The first scene opens at the lowest point of our exhaustive breakup, and precisely where we must begin. The music is dark and empty. There are very few instruments. All of the sounds hold a black or silver color, and empty space is left intentionally between the instruments and the vocals.
For a very, very long time after our relationship ended, I was severely depressed. All the things I loved to do, I stopped doing them out of love and started to do them for the sake of achievement. Instead of using the gym as a personal practice, I went as hard as I could with it—and in turn, got the biggest I ever got, grew out of all my clothes, and practically launched a fitness career. Then, I stopped working on my book and only focused on writing that I could measure online through views and popularity—and I became a Top Writer on Quora with millions of views, and articles published in every major publication: TIME, Forbes, Fortune, The Huffington Post, etc. I had my first short story, "Exitec's Success," published in Quora's 2014 Print Anthology. Then I changed my exterior: I cut my hair, I started to dress well, I worked on as many outside projects as I could and I surrounded myself with goal-oriented, driven entrepreneurs and successful people.
This is the meaning behind the song's opening: "Everything I am, I owe it all to you." The things I achieved were goals I genuinely wanted to accomplish and things I truly wanted to learn, but where they were coming from in me was not from a place of patience and an enjoyment of the journey. It was coming from a desire to escape, and a hope that my "achievements" would fulfill what I felt I had lost within.
I owe it to her, in a sense, for how much I have grown over the past 3 years, how hard I've worked and what I have learned about myself. But even more so, I find it funny that even before the release of my first book, my first real work of art that I have spent 5+ years chiseling away in hiding, this project emerged. How could I not, then, attribute and even be thankful to her for igniting whatever it is in me that needed to be ignited?
The most revealing lines of the song are as follows:
Know, cuz I've been there.
When I go flow mode, it’s up in air.
Put a pen downtown, get up in there
like you’re my Juliet, we've got an audience, you’re screaming Shakespeare.
Look at me, andante Dante.
Mark Twain, Mozart on coffee.
All the roses want me, want me.
Mother nature, your daughter’s lovely!
I know that I love her to pieces, please let her complete me.
I always will read her, never deceive her,
may I be lucky to keep her?
Under the sun I shall seek her.
And under the moon I shall teach her.
I’ll be the dot to her eyes (i’s),
the one who will always give form to her features.
You don’t believe me?
Have I done something completely?
What kind of question is that?
Do you not see how long I’ve been at this desk dreaming?
I work even without achievement.
All I do is wear sweatpants and t-shirts.
I guess what I’m trying to say is
I’m in love with her, she knows the real me.
During our relationship, I held very different priorities. I spent a considerable amount of time meditating each day, and I spent hours alone studying literature and working on the craft of writing. Nobody really knew this about me, because at the same time I was just getting into bodybuilding and my "exterior self" is what attracted attention—instead of the boy below it.
When we started dating, I recognized this same quality in her. She was a model downtown Chicago, but below the surface was a very quiet, studious, smart and caring person. We joked often that who we were perceived to be—"the model and the bodybuilder"—was so opposite who we were with each other. We would read poetry together. She wanted to be an elementary school teacher. I wanted to write novels. She loved to read, and I saw her as my reader. I rarely share my writing in progress with anyone—even my closest friends. But with her, I shared almost everything—including many, many excerpts from the book I will be releasing in August.
The verse above is written from the perspective of the inner child, the vulnerable one who felt safe being so open and honest with someone. This voice is actually speaking to both her and the art of writing—promising to love endlessly, to always make that the first priority. Until the end of the verse, this feeling arises that she is being taken away, and a sudden questioning of why? Did I not work hard enough? Did I not deserve her?
After our relationship ended, I went through a long period of writer's block. I felt as though my reader, my muse had been taken away from me, and nothing I wrote felt good enough.
Instead, I pursued a much easier reward: External Success.