Election night is upon us.
And as everyone else is crowded around their TV screens watching to see whether the red or blue will prevail, here I sit…errr, lounge in my bed, surrounded by an abundance of pillows watching Love & Basketball. (Yeah, I know you’re jealous)
I feel like this moment describes so much of my life.
I don’t know if I’ve trained my mind to do it as I’ve gotten older, or if it’s solely an “out of sight, out of mind” principle. Either way, I know this: I can’t really tell you much of what’s going on in this thing we call the “real world.” Yes, this is sad and shameful, but the fact that I admit and acknowledge my ignorance of such makes it a little better, right? Yet, if you ask me my take on Rick Reilly’s new article or how I feel about an NBA trade, I will probably go into a long rant about the good, the bad, how I’m indecisive and can’t pick a side in the matter, and how the person with better character (and smaller paycheck) is almost always who I’ll side with. (I’m a sucker for the underdog, not the superstar*, what can I say?)
*Blake Griffin and Gronk are obvious exceptions here
Anywho, back to the point. I live in a world where my “real world” revolves around ESPN, rather than CNN. And I’m quite alright with it. Yes, I should be more well-rounded about other aspects of life and I know this. (I feel like this will change once I leave the bubble of life that is college) But why shouldn’t I invest my time in things that are interesting to me? For me, sports provide the emotion, the passion and the curiosity that politics and banking and CEO-ing invoke in other people. We’re all different. That’s how it’s supposed to be. Might as well embrace it.
Well it’s that time of year again. The season of heartbreak and triumph. Guts and glory and shattered dreams. The time of year when all that has happened in the past no longer matters. You’ve only got the present, the right now. It is in these tiny moments that the meaning of many lives comes to fruition. Does the pressure make or break you? Do you conquer? Do you fail? Do you take what you have and make the best of it? And most importantly, do you believe that you can do it all?
The madness that goes down every March is something that I live for. Everybody else I know claims Christmas or their birthday to be the greatest holiday of the year, yet here I sit, glued to a tv and gametracker for a straight month, trying to convince my friends that they’ve got it all wrong. Sure, I love me some Christmas too, but it doesn’t even begin to compare in my mind. March is just too damn magical. It makes me feel like I can conquer the world. (In a figurative sense of course)
The madness may include some ridiculous “special” uniforms coughcoughBAYLORcough and some insane fans that follow their teams across the country (I will be one of them one day), but those things just go with the territory. At least that’s the conclusion I’ve come to.
Anyways, back to the real topic: BASKETBALL. The realest freakin’ basketball ever known to man. (or woman) Things happen in the month of March that are completely and utterly impossible. The underdog beats the reigning champ. The star gets injured and their team still pulls through. Point 7 seconds changes the lives of an entire fan base.
The best part about it all though? It doesn’t matter who wins and who loses. I mean, it totally does, but just hear me out. Your team could place last in the tournament or they could win the whole thing, but either way they did their job. They made an impact. On their lives, on yours, on that little kid’s sitting up in the nosebleeds. It’s what sport does. It connects you. Makes the world one. Guess that’s why I love it so much.
Enjoy your tourney watching :)
Definition: A big whole that’s made up of all the little things. Like the random stranger that holds the door open for you. The “good job today” you get from your boss. Knowing just what to say to make your roommate come out of their depressed stupor and seeing them finally crack that smile you’ve been searching for. It’s these little teeny-tiny, often overlooked moments that make it all worthwhile.
Now, I’m always a fan of the “Make someone else’s life better in order to better yours” motto, but this is different. Well, actually it’s not, but just go with it for the sake of this blog, alright? K thanks :)
So now I challenge you. Yup, I said it. Don’t be a pansy and wuss out on me. Or I’ll come meet you with the wrath of Taylor. Rawrrrrr. (Dinosaur/T-rex reference) Be intimidated people.
Anywhooo, think back on the last couple days in your life. What made you smile when you were down in the dumps? What made you stop and think, oh yeah I matter? Which text message lit up your phone and made you the awkward person on the bus that laughs in silence? Think about the big buff guy walkin’ around campus with Beats that you know was secretly jammin’ out to Adele. Picture that one person you saw that you couldn’t take your eyes off of. Recall the article you read online that broadened your knowledge on your favorite topic. Stuff that just made you think. Take all of these things. Take more than all of these things. But take them. Seize them. Thank whoever it is that you thank for them. Make these moments your life. Sure, you were insanely stressed this week. Your body exhausted. Your mind to it’s breaking point. Your need for caffeine at an unhealthy level. But guess what? You made it. And it is to those small, seemingly insignificant moments that you owe your gratitude. Those people, strangers and friends alike, made an impact on your life. And most of them will never even know. But I think that’s the beauty of it all. That’s how it’s supposed to be. Get inspired so that you can inspire others. And then those people can pass the spark of inspiration along to someone else. Then the wonderful ever-changing world we live in continues its cycle of righteousness. And that’s just somethin’ you don’t mess with.
Moral of the story: Get inspired. And make it count.
Cause I am.
What if this whole love thing isn’t a hoax after all? What if there’s someone out there that genuinely cannot be the same soul without encountering yours?
Maybe it’s just the fact that I’ve been watching Rom-Com’s all afternoon and eating everything chocolate in sight that’s got me in this “thinking like a girl” funk, but maybe, just maybe, it’s not all just a ploy to sell more movies. Maybe there are actually people out there that are deeply and hopelessly romantic. Heck, I know for a fact there are. Coughcoughmyroommatecough. But maybe I should stop viewing this as a fault in someone’s character. Maybe I should count it as a positive trait to be admired and wished for by everyone on the planet. Why, you might ask. Why have I changed my mind from “love is everything to be hated in life” to “the ability to love should be envied?” Well, it’s not really a change of heart per say, it’s more of an understanding of what (I think) that means.
People who can love have this amazing ability to be fearless in matters of the heart. I wanna be fearless in some aspect of my life; I could care less which aspect it was. See, the thing I fear most in life is failure. Failure as in inadequacy, rejection, not being good enough, yada yada yada. And I’m tending to bet that I’m not the only one out there with this monumental roadblock in their life. So what if for one second you can take that fear and pretend it doesn’t exist? What if you can cast the fear aside and have faith and hope and this so-called love thing ambush the gaping hole of once-thought protection in your heart?
Sounds kinda awesome, right? To have nothing hold you back? Actually, more like to not have your own inhibitions hold you back.
I don’t know what I’m really trying to get at here, but maybe it’s just that people that have love in their life provide a glimpse of hope for us all. They provide a view on life that skeptics can’t even begin to imagine. It can be a person, a thing, a sport, a career. It can be anything on a vast spectrum. But the ability to love is what gives us hope, romantics and non-romantics alike.
So after this long, seemingly pointless jumble of my thoughts, I leave you with a song that seems to match the mood of this post. Enjoy :)
The Longhorns won. The Pats won. But the Sox are still in a slump. And for some reason, this is affecting me more so than previous seasons.
Sure, we’ve dominated (somewhat) this season all the way up until now. All the way up until your ranking actually counts. Yes, we’ve been rattled with injury and yada yada yada, but still. The hunt for October is now underway and our boys can’t just seem to get things together. I mean, at the beginning of the season no one (at least not me) would have suspected that we’d be fighting for a WILD CARD spot. We were supposed to be a shoe-in for the playoffs! But stranger things have happened. Always do. It’s baseball after all. The one sport that screams allstar/small-town hero/american pride in a way that no other can.
Until recently I had written off baseball as simply the sport that I watched to keep me entertained until football came around again. But this summer I realized what separates baseball from the pack is the atmosphere that encompasses it. Yes, every sport has its followers, fanatics and obsess-ees, but it’s different. There’s more to baseball than just the game. There’s the ordering a hot dog from the yelling vendor. There’s the watching little kids run the bases after the game as they pretend they just hit the game winning homer. There’s the bonding with your grandpa about the greats of his time and how the retelling of a specific game brings the greatest joy to his eyes. It’s little things like this that make the sport unique. It’s what makes it a family.
No matter how many games you’ve won, or how many games you’ve lost, your family’s still gonna be sitting right next to you in that ballpark seat, singing aloud to your favorite player’s walk-up song.
There’s a quote in Fever Pitch (one of my favorite movies, in case you were wondering) that I never questioned until the end of this summer. Someone presents Jimmy Fallon’s character with a question that makes him question everything in his life at that particular moment.
“Sure, you love the Red Sox, but have they ever loved you back?”
(And of course this is the part in the movie where he says no and goes all romantic and emotional and chases after Drew Barrymore. But all of that total deters from what I’m getting at here).
Of course they loved him back! They were his team. His family. The Red Sox didn’t just consist of the names on the roster. They were made up of all the fans that flooded Yawkey Way throughout the season. They were made up of the entire Red Sox Nation that watched the games on their televisions and listened on their FM radios. The Red Sox were those little boys out in a pasture playing wiffle ball pretending they were Big Papi or Pedroia. Every last one of those people made a significant contribution to that team whether they realized it or not.
Situations such as this happen in everyone’s lives. You affect the lives of people you don’t know. And people you don’t know affect yours just the same. So open that door for the person behind you. Smile at the stranger on the street. Tell someone to have a good day, just because. It’s in these small acts that you will find out things you never knew about yourself. You will come to the realization that it doesn’t matter if you’re losing or winning, ‘cause you’re all getting the chance to play on the same field. And that in itself is what makes someone a champion.
(But if the Sox don’t make it to October, I’m still gonna be upset. Just to clarify).
Family. It’s a simple word with a lot of meaning. Is it defined by blood relation? Marriage relation? Or is it simply someone who has an emotional impact on your life?
If you’re hoping that I’m about to answer this question for you, then you can look up family in good ol’ Webster’s and be on your merry way. Because I’m sorry to tell you, I’m going to do anything but that and what I end up writing will most likely end up confusing you even more than you were in the first place. This is your Get Out of Jail Free card. Use it wisely.
That being said…
Over the past few weeks I’ve been reading classily trashy novels, experiencing small town ways and have started to come to the realization that maybe there’s this thing called family that I’ve been overlooking in my life. Now don’t get me wrong, I have nation-wide (no, not the insurance) family that is always seeming to find out bits and pieces of my life before I’ve even realized the occurrences have happened. (Thanks Gramma. Yes, the world did need to know that I had a runny nose on the third Friday in August at approximately 2pm) But it’s not the blood relative type thing that has got me thinking lately. It’s the bond people have with one another, that until recently, I never realized I was missing out on. Yes, I have AMAZING friends and I wouldn’t trade any of them for the world, but that’s not really what I’m getting at either. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that certain groups of people elude that aurora of family. You can just tell by looking at them. The way they talk to one another, the way their eyes light up when they reminisce on a story from their childhood, the way that they genuinely care for these people, despite having no “blood” relation to them at all. I want that. I envy them. I want to sit down when I’m ninety years old and watch a Red Sox game with my best friend and tell stories about how we used to travel into the city just to watch the madness erupt on Yawkey Way after a win. I want to sip on tea (theoretically) in a coffee shop halfway across the world and run into an old friend and talk for hours just catching up. I want my kids to know their neighbors. I want them to be in little league and pee wee football and make friends that they keep for the rest of their lives. I want life to be simple.
Be happy and surround yourself with happy people and everyone you know becomes family. They’re there when you need them and they’re there when you want them to leave you the hell alone. But that’s just the thing: they’re ALWAYS there. You can count on that one constant.
Now, if you know me, and I mean actually know me, you’re probably thinking who the hell is writing this because it sure can’t be the person I think it is. Well, I’m sorry to tell you, but you’re wrong on this occasion. Despite popular belief that I am indeed a soul-less ginger, I swear I have a heart hiding in here somewhere. I’m not saying it’s just chillin’ on my sleeve and is free for you to take a look at, but I promise that somewhere, hiding among the achy cobwebs of arthritis (yes, I know the heart has no joints. I’m bad at anatomy, but not that bad) it does truly exist. Just like Santa Claus.
So now that I’ve finished my indecisive (typical me) and somewhat emotionally charged (definitely NOT typical me) rant, I would just like to say thanks for listening, well reading rather, but you know what I mean. And I am ever so sorry that you still don’t know the answer to the previously posed question. But then again, maybe you do. For all of us have our own definitions of things. And that’s how it’s supposed to be.
“Ohana means family, and family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten.” You can thank the wonderful characters of Lilo and Stitch for that one :)