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Tobacco Tuesday – 6/4/13

June 4, 2013

I’m learning how to be an open introvert. My friend Charlie once told me, “Open people open people.” Though this has been some of the wisest words anyone has ever told me, I completely despise them because being open isn’t really a forte of mine. I’m an introvert.

But, I’ve recently realized that being open doesn’t necessarily mean talking all the time, or sharing all the time. It’s being who you are within, but outside of yourself.

And in my quest to be a more open person, I confused myself. I was trying hard to be someone else and in turn doing the exact opposite. But, it’s okay to be a man of few words. That’s who I am. I’m a quiet person within. I’m a listener, a thinker, and a dreamer.

I was missing the point. It’s not my quietness that’s at times  the issue, it’s when I’m trying too hard not to be.

I’ve realized I just need to relax and stop putting pressure on myself to be good, or social, or talkative or whatever.

It’s kinda like teeing off in golf. I just need to clear my mind, focus, and relax. Once I start trying too hard to hit the perfect shot, I swing too hard and shank it or miss the ball entirely (I’m not a very practiced golfer).

I just need to be more in the moment and relaxed like I am when I’m alone. Calm and comfortable.

There’s such a thing as being quietly open.

 

I think we’re too sensitive as a culture. Sometimes I’m afraid to open up to people simply because I know they’ll disagree. How stupid is that? Why are we so afraid of disagreement?

We’re becoming divided by the second and we’re divided over the shit that doesn’t really matter all that much. We’re not divided because for some reason (cough, the media, cough) we’ve become afraid of the oppositions.

 

WARNING, ANOTHER SPORTS ANALOGY.

 

As an alumni of the Wyoming Cowboys, I highly doubt that I will get tarred and feathered for telling a Colorado State alumni that green, white, and gold are stupid school colors and brown in gold is way better. If something as meaningless and insignificant as the fact that we disagree on the aesthetic of each other’s school colors is what is dividing us, we don’t stand a chance of ever having a real conversation.

But, this is why I love sports. They teach us things about life – things we keep forgetting to apply to real life – but that’s for another blog.

Growing up an obsessive Phoenix Suns fan, I could go up to a San Antonio Spurs fan and tell them how much I resent them for repeatedly using their black magic to knock the Suns out of the playoffs before my hero Steve Nash could win a title. Any time this has happened though, (it hasn’t happened often, cause I’ve never lived a place full of San Antonio Spurs fans), we end up laughing about it. We argue about the legitimacy of those bullshit victories – like when Nash was body checked by Robert Horry in game four of the 2006 Western Conference Finals  and half the Suns team got suspended for the pivotal Game 5 for taking one step forward onto the court, or when Nash’s face wouldn’t stop bleeding so he couldn’t play the last three possessions in the 2007 Conference Semi-Finals, or when seven-foot Tim Duncan makes his first three pointer of the season to send game 1 into a second overtime where the Spurs won – HIS FIRST THREE POINTER OF THE SEASON.

You know what though? We both love the conversation and reminiscing those times – something we each experienced, but entirely in opposition. We learn from one another.

My roommates love to argue and often times nearly fight about the who’s better, Lebron James of Michael Jordan, argument. But it actually brings them closer together even though their stubbornness always draws their argument further and further apart from agreement.

I can go talk to someone about how much I Bob Dylan, and if that person hates Bob Dylan, we will probably get into an argument about it. But, we’re not going to hate each other for having different opinions. I’m not going to hide my love for Bob Dylan (the Shakespeare of songwriting I might add) just because he disagrees with me. And then he or she can offer some music that I may not like or have not given a fair shot like he never gave Dylan a free shot. Because if he had, he would undoubtedly appreciate him…

So, why can’t we do this about stuff that actually matters? Why can’t we apply the lessons we learn from sports, and music, and movies, etc.to the real life? Why can’t we accept our differences and use them to grow together like so many sports, music, movie, and literature fans do?

I think it’s time we start.

To start opening up to one another and actually listening.

Let’s quit putting so much pressure on ourselves to be right all the time, and just relax and take it how it comes.

Let’s accept our differences and use them as opportunities for love rather than hatred.

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