People tell me that. But would he? There are a lot of things I do that I think he’d laugh at. In a good way.
Charles would sometimes make fun of me in a way that was not cruel or mean. It was his way of showing me another side of myself in a funny and entertaining way. And even now when I do some things, I think he is laughing at me like he used to. And then I chuckle and think, “You’re right Charles. I need to get over myself.”
It’s easier to see things from his point of view now that I know more about him. It’s ironic I know him better now that he is dead. His music revealed so much.
I am not so sure he’d like me talking about him so publicly. But then I feel him with me on stage, telling me it’s OK and to keep going. Those emotions conflict and I’m sure my hesitation comes from when he didn’t like me talking about him when he was alive. But then he encouraged me to follow my hear and my passion. And that’s what I am doing.
My fantasy had always been that he’d be the one on stage telling his story about depression and addiction- the poster child of recovery. And now I’m carrying his message of connecting with others forward because he no longer can.
He wanted his music shared, his videos shared because he believed that putting the sadness out there made people feel less isolated and alone. I worried it would make people feel too dark.
I thought I was so progressive. The truth is, I was naive.
Now when I play one of his videos to teens and young adults, they immediately bond with him. It’s like he shined a spotlight on their own feelings and they feel inspired.
So is he proud of me? I don’t know. But I’m proud of him for having the guts to take a stand that was counterintuitive to what most people think.