Ani DiFranco — Connection, Community, and the Feminine Voice

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This episode’s guest is the soulful and wonderful Ani DiFranco. With 20 years in the music biz, self-described “Little Folksinger” Ani DiFranco’s influence on fellow musicians, activists, and indie-minded people the world over has been huge.

Blending folk music with soul, funk, jazz, electronic music and spoken word, Ani DiFranco has released more than 20 albums, including her latest, ¿Which Side are You On? (2012). From the earliest days of her career, Ani DiFranco has lent her voice and her name to a broad range of social movements, performing benefit concerts, appearing on benefit albums, and speaking at rallies.  She’s a pioneer, a rock star, and a soul sister.  Ani was a featured performer at the 2013 Emerging Women Live Conference in Boulder, CO.

In this episode, Ani DiFranco and I speak about:

  • How having kids has grounded her life and effected her music in a positive way
  • Her support of community and connection and the importance of the feminine point of view
  • Her focus on the present moment and relationships in her life
  • The trajectory of feminism throughout the years and the current state of feminism today
  • The hope that we both feel in seeing the wave of Feminine Courage currently emerging in the world
  • And finally, the importance of trusting yourself

Tune in to listen to my conversation “Connection, Community, and the Feminine Voice” with Ani DiFranco.

Subscribe to Grace & Fire on iTunes.

Transcript:

Chantal Pierrat: Welcome, Ani! It’s a real pleasure to have you here today.

Ani DiFranco: Hi! Thanks for having me!

CP: I was mentioning to you as we were chatting [that] this is such an honor. I feel kind of exposed by saying this, but I definitely had a very big girl crush on you in college.

AD: [Laughs] All right! I’m giving myself a high-five.

CP: [Laughs] Well, I’m not entirely sure that it’s gone away. I was preparing for the conference, for Emerging Women Live, and also our interview here, [and] I was just going, for the last week, back through all the old records. Oh my gosh.

AD: Oh, wow. Craziness. That’s something you’ll never find me doing. [Laughs]

CP: Oh, really? Interesting.

AD: It’s always a bit dicey when I want to learn a new old song, like, “I should play that song, blah-de-blah,” and then I have to pull out the record and tiptoe very delicately through it to try to listen to what I need to listen to. Anything could throw me for a week-long loop, delving back into my own catalog.

CP: Well, luckily it’s all there and we can dip into it anytime. What surprised me, though, was your recent record. It was amazing—this morning, when we had to reschedule, I was like, “I really have not spent time,” because I was getting so caught up in the old stuff. And there’s a song on there called “Life Boat,” and I do want to talk about the new record. I know it was last year, but I could not believe how deep and how touched I was by that song.

AD: Wow, cool.

CP: You know, you mention your child. I guess my lead-in question with that is—in fact, I was actually weeping as I was listening to the song, truth be told. It touched me that deeply. I’m curious to see how—you’re a rocker, sister, you’re a freaking cool rocker, and then you’ve had kids. Not that your music has changed tremendously. It’s still very moving. But I’m curious to see internally if there’s been a shift inside of you and the music to create since you’ve had kids.

AD: Yes, I’m sure, there’s been so many shifts. Life keeps knocking you one direction or another, and then you have a slightly new direction with every knock. Kids are a big one, I imagine. I think in a big sense, I have a kind of balance in my life how that I didn’t before my family. I used to just be all about my work. And bringing people joy through music is very rewarding.

I noticed that, especially now that I have kids and I get deep into mom mode, you know, when I’m home and I can’t even remember what it is I do or why, and then suddenly I feel—I just did my first little tour since having our second baby, and I’m suddenly back on stage again going, “Wow! This is my job! Holy cow! This is awesome!” It strikes me anew that this just happened, that these songs went out there and found people and drug them to my shows.

It’s just about 25 years later and we’re still getting together, me and the audience, exchanging all kinds of ideas and making each other stronger and happier and getting that feeling of community going and affirmation and all of that stuff. Like you said, a lot of the same stuff is happening. I have that balance that, if I have a terrible night on stage, I’m not going kick myself for a week. I’m going to go back to my kid and go, “Hey, I didn’t drown the kid,” so it puts it all in perspective.

It makes me more grounded. You can sort of hear, just [in] the sound of my voice in my last few recordings as opposed to the early days, it’s just a whole other person singing. I think I’m more grounded because of my family. Less eager. I guess the downside is when you don’t desperately need your job to save your life every day, there’s a little less energy.

CP: I wonder if it feels—like I said, the new record kind of surprised me because what it felt like to me was deeply, deeply intimate and softer. And yet, some of the songs on there are very overtly political, a couple of them on there, which is fabulous in my opinion. But overall the tone and some of those more intimate songs—of course, you’re very intimate anyway, but there was something in there that I felt had represented a shift. And you just had [your] second [child] in April, correct? Your son?

AD: Right, right, yes, that’s right.

CP: So you released this just before giving birth?

AD: No, I guess I wasn’t even pregnant yet. But now I’ve been working towards a new record. We did a session when I was six months pregnant and we’re going to do another session in a few months with the baby hanging around. So it’s definitely a different vibe for me working.

It’s great. I think the one thing is it makes better records for me. I’ve been making better records because I have to make them slower. The kids interrupt the process. That’s like—what do you call that, it’s actually way more than an interruption. They thwart the creative process, and the few moments I can get in to get myself out on the road, get myself on stage, or let alone to make a record, are few and far between.

So it makes for lots of perspective. I’ve slowed down. I don’t like throwing records into the world anymore. I think it’s like, “Oh, wow, this is why people take a year or two. To get everything right [laughs] before a release date, what a concept!” So that’s been kind of helpful for me.

CP: It’s interesting because looking back at your career, you’ve had a lot of releases.

AD: Yes, indeed.

CP: Unbelievable, you’re so prolific. And also, you’ve probably toured more than any singer/songwriter/folk musician out there. Am I correct in saying that? You have to have!

AD: I mean, I’m up there. I’m one of those touring hounds. I notice there are certain other names in this world that I always see in the live listings everywhere that I’m going and I’m also listed. Yes, a working musician in the world.

CP: What do you like about the touring aspect as opposed to—you know, many musicians now, they just go and they spruce it up and they put the gloss on it and do the studio thing, and maybe once every two years go and do something.

AD: Go sell the record, yes. To me, that’s the essence of music. Live music is the way music is intended, to be alive and happening. That is the job, that you stand and deliver on stage every night. And that’s just the most intense, rewarding, fulfilling basic kind of music, the kind of share in a moment and then it’s gone.

Tending to all those moments fascinates me because each one is different, each crowd is different, each night and the stuff that’s in the air. Taking it and making a show out of it is a really interesting challenge. Or whatever I’m made of on a given night—I could desperately want to crawl into a hole, but instead I’ve got to go out on stage and use that feeling for good, not evil. [Laughs]

It’s interesting work. I think for any artist, any performer, it kind of gets in your blood, whether you’re a stage actor or whatever. To get out there and make something out of nothing every night becomes your life’s work. At least it is for me. The albums are secondary, I would say.

CP: Right. Interesting. When do you feel that you are in your greatest power?

AD: I would say on stage, in keeping with what we’re talking about. When you can take a room of disparate energies and lasso them all together, and by the end of the show, everybody breathes in together and then exhales together—I hate to talk about it in these woo-woo terms, but sometimes I can really feel a gathering unity.

And then when we hit that, whatever that is, that peak point, it’s incredibly moving for me, too, to feel so connected with other people. I think that’s what drove me in the beginning and what continues to drive me. I need that connection as well.

CP: I was reading somewhere that you—and I hope this isn’t too forward—were not a supporter of organized religion. And yet, as you’re talking, you feel very—and as you’re singing, I feel like your channeling, in a way, in that you’ve got a very strong spirituality about you. I’m curious to see where that weaves in for you.

AD: Well, organized religion serves so many similar purposes to what we’re talking about, bringing people together and connecting them and bringing them joy and community and affirmation. If you could get the patriarchy out of all of it, I’d be down, you know? Unfortunately, my perspective as a female, the patriarchy is almost all you get these days.

It’s been so—whatever. All religions are have been for many hundreds of years the right arm of patriarchy. That’s how it’s worked in society and how it’s done its work. It’s hard to imagine any of the major global religions without patriarchy except, I think, if you go to the Far East, where you probably don’t call things like Buddhism religion, but I don’t know what I the right term is. I feel that there’s less of that patriarchal thrust, pardon the pun, and therefore attract me more.

I look at all the patriarchal religions as half the story at best. Once you get far enough from holistic health, from social balance, then I think there’s no solution. There’s no way of taking patriarchy and making peace, or taking Christianity the way it’s been designed now and creating liberation for everyone. It’s the wrong tool, I think.

CP: Yes. Well, you definitely touched on something here that is very core to Emerging Women and our conference, Emerging Women Live. And it’s about really pushing forward and helping make room for the feminine perspective in positions of leadership and influence. I see, a lot of times, women, whether they’re climbing the corporate ladder or their starting a business, they take on the inherited success structure. And I’ve been guilty of this myself. We start working like men and we have this swagger and the energetic component, and we stuff the feminine parts of ourselves down.

AD: Right. The relationships become deprioritized and the bottom line, or whatever it is, for whatever business, the goal—it’s interesting. It’s funny, I’ve been a feminist my whole life, I imagine, because I was raised by my mom. But the trick of really dealing with patriarchy becomes more and more captivating, to me, more and more interesting, more and more challenging.

Now that I’m in my 40s, people sometimes ask me, “So, really, you’re still talking about feminism? Is there nothing else that you could [talk about]?” But for me, it becomes more and more elusive and urgent, the idea that we really need to go back to the fundamental imbalance because it’s all-pervasive, like you say. It influences everyone in the society because it’s the structure that we have to work within and think within. It’s the language that we’re speaking.

Recently I read a book called The Alphabet Versus the Goddess. It changed my life. [It’s an] incredibly powerful book by this fellow named Leonard Shlain, and it talks about not just how our language is constructed, but the fact that we have written language has dictated the left brain reinvention of the world. As human beings, we invented this incredibly huge, shining object called the written word that changed the course of history for every living thing on the planet because it enabled us to rewrite history, to rewrite reality, to create our own reality through this mechanism of the written word.

And he talks about this great shining object—everything casts a shadow. And the shadow he looks at is patriarchy. It’s the masculine left brain. As it took over the world, the masculine viewpoint—the linear, the monofocus, all of the things that are left-brained, the logic that is the masculine side of our nature—is completely in control. This was like, “Finally somebody—after a lifetime of contemplating patriarchy and feminism, its antidote, and how do I fit into this and how do you get out of here and how did we get here, here’s a person who presented an argument that I find very compelling.”

It’s interesting. Here is this thing that I use every day, language, that I love, that I use as a tool of liberation and so many have, communicating what I desperately want to communicate inside of me and try to get out of that situation of being a round peg in a square hole. And yet, here it is, this very same thing may have kicked it all off, the patriarchal era, which I find so interesting.

So I think we really have to get back to basics and address patriarchy. We have to really, really step back from ourselves. I think it’s actually a social and political prerequisite to solving all the other social and political diseases.

CP: Totally. I think what you’re saying is fascinating in light of what you had said before. You seemed to really be into connection, for instance, and you were saying people are forgoing relationship in favor of the bottom line. Relationship and connection and intimacy—and I’m talking about true connection, not business collaboration, which is a different feel—[and] true connection, that’s where women and the feminine, that’s like home base for us.

And I don’t know that it’s so based on language. It’s more based on intuition and [feeling] and energy. Like when you get up on stage, it’s not just the lyrics that you’re saying, it’s the whole vibe that you’re channeling that people can tune into. I think as that rises, the people who are really dependent on the black and white of the language—and I think this is happening now—they’re getting confused and they don’t understand and [they say,] “What are you talking about?”

So I don’t know if you feel like you’re on to a shift that’s happening now that is leaning a little bit more toward connection and intuition and things like that, or if that’s something that’s sort of conceptual.

AD: Well, I feel like I have been something of a typical female in my life in that I’ve always prioritized relationships in this way that the traditions of male psychology or science, it’s sort of an aberration. The feminine mindset, where maybe you don’t do as good on your math test because you’re more concerned about some relationship that’s happening, [like] you don’t want to do better than your friend because she’ll feel bad. Women’s minds just work differently.

I think that I’ve definitely been in a recording studio situation where I’m aware that I’m way more focused on this other person that is in this situation with me and interacting with them or something’s going on with them than I am with the bottom line of what’s getting recorded for posterity. I’ve definitely realized that along the way, I’ve been focused on the moment and the people around me, and that’s not always expedient when making records. You should be focused on what comes out when you press play. So I tried to steer myself more in that direction.

And this book, The Alphabet Versus the Goddess, to bring it up again, it actually ends on a very hopeful note, which is so terrific because I buy it so much. He talks about the modern age that we’re in now, with this technology and everything, is actually reactivating our right brains, i.e. the feminine within all of us. Looking at images [is] the providence of the right brain, and even the fact that when we write now, it’s generally on a keyboard and we’re using both our right and left hands, which activates both sides of our brain as opposed to [just] the right hand, which is directly connected to the left hemisphere and has defined so much of history.

So I don’t know, I’m hoping that it’s true what Leonard proposes, that we are moving into a more balanced era, where the right brain is also at work in the world and therefore the feminine in our nature will gain in power.

CP: Yes. What do you think—I mean, you’ve been there from the beginning, it seems like, 25 years of feminist folk singing and Righteous Babe records. I’m curious to see how you would explain the trajectory of feminism from our past—and you could [even] take it back to women’s suffrage—to what the opportunity is today.

AD: Well, sure, I’d love to! [Laughs] How often do people want to talk about feminism in this world, you know? Not very much these days. Even young women who I think believe in their own self-determination are not necessarily connecting it or using the word “feminism” or “feminist” to describe themselves. They’re not necessarily connecting their struggle with other women, and that’s unfortunate.

I think we’ve had a few generations now of being taught that feminism is ugly and boring and humorless and hairy and scary and bad. So I think a lot of young females are not identifying with it, which is artificial and unfortunate. Because at this point, like you were saying, it’s time to evolve our idea of feminism to understand that it’s not just for empowering young women. It’s so much more than equal pay for equal work or safety from violence against women in the home or on the street.

It is about addressing patriarchy. It is about curing the social imbalance that leads to all of our problems, I think. It’s about recognizing that feminism is not just a tool to empower women, but to create peace on Earth. I think the destruction of the environment, the hierarchical relationship of human beings—country against country, race against race in this sort of totem pole of power—all of that are tenants of patriarchy. Domination and submission.

And until we really start getting into the patriarchy that exists that underlies all of the structures, all of the ways that we think, all of the ways that both men and women are working in the world, we can’t approach the environment or a multiracial society or all of the other things that we need to address in a new way. So it’s all about going back and using feminism—another very powerful book for me was written probably decades and decades ago now, it’s called In a Different Voice, by Carol Gilligan. And it talks about the fundamental difference in psychology, [which] we were hinting at earlier, between male and female.

You just look at the way children play from the beginning. Girls play one-on-one and boys play in groups. So girls are learning things along the way like, “Well, your reality is totally different from your reality. And when I play with you, we have this little world. And when I play with you, we have a different little world.” Meanwhile, the boys are off in a big group saying, “We need one rule that can deal with all of us at once. We need rules of the game and we’re going to organize in groups. We’re going to make one reality.”

And both are totally legitimate and necessary things for little humans to play at and to learn how to do to create things like governments and societies. But then the female perspective, all of this stuff that we learn along the way, it has no place in the world to manifest. For instance, believing in freedom of choice in women’s reproductive freedom. If you ask a female, they can understand inherently how one person’s reality does not apply to another person’s reality in every situation.

You can have your feeling about things like abortion. You can be totally against it and it can be a wrongness in your life and in your world, and that is absolutely your choice and you have that power and should have that choice. But to project it onto somebody very different from you can often be a mistake. These [is] the feminine knowledge.

CP: Intuition. Deep wisdom

AD: Right, deep wisdoms that we need to get out and working in our society. That’s kind of a long-winded way of saying I just feel more and more compelled to talk about patriarchy and feminism and how we can use them in more context than just the liberation of women.

CP: What’s interesting, just in terms of the conference of Emerging Women Live, is the women that are coming are physicians and policy makers and young entrepreneurs, women in their 60s that are having a reemergence in their business. We have people in technology, singers and artists. It’s basically cross-sector, and they’re very, very passionate about what we’re calling a new kind of feminism, where femininity is having a role instead of the old feminism, which was more about policy.

The old feminism, we needed those policies, and in order to get that shit done, you’ve got to drive. We’ve got to drive. But now there’s a new wave of desire among women that is less about that policy making—of course, that factors in, and we need to have those discussions—but it’s also more about this new energy that’s coming that’s blending the two. I feel like that’s an opportunity [and] I’m curious to see if you wanted to comment on that.

AD: Yes, that’s a really good point. I think you answered your question better than me. Exactly, when you’re trying to get women the right to vote or the right to drive a car or something, you have to make the argument [that] women are no different from men. They’re as capable of steering a car or making a choice for a political leader as a man. And this argument [was] needed to be made for many generations, “Women are just as good as men, or we are no different. We can also X, Y, Z,” in order to get these basic rights.

But I think you were exactly right that another way that feminism need to evolve is to say, “OK, now we’re just going to stand back and say we’re not the same.” We needed to make the argument of how much we are the same all this time to get from A to N. But now to get from here to Z, we have to actually change the way we’re approaching it and say, “Actually, men and women are very different.” And it’s those differences now that we need to focus on. It’s the suppressed feminine in all of us that we need to liberate, that we need to empower, and we need to understand what is missing in our human nature.

Where is that elusive illusive feminine that is getting marginalized, excluded, and hammered into something else in our modern society? We need to go back and find the feminine in ourselves and its intentions, its motivators, its meanings and set those free. Very good point.

CP: What’s interesting about this is that there seems to be a feeling of emergence happening with regards to specifically feminine energy. I know you’re talking about patriarchy, and I’m going to bring up capitalism here now. The thing I love about capitalism is the whole dependence on the supply and demand, and I do believe that the world is demanding a more feminine approach to how we lead and how we make decisions.

And so I feel this energy is rising and there’s something happening with women feeling courageous. I don’t know about you, but in my world, all these women friends I have are making unbelievably courageous decisions about their lives. They’re not compromising anymore, and they’re saying, “I’m not going to compromise, this is who I am and this is how I want to live.”

And I just feel it happening on a mass scale. So I’m feeling hopeful that we can course-correct the over-masculinization that we’ve seen in our society. And I’m curious to see where you are on the Richter scale of hope.

AD: I feel hopeful, too. It doesn’t hurt that we live in the great feminist experiment society.

CP: Right? [Laughs]

AD: I don’t know if I’d be feeling so hopeful in Afghanistan or whatever right now. So yes, this is the job of our society here, to try and push, to keep pushing further into balance between the sexes. I, like yourself, am surrounded by courageous women. I’ve made a point of populating my life with the most awesome women I can find, and it does keep me hopeful.

As much as it’s talked about, America’s great gift to the world of democracy, it’s questionable how we wield that self-perception and it’s questionable how democratic our democracy is at any given moment. But when I look at America, I see [that] we certainly have great gifts to offer the world, and I think feminism is probably the top of the pile. If only we were in Afghanistan supporting the women’s movements that you know are there, the women who are fighting for liberation behind the Muslim curtain. I feel like if we could spread just that in our culture, the fact that women need to have self-determination, that, I think, would be a liberating gift to bring.

And again, just support what the women are doing there. I don’t even know what it is, but they know what they need. And if only that is way we could intervene, I think that would be huge. That really is one of the very few things that we have created socially here that has hope in it.

CP: Yes. We had a speaker that was supposed to be flown in from Afghanistan. She’s a young woman, she’s 24, and she’s a CEO of a technology company.

AD: Wow.

CP: She’s amazing. She was named by TIME magazine as [one of] the top 100 most influential people in the world. And she is an Afghan young woman who uses all of the proceeds of her company to start special schools of technology for women and young girls. We’re live-streaming our event in Boulder coming up, [and] if you donate to the live stream, 50 percent of all of the donations go to her organization in Afghanistan.

So I hear you on the Afghanistan [issue]. Unfortunately, she was not awarded a visa. She applied several months in advance and they didn’t give her a visa to come and speak. So I think it’s imperative that we support especially those regions. So I’m with you there.

I wanted to just take another—as we’re getting a little bit closer to the end here—tact. Part of Emerging Women is having women really feel confident that they can have a voice in their future, women all over the world. But there’s also an energy in emergence and emerging.

It’s not just for young women who are emerging for the first time. We have many emergences in our lives, and they’re markers of when we feel truly aligned with our truth and we’re able to make those courageous decisions. I’m curious, personally, for you, if you could share with us a couple of those emerging points in your life and just tell us a little bit about how they were for you and what they meant.

AD: Well, I guess I’m so known for the young emergence, when I started writing songs and getting out there. It was all about a young female trying to elbow space for herself in the world and trying to deal with the tower game every day.

And now I’m 43, and I’ve got a couple of kids. Definitely I would say that pregnancy and birth—that experience was life-changing and again put me in touch with my relationship to other women, with my female-ness. There’s nothing like going for that ride to really deeply empathize, once again, with other women, with what they go through.

Just the act of giving birth is like one of those radical—I mean, anybody will tell you, anybody, certainly, who’s a parent, and probably people who are not yet will say, “Wow, that’s just a miracle. It’s the one miracle that you can actually just make happen.” [Laughs] You can do it if you’re female. You can observe it if you’re male. And it’s life-changing for each.

I think anything that radical and the sense I got from it was when you’re in that primary a place of creating a new life, you are part of nature. You’re not the overlord, you’re not the leader, you’re not in control. You’re nature’s subject, and you are part of something much bigger than yourself. I think the fact that women, no matter how much they play the patriarchal game or how high they rise in this society, if you get pregnant and you have a baby, you’re pulled right down to square one. You’re nature’s tool and you’re working in conjunction.

You’re not in control and you have to accept so many things. You have to sacrifice so many things. You have to take so many risks. And then you just literally have to open yourself up, literally and emotionally. And it’s very humbling, and I think, once again, it’s like I’ve been through another very female experience, and it’s taught me things, of course, like any experience [does]. And I think here are more lessons that need to be at work, that need to be evidenced in society. Instead, of course, the culture around pregnancy and birth is very much of patriarchal control.

CP: Oh, yes. I mean, that’s a whole other podcast! [Laughs]

AD: Oh, yes, seriously, right. Don’t get us started! So it opened my eyes to this whole other realm in which—I tell you, I wonder sometimes if it wouldn’t be better to be in Afghanistan giving birth, because I’ll bet you there the women go and take their knowledge of thousands of years of attending each other’s births, and I bet you they do it without machines and without control. I bet you that in any society that is at least traditional enough that women are still in control of the birthing process and helping each other, I think that’s a great benefit to where we are.

So anyway, that just opened up a whole other way for me to grow in my thinking and in my feminism, more things to think and write about. Definitely, I think that giving birth is meant to be a rite of passage for women in which if you have not been a feminist or been connected to other women deeply before then, that’s when you do it. That’s when it’s supposed to happen, when you need your fellow women to come and help you through this thing. That’s a very natural rite of passage that, again, is made very unnatural and somewhat thwarted in our society, therefore making women less connected to each other, less helpful to each other, less close to each other in the overall society. So that was another big one, for sure.

CP: Yes. For our last question, just keeping this thread, you know, then, considering you mentioned those two emergences and how powerful they can be, [that] they can also be scary. There’s a lot of unknown and mystery and trust that has to be conjured up to get through it, in conjunction with incredible super-power feelings. There will be many women coming to this conference that will be in that energy. When a women is on the precipice of an emergence, what would be your advice to her?

AD: Well, against all odds, against all examples that you see around you, trust yourself. Trust that voice. That’s how I want to respond when I see so many instances of, again, if it’s somebody trying to take a women’s reproductive freedom away. You’re showing a complete lack of trust in her, that she can make these decisions for herself. Or when you’re trying to—whatever, the ways that females are controlled in this world.

To emerge into yourself, to find your own voice, you have to trust in it, even if nobody around you is. There’s such a power in that. I think that maybe just my will to do that for myself has been what has inspired other people through these songs along the way. But no, I think something else. I don’t know exactly what it is. I’m trying to hone in it. But I know that that doesn’t feel right to me. I’m going to trust this voice, I’m going to follow it down a path a mystery.

Like you say, I didn’t have this grand plan of, “Make a record company and da, da, da, and in 10 years, it will be great.” I didn’t have some plan. I just trusted in my instincts along the way and it led me down a unique path. I think if there’s anything I can offer other women, other people in general, it’s to do that. Find your own voice and follow it. It is trustworthy.

CP: Cool. Well, thank you so much, Ani. This has been a real gift here today. We’re very much looking forward to seeing you in just a few days.

AD: Yes, really soon! Well, thank you. I relish the opportunity to talk about things that are important to me. Not every conversation is [like] that.

CP: Great. I’m glad we got to explore it.

AD: Cool. All right, I’ll see you soon!

CP: Yes, thank you!