.


Posted in Depression & Suicide, Pragmatism

Songwriter’s Dilemma

At the most recent café absinthe I debuted 3 new songs as promised.

It’s important to me right now to be writing and moving forward and I’ve been enjoying talking about the songs as I’m working on them, although I’m also afraid that gratification will actually halt real progress. One song has turned into such a weight around my neck though.

Time Will Never Tell was the middle song I played at Cafe, for those of you who were there.

This is the dilemma of the song:

Part of what I do I consider being an emotional historian. Taking feelings that are complex and evolving and freezing them so other people can relate when they are feeling something similar and they can take advantage of how I’ve organized my feelings so they can better organize their own.

Which is were the song would be done already if I didn’t also think it was vital to be cathartic. Playing songs, doing anything routinely or ritualistically, reinforces those feelings. In the performer as well as the listener. There are so many songs I hear that can be summarized as I feel bad and all can think is so…?

Listen to all the best Frank Turner songs and you’ll notice he starts off being honest about a negative feeling and then works through it and gets to a positive place. That work is the answer to my question of So..? It gives the song an emotional arc that both singer and listener go through together.

So there’s a version of Time Will Never Tell that fills either purpose and the problem is some people have heard both versions and will be disappointed, and could read a lot into my choices, if I take the earlier version. And I can’t tell if defying this outside pressure aligns with what I actually want or not.

Then I get really bummed out and think there’s no point in anything and I’ll be a failure forever. I once had someone tell me they could write a million songs if they could just play an instrument and I laughed and laughed.


Posted in Songwriting


I think most people would say they don’t believe in happily ever after, that they don’t aspire to it, and yet it’s how people generally operate when they’re safe.

They just stay.

It’s why people seem blind to change for so long in things like relationships and work. They stopped thinking once they felt secure. They take things for granted. There’s an inherent level of death denial in the common psyche, of even age denial.

I, however, am acutely aware that everything ends. And I’m always looking for signs that it’s time to move on because I’ve been afraid for my entire life of throwing good time after bad, of staying in a relationship I know is ending when I could be using that time meeting someone new or growing on my own, of staying at a job I no longer enjoy because I hate looking for a job. Life is going to feel short someday and I’m scared most of regretting inaction.

Which I consider a positive about myself. When something’s over it’s over, I don’t hang on and I don’t backslide. I get out of bad situations easily. That makes me happy.

A problem I have though is I’m also uncomfortable in good situations.

There’s a conservation with Jay from ten years that’s evidently so pivotal I’m still dissecting it even after I included it in a song.

We were sitting in a bar (Our beloved Wolfman’s may it be at peace in the unending glory of dive bar Valhalla), two guys in our twenties drinking in the afternoon surrounded by guys creeping in on 60. We were happy, they were sad, we were lively, they were quiet, we were fresh, they hadn’t bought new clothes in our actual lifetime.

Out for a smoke Jay asked rhetorically how they turn out like that. As if we were looking through the glass of an exhibit. I was incredulous and said we are that.

I know that farce and folly are about character context. Take someone who’s behaviour is congruent in one context and put them in another. A successful drill Sargent in charge of young children?! Bam, cheap effective comedy. Take someone from the youth culture of the 70s and put them around actual youths in the 90s. Cheap comedy and it’s cheap comedy at their expense. Especially if they’re treating their balding scalp like it’s the lush hair they had 10 years ago. Context changes even when character hasn’t. That’s why I’m scared and sad even during joyful events, it’s all fleeting, always marching toward ending, everything changing around you conspiring to make you a fool.

That’s why I can be as sad at 22 laughing in a bar as we think a 56 year old drinking silently should be.

If you’re not choosing to change you’re choosing to stay the same too long.

On the other hand it’s exhausting to constantly beat myself for never making something of myself as if any day I didn’t move the chains of world domination was a sure fire sign nothing good would ever happen.

So right now I’m thinking about how to balance it out. It’s true that the things life throws at you are amoral and random and that luck is when skill meets opportunity. There is something to be said for patience, more patience than declaring yourself a loser at 22 certainly.

I think it’s okay to stay where you are as long as you’re focused on growing internally and I think it’s okay to keep moving and let growth happen to you, and maybe it’s impossible to feel I’m doing the right thing even if I am.

The puzzle of happiness is; do you stay and try to build it or go searching and try to find it? If you stay, even working your damnedest, you could build something so sub par and yet stable that you miss your shot, and if you search you could just end up running forever and not putting the time into things that would have been truly rewarding.

And people who say it’s never too late are delusional idiots.

I’ll fallow that up in a post of it’s own.

Posted in Pragmatism


I’m often worried about other people being in pain I’m not seeing, not helping with.

I know that when I’m truly in crisis I’m disengaged. My behaviour is erratic, I’m quiet sometimes but not hostilely so, loud fun and social at other times. People see the highs and never the lows when I’m upset. Which is why no one’s tried to help me when I’ve actually needed it.

So when I’m at baseline and my worries don’t have real situations to focus on I worry that someone else, someone chosen at near-random by my subconscious, is doing that same thing and I’m the one guilty of not seeing it.

It would make me a hypocrite for all those times smirking when I’m suicidal that everyone’s going to be so shocked when I’m being so obvious laying out clues, little emotional time bombs they’re not seeing. People express concern about my very normal topics of conversation like funerals and death which feels controlling to me but every lauds my dark sense of humour without picking up that it’s how I express real anguish.

There could be someone in my life struggling in private while maintaining a facade or even seeming more lively than normal. When people look for signs someone is in crisis they tend to just police language. They look for ‘negative’ words and tell them not to talk like that. Overtly by literally saying don’t talk like that but also subvertly by telling them to be positive, look on the bright side, not to think like that.

If I were able to meet myself while I’m suicidal the helpful open-ended statements I’d start with would be things like  “Normally you’d have left a long time ago” or “You don’t usual go to someone’s house after the bar”

It’s easy to think that wanting to be alone is a sign of something bad but in reality 9 times out of ten I’d wager it’s a sign of something much worse and insidious when someone doesn’t want to be alone, seems scared to be alone.

Looking for things to worry about is about being a bit of a detective. I’ll acknowledge that some people as a response to being upset will broadcast on social media in expectation of reassurance. Those people are called teenagers.

And teenagers can be pushed to some drastic actions if they don’t get the desired results from talking about drastic actions. I don’t mean that in a manipulative way to be clear. If someone is trying to suss out if anyone cares and it seems like no one does that feels fucking awful. Something that pushes adults closer to the edge though is feeling like a burden and to be a burden you have to be fully aware that people care about you, other people’s love can be painful when you’re really spiraling.

My worry that other people are going through what I’ve gone through isn’t a generous instinct, I don’t want to save anyone and I don’t want anyone to think of me as a savior, I don’t even want people to think of me as nice. I primarily want to do what’s ethical. If my experience and insight make me better equipped to help, and to talk to others about helping, then it’s unethical not to.  Especially since I’m so judgemental of the failed timing and attempts people have gone through to help me.

The limit of that obligation is the difference between trying to help someone and trying to fix someone.

When I was last suicidal I had two conversations with a friend, a few weeks apart. They were polar opposites in stance and tone for both of us each time. In the first conversation, what I’ll call the typical crisis interaction, I was blatantly saying I was planning to die soon and at first my friend was dancing around the topic awkwardly. Worse when we settled into the heart of the conversation later they took a typical stance that I’ve heard a lot, that I should do what they do and I’d be as happy as them. The unconscious subtext I can articulate now is that I should give up my identity. There’s a nihilism in the idea that behaviour can be arbitrarily changed. It’s a half measure to say who you are doesn’t matter so you can just change it – why not go the whole way and stop existing all together then?

I came away from the conversation brow beaten. The topic became a something like a debate where I was being pushed to justify wanting to die. And as you should know from politics, pushing someone to defend an idea makes them believe it deeper.

We had drinks and the mood lightened even though nothing got resolved. Which bothered me a lot later because I knew he felt better, he felt he had helped, maybe even felt on some level that he had rescued me, fixed me. That was certainly the resentful voice in my head.

Something of that conversation did become important though. I talked about how I suspect some people think summer is the normal state of the year and winter is just to be tolerated and waited through and share complaints about until summer came back. And that for me winter is the norm. It’s almost always winter and even in the blips of summer I get I know winter is on the horizon at all times, waiting.

It was the start of the second conversation, the unexpectedly, undeliberately helpful conversation, that my friend mentioned how that comment had got to him. And he said “I thought I’d been depressed, I haven’t been depressed.” And that was essentially all we said about the previous conversation, we both knew the situation and moved on, no need to badger about it. What that quote about depression meant to me though was that he understood he didn’t understand and it made me feel more understood.

When someone says life is so awful I want to die the tendency is to respond I understand. But life’s not that bad though, life is actually wonderful. Which means you don’t understand that person at all, you just think that person misunderstands life. All of this proves and deepens the divide between us.

In the conversation though we breezed past it though, I didn’t register how and why it made me feel better yet. We talked about a bunch of other stuff but what stuck with me and also made me feel better was talk about a trip to Cuba. He said he wanted me to come because I wouldn’t want to do touristy shit. That if I came along we could see old Havana and doing interesting stuff. I talked about Hemingway and Gitmo, I had a vision of my in black punk shorts covered in buckles and straps and wearing my boots (the only shorts and footwear I owned that year) sitting on the beach and we chuckled.

On the train ride home I felt good and especially because I was writing my sobriety blog at the time I was very attuned to dissecting my feelings. I realized it was because the talk about Cuba reinforced my identity, my value. I felt loved for my entire self, not just to I’m loved in spite what is such a huge part of who I am. I could think in terms of not being broken or wrong, just one type of friend in a spectrum. It reminded me of my sense of belonging.

So if someone seems to be erratic and I’m worried or even just down and in need of cheering up that’s what I aim to do, to have a normal conversation rather than an insistent talk, that reminds them of what they’re good at, why they’re special, of their sense of purpose and belonging. And I leave the fact that I care about them out of it, that speaks to my identity not theirs.

Posted in Uncategorized