I cried after the first two lines of Zach Kleisinger’s ballad “Feeling Like This.”
Not weepy tears. Torrential tears, the kind of flowing tears Elliott Smith used to bring to my eyes in my teens. Yet, these tears weren’t the melancholy “woe is me,” Smith tears. They were hopeful tears.
I’ve had a tough year.
Right out of grad school I had no idea what I wanted to do. So I went into teaching. Since I didn’t study education in college, I had to go through an alternate teaching program while having a full time job teaching. Needless to say it was not easy. I became severely depressed two months into the school year. It felt like I was being beat down by everything in my immediate environment. It was relentless and tiring.
So when I put on my headphones to listen to “Feeling Like This,” you can understand why I cried through the whole song.
The tears from Kleisinger’s song were tears of relief. Relief that someone understands. Kleisinger further cultivates this intimacy with the listener by abstaining from poetic jargon, focusing instead on succinct but emotive lyrics.
When Kleisinger softly sings
It’s just that job you’ve been doing that never gets you moving anywhere
It’s all the lies you tell yourself to keep your darkness somewhere else instead
I felt as though Kleisinger somehow got ahold of my journal and wrote me a song to make me feel better. His soft, robust voice embraces you, and then endearingly consoles you by describing feelings everyone has felt.
It’s all the strangers in this town that beat you down and ask you to get up again
It’s all the people that you meet that never seem to keep a word they said.
The stress and anxiety of my year negatively affected me, and my relationship as well. If you’re like me, you take stress out on the people that are closest to you. Stress can seep into a relationship and decay even the strongest of bonds. In “Feeling Like This,” Kleisinger’s refrain reminds us of something we all need to hear in our relationships:
It’s not me, it’s not me
Thats getting you down.
One sunny Friday in May, I was told I was being let go. Initially I was beside myself, and that night I cried incessantly. But the next day I woke up and felt as though I had been relieved of some great burden. As I woke up that Saturday morning I knew that it was not my boyfriend that was making me feel stress and anxiety. It was the series of life trials. This acknowledgement changed my perspective on my life and improved my relationship.
Each relationship has complex nuances that an outsider could never comprehend. But what all relationships share is their lack of perfection. We all have problems. Zach Kleisinger is here to remind us to be better people in our relationships, to encourage each other when we are debilitated by a crippling depression or whatever the case may be.
Embrace them with words of warmth and love.
Life is not easy, but Kleisinger reminds us that with the help of those who love us, our burdens are much lighter.
Sometimes encouragement means not being with the person of your dreams. Dispersed amongst the refrains and body of the lyrics, Kleinsinger almost whispers:
Perhaps in a world that we thought would exist.
Even though the relationship that he describes in this ballad has disintegrated due to life’s stresses, Kleinsinger sings to this past love with a kind tone lacking any sort of grudge. He consoles his ex partner, even though they are no longer together,
No it’s not you
That’s got me down.
“Feeling Like This,” is a melancholy song about the feelings of rejection and pain, but Kleinsinger reminds us reminds to be kind, even if we are in pain. He candidly describes the anxieties of living in a cruel world, reminding to embrace those who are trying to help us through.