Cue up the AC/DC, boys and girls! I’m back!
So it’s been a few months. First off, I’m glad to see you’re all doing well but let’s be real, I’m just glad you’re all back to shower me with views and accolades about letters in patterns that I put on the interwebz because it makes me feel good and I love attention (and SLIGHT sarcasm… but I mean… attention’s kinda my thing too).
So I’m back. And it’s good to be home. So that’s where I’m gonna make a segue…
(GET IT? GET IT?!?! I’ve been watching a LOT of Arrested Development… sorry for the pun)
The past few months have been pretty awesome as I’ve started to explore a ton of things about life, writing, nerding, soccer, and myself and a through-line that began to emerge is this idea of “Home.” Now this is not to say that Home is not where my family is (because it is) but I’ve come to realize (or I’ve maybe just DISCOVERED) that my Home encompasses a whole lot more than where Mom and Dave live.
The concept has begun to feel like a living, breathing entity more than a simple building. It’s taken on the form of a worn in spot on the left hand cushion of my best friend’s sofa, the chat window on Facebook belonging to my other best friend that is filled nearly daily with some of the best conversations I’ve ever had, any place my brother is, and any place there is soccer. It doesn’t stop there as all things living will eventually grow and expand and change.
I make no secret some of the stuff I’ve wrestled with over the past few months, specifically a feeling of “displacement” as well as a struggle with defining myself to a set term or word to explain something. So, like all writers and creators who come up against a brick wall, I started to find ways around it and explore “the scenic route.” For the first time in a loooooooong time, the long way around felt like it was the RIGHT way.
I’ve developed some of the best friendships I have had in my life (even though sometimes, there can be patches of turbulence) and even learned to be a bit more patient – instead of worrying, finding things that matter me to put my attention and effort into. And, of course, I’ve found the one community that has truly felt like a community or a home for strange, weird, slightly-off-kilter, me.
The most recent thing I’ve been involved in has been the formation of a brand new chapter of the American Outlaws (USA Men’s National Team [Soccer] Supporters) – this time, in Iowa City. In the space of two games (and a span of barely more than a week), I’ve been blessed to meet scores of new people and be in two different bars in Iowa City where the world basically stopped when the US scored. Everybody is different and everybody comes to the community from different histories, pasts, and backgrounds and the most amazing thing about it is that our uniqueness feeds our camaraderie and our camaraderie makes us Family. Just like how I have discovered that my idea of Home is more than just a building, Soccer in America is more than just the game (and more than “just soccer”). It’s a common bond, a Crest to wear over your heart, a flag to fly high, a bar stool to stand on and sing, and the people you meet who love it as much as you.
… This is where I’m supposed to put the Chapter Picture of all of us, right? So about that… we all forgot (for the second game in a row) to take one so NEXT Tuesday, I’ll be either putting up a new post or just editing this one with the picture we’ll get there… sorry about that one.
Through the turbulence, the fun, the not so fun, and the everything in between of the past few months, I’ve found myself in a place where the things I once had concrete ideas of are being entirely redefined and I think that’s something to take away from the whole of Life for everyone. Nothing is ever as simple as we try and make it and the moment we open ourselves and our minds up to that fact, we begin to find the truly special things that we will carry on for years to come.
To the soon-to-be Founding Members of the American Outlaws: Iowa City Chapter, I am Proud to be counted among you. To all Outlaws, Emerald City Supporters, Green Brigade members, and soccer fans/players/coaches in general, I thank you. I wrote in a post for a friend’s blog about how I feel I’ve finally come Home. Thank you all for letting me walk into my Home to find a party already going!