I am not a Cubs fan, despite residing in their home state all my life. I’m not even a sports fan. While I can watch a game and appreciate the strategy and athleticism that goes into it, I can walk away completely detached. If I were to choose a team to root for, it’s most likely going to be whoever the underdog is in a particular game. And maybe that’s why the Chicago Cubs winning the 2016 World Series has me so choked up.
Because seriously, why am I crying just watching the highlights of Game 7 and hearing the crowd go wild? I didn’t watch a single game of the World Series or any other game this year for that matter. Because I DON’T CARE. But there’s something about their story that has made their victory feel especially meaningful. There’s also something about a bunch of dudes hugging and loving on each other that, well, tugs at my heart strings. As a spectator, I can feel what it’s like for them to have failed time and time and time and time again. And that to me is what makes the reward of their championship title all the more significant even to me, a non-Cubs/sports fan.
All good stories, the ones we internalize and cherish the most, include an underdog. It seems most people tend to identify with those individuals who have been on the bottom, but after copious defeats and perhaps even because of their recurrent struggle, rose to the top. And I have to wonder if that would ever be possible if they didn’t have at least someone in their corner who believed in them to cheer them on and defend their honor even when there is no success in sight.
The Cubs team has had a lot of people in their corner for many, many years despite having been on a losing streak for more than a century! So who would the Cubs be without their devotees? It is the ultimate test of loyalty when the support one receives is not contingent upon a particular outcome; when the worth and potential of a person or team is never diminished in the eyes of their votaries.
But today, the Cubbies and their tried-and-true fans are feeling vindicated after several decades of being hated on for being the dark horse of baseball. Today, their story gives hope to all underdogs everywhere that if we believe, we can achieve.
That moment when you realize someone is not who they say they are. Or at least, you’re finally willing to admit they are who you thought they were. So really, there is no grievance to claim. Perhaps out of a need to control our fate we accept only the truths we want to be true, when what we’re shown contradicts that completely. Like a mask worn to conceal the reality underneath. Two luchadors circling the ring. And yet somehow it is the one who is defeated that must take off their mask, revealing who they truly are. So many people see that as a sign of weakness. I see it as a testimony of strength.
Photo of Luchador Huracan Ramirez courtesy of Tumblr
on the outskirts of town
right side of the railroad tracks
dreams of willow trees
flutter her imagination;
she fancies herself
riding on the lazy limbs
swaying to and fro,
but fears a hazy breeze
might cast her far below.
she recalls she
once made friends with the wind
but giving it a good gust herself
it turned away;
in revulsion maybe
it would seem not.
it takes a thousand yesterdays
to remember just one moment.
Morning traffic. Already running late. Story of my life.
But it was on this particular morning when I was sitting at a stop sign waiting to turn that I was actually able to dig into the hazy recesses of my mind, not yet responding to the caffeine I had been feeding it, to consider this idea: the way we drive our cars might be very similar to the way we shift our way through life.
I once took a dream analysis class and one thing I remember is that in dreams cars are thought to symbolize our bodies or our person. I suppose I can see how that could be; our bodies are also what transport us through this world.
While I was scoping out the scene on my morning commute, wanting to turn right but not get hit by the car/person in front of me, I noticed it looked like they were preparing to turn left because their wheels were turned that direction and they were positioned to do so. But I also observed that their right blinker was on. Well, which one is it, buster? The other driver was sending two conflicting messages: with their blinker they were telling me that they were going right, opposite of me; with their body language I thought they might try to turn directly in my path by going left. Both things can’t be true. But so as to avoid any damage, harm, and further delay, I assumed for a moment that either one could be true.
And so it is that my life seems to sometimes go, hearing what a person says, seeing what they do, finding myself on the defense because I know both can’t be true. Too much contradiction. Too little sincerity. Too much ego and not enough humility. But back to that 4-way stop…
They turned right. Then I turned right. And we both went on with our lives.
It’s easy to be loved and accepted for being flawless. Which is why… I don’t want to be flawless. I don’t care to surround myself with anyone who is only capable of believing in my inherent worth so much as I am able to remain on some pedestal. Too bad for you, Beyonce; the only way you believe you can maintain your stature is to be ‘on fleek’ at all times. Too bad you have so many fans who adore you but not a single one of them knows you. Too bad for us — your listening audience (both willing and unwilling) all across the world — your idea of being flawless is one that perpetuates a divide among the wealthy and the poor; the young and the old; the groomed and ungroomed; the capable and those incapable. By insisting on your flawlessness, you actually reveal your deepest darkest fear which *might* just be that beyond the branding of your name, you’re more liken to the dirt on the ground than the candy you apparently drip there. (Not to mention, the substance of your writing is, um, a bit lacking and the only thing even slightly intelligent or poetic about your jejune song is the speech you ripped off someone else.) Too bad you can’t embrace the beauty of imperfection or help others to do the same. #flawed
Tired of giving a shit about people
who don’t give a shit about me.
Tired of phonies
who demand their freedom
but don’t know how to be free.
It’s a real mystery
the way we live and breathe
it’s the same air we need.
right in front of me
but you don’t see
me at all.
Come on and take a walk with me–
imagine all the things you never dreamed you could be.
With all the versions of you tirelessly imitating,
come out at last and let the real you be free.