It was April of 2012. I was slumped in a seat at Midway Airport in Chicago, listening to a Spotify playlist my company’s consultant made for my trip back to Ft. Myers, Florida. It was to help me forget about the fact that I was waiting to get dumped by the girl of my dreams. I was staring at the Draw Something move the aforementioned dream girl made that morning, deciding if I wanted to play back – figuring I hadn’t hear from her in a week, again. But I was being patient and made a great DrawSomething picture.
As I was getting in line to board the plane, the consultant messaged me on Facebook, asking me if I had heard the playlist. I told her I was going through it the second time. She asked how I liked Ellie Goulding’s, “Your Song.” I told her I had trouble with it because I was rather attached to Elton John’s version. She asked why. I told her I was a product of a lesser man and never saw my father and that like the song, I too used to do things with the hopes that he’d see it and appreciate me. And the fact Ellie doesn’t even sing the “sat on the roof and kicked off the moss,” line had me irked.
As I was finding my seat on the plane, my consultant was quickly rising to your defense before I shut the phone off. She told me how, “Your Song,” was the theme song to Prince William & Kate Middleton’s wedding and that Elton John gave the version his blessing. I told her that argument softened my stance. My consultant also pointed out that one of her best friends in college interned a summer in England and saw you play in a club. She said the sound system wasn’t working and instead of making the crowd wait, you started playing an acoustic set. So the story goes, you got so into the set that when the system started working, you opted to keep the intimacy of the acoustic experience. She said that when her friend Facebooked the group of friends about the story, everybody in the group of friends at the University of Missouri looked you up and became instant fans. My consultant said that this was how you gained the majority of your fans. Then my consultant told me I would never be able to find new joy in anything if I continue to hold onto old expectations.
Deeply amused, I told my consultant that I would give the song another listen or two. She said she wanted to know my thoughts after I got off the plane. So I listened to, “Your Song,” a second time, and a third time. I discovered a sense of peace within the lyrics when I was able to strip out my personal attachment to the original version. I also found solace in the purity of your voice of which my consultant relayed. I was able to relax for the first time in weeks while drifting in and out of a recuperative sleep while spending the next 2 hours listening to, “Your Song.”
When I got off the plane, no sooner was I able to put my bags down in the OldOld Man’s (paternal grandfather) guest room when my phone started getting messages from my consultant. She started asking about my revised impressions of the song. We spent the rest of the night talking about the song. We spent the next week talking about the album, “Lights.” “Your Song,” was the first of many wonderful conversations we embarked on together since that April day.
Come January 23rd, 2013, my consultant, Katie, & I will be celebrating 6 wonderful months together. We will be marking the occasion by attending your concert in Chicago on January 29th, 2013. If you sing, “Your Song,”- which is also our song – and see a man and a woman a foot apart in height yet seamlessly entwined in an embrace as they dance ever-so-slow, that will probably be us.
I thank you for helping me learn how to live for joy and not for expectations. Without that night, that flight and that song, I would still be waiting for scraps at the table in the form of DrawSomething. Now, life has become an inexhaustible supply of adventure and wonderment for both Katie and me.
Once again, thank you,