“the water’s sweet but blood is thicker”

Hey brother, there’s an endless road to rediscover.

That’s what I’m saying. Don’t let life get boring. Rediscover mundane things you forget to take wonder in, and find exciting. This might be our only chance at life, take it by the balls! Never let yourself become complacent; there are infinite discoveries to be made, and remade. Notice something new on the same road, path, or hallway you always take.

Hey sister, know the water’s sweet but blood is thicker.

I’ve heard that many people mistake this to mean relatives are more important than friends, but that it actually means blood shed together in battle is thicker than the water in which you reside in the womb. I can’t be sure, but I would interpret the sweet water in this song to be material or superficial offerings by those who have no stake in your life. There may be people who offer you things, money, success, their own beauty, but just remember what is more important.

The struggles you have gone through together, the friends who you have shed blood with; these are the people who have a more deep connection with you than exciting strangers who offer the world. Fame and fortune may be sweet, but never forget where you came from and who shaped you and who was by your side when it mattered. It may just so happen, as for me in many cases, that the thick blood shed also happens to be the same blood running through each of your veins.

Oh, if the sky comes falling down, for you,
There’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do.

For those whose “blood I share”, and for those with whom I’ve shed blood metaphorically. If there are those in your life who would do anything for you, I should hope you’re damn well prepared to do anything for them. All trade is not monetary. Isn’t it sad to offer your love, and get none in return? Don’t waste your energy on people who are not willing reciprocate when the sky comes falling down for you.

Hey brother, do you still believe in one another?
Hey sister, do you still believe in love, I wonder?

This is two ways of saying the same basic thing. Have we lost faith in our fellow man? Do we believe that humans are basically good or bad? Have you become disenfranchised with life, depressed by the media, disheartened by the evil capabilities you see in humanity? Is love even real, or possible? Try not to be too cynical. Believe in, or even trust your companions, but not blindly. Love, but not without receiving. Don’t blame all of humanity for a few bad people’s actions. Look for the best in people, but don’t allow them to take advantage of your good will.

What if I’m far from home?
Oh, brother I will hear you call.

You can be far from home in the only place you’ve ever lived. Sometimes it is a state of mind, and we need to help our friends come back to a good place. Or it may get back to the strangers that offer you sweet water, and then abandon you; blood is thicker and those who are truly by a person’s side will come back when they are needed. And keep in mind that people do not always ask to be helped; hearing someone’s call could be tougher than it seems in some situations.

What if I lose it all?
Oh, sister I will help you out!

Same idea, right? Losing “it all” can take many forms, doesn’t have to be monetary. I think we are pack animals to some degree, and sometimes it is tough to be alone. At least I know I have the best times with true friends, the kinds you share a figurative (maybe literal, I don’t know how you guys roll) blood pact with. And who doesn’t love cuddling? I may be getting off topic. Or maybe it’s all related?

I may have recently been nervous of being judged for writing so sentimentally, but that’s part of my new thing, doing it for me, because life’s too short to not be yourself.

Oh, if the sky comes falling down for you,
There’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do.


Song Therapy to Get Out of a Rut

I developed a strategy yesterday for mentally returning to a good place. I didn’t know I was doing it, but in the morning before work (I didn’t work until 3pm) I was very high on life, having a recent reference point from an amazing festival all last week, and found myself enjoying the moment, when 2 weeks ago work would have loomed over me negatively. And I have a pretty upbeat job selling running shoes; retail though it is, I would categorize it as generally enjoyable.

So anyway I went for a run in the high noon heat and danced to the music, sang along a few lines because thats what I wanted to do, when I would normally be like, “but what if someone sees me and thinks I’m weird?” (Though I’ve probably been holding myself back for no reason; I’m sure some people already think I’m a bit odd).

When I felt a pulse of energy or excitement, I raised my arms to the sky, breathed in deep and took it all in. I passed an older gentleman running and would have kept my head straight forward two weeks ago, but yesterday I turned, smiled, and waved. He took out his earbuds and joked, “I was young once too”, and I laughed and told him if he keeps it up he’ll stay young. I ungracefully hurdled over a lawn sign.

Afterwards I’m happy, feeling accomplished (from the run), excited about my new blog! I just so happen to love this song “Rewind” by the Rascal Flatts right now, and I inadvertently bumped it at my highest moment (keep in mind I am not talking about drugs when I say high). Here’s the song:

And I was still quite happy well into work, and it was not so much negativity as it was tiredness that hit me around 5 or 6pm. I was like, damn being happy takes a lot of energy… or running 5 miles during the hottest part of the day. One of the two.

At points throughout the day pangs of fear would rise in me, as if its scary to be excited about life. The higher you fly, the further you can fall, so what—just stay neutral? I don’t think that is the answer, I think perpetual happiness is a better goal. So I tried to ignore the negatively.

What if my blog fails: who cares, what have I lost? And worrying about it doesn’t help anyway. What if at my happiest moment, it all comes crashing down? Well, at least I was happy before. What if I am judged for what I post? I am sure I am! And the best feeling is not caring at all and doing it for me.

But sometimes just rationalizing things is not enough, because then I engage in a conversation with myself, and in doing so, allow a platform for the negativity. Okay long setup, but back to the strategy I stumbled upon. Every time I started to whistle the tune to “Rewind” I would return mentally to my happy state of mind, from the best part of my day. Singing the lyrics had an even better effect (though not wanting to scare away repressed Massachusetts customers, I limited that to the back room amidst the shoe box audience).

I don’t know, maybe there’s a psychological basis for my observation, if I have any Psychologists reading (or maybe a freshman year pschology major who knows it all, and just needs to complete the other 6 years of study as a formality). But anyway, try it out and let me know if it works for you.

It does, however, take energy to be happy, and at points yesterday I had to let myself relax, perhaps slipping into neutral. I’m expecting as I train myself it will become default to be excited about life instead of having to coax myself back into position.

I’ve never really been an unhappy person, I’ve just found that I tend to fall into a routine, and not enjoy life as much as I could. It is cool to look for opportunities to have fun in a normally mundane situation. And really there is infinite amounts of things to be excited about.

So maybe no day should be normal. If we expect our days to be the same old drudgery, they will be. But two seemingly uniform days where I write, run, then work do not have to be identical; in fact it is impossible for them to be identical. Yet it is easy to feel like you are Bill Murray stuck in Punxsutawney indefinitely. But if you look for opportunities to be excited about “the same old stuff”, I am pretty sure you’ll find them.