If I had a nickle for every time someone looked at me like I was crazy, implied I was crazy, or actually straight up said I was crazy, I still wouldn’t be a rich man – but I would probably try to get more people to think I was nuts, just so I could make a bit more change.
In my travels, people often ask me what I am doing. It’s a fair question.
It’s when I answer that people, more often than not, are a little puzzled. Why would you come here of all places? Why don’t you just play footie back in the states? Well, then, what do you do for a living…like actually?
Most frequently people think I’m here to study. I’ll tell them I am here just to play soccer and a few weeks later they ask me what or where I’m studying again. “Ah yes!” I say, “I am a student of the game.”
I’ve created a few different tailored stories that try to make my exploits sound a bit more feasible and, well, normal. Even then, I know many people still leave with the impression that I’m crazy. Alright let’s face it, people thought that well before I came to England.
I was thinking about it the other day and I’ve come to the conclusion that I may have already embraced the notion. The idea of insanity has always been intriguing to me. I have always been drawn toward things that involve a theme of craziness.
Take music, for instance; a few years ago a song came out by Gnarls Barkley called “Crazy”. Loved it! To this day, it’s still one of my favorites.
A few weeks ago, I hopped on Netflix and a movie popped up called “Seven Psychopaths“. Had to watch it. Probably wasn’t a classic and not everyone’s cup of tea, but personally, I couldn’t help but enjoy it.
There was a book as well that I kept coming across called “The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry“. Had to read it. No surprise, I found it fascinating. I would actually recommend this one, it’s a fun read. You’ll be labeling all your friends and family only a few chapters in.
If you experience something crazy, you want to share it with people. Who wakes up in the morning and comes to breakfast with wonder in their eyes and says “I had the most normal dream last night”…and then proceeds to tell you about it (alright, we all have that friend).
What is it that draws me to this stuff? Curiously, it’s probably a quest for a thread of sanity. There is a certain peace in doing something crazy. Knowing that experienced something a little out of the ordinary is strangely relieving and calming.
I’ve been thinking about it and came to the conclusion that I should embrace a little bit of craziness in my life. So, I created a little motto in my head that would fit that lifestyle: “Do something crazy everyday”. The goal of this motto is to challenge myself to do something unknown, challenging, embarrassing, kind, or even bizarre that I wouldn’t normally do.
Examples might include; singing in public, going on a walk in the rain, just to get wet, chatting with a beggar instead of just dropping loose change in his cup, trying an outrageous trick in training, complimenting a stranger out of the blue, volunteering for a day, making someone a meal for no reason, trying to cook something new, wearing some funky clothes, etc and so on. It doesn’t have to be actually insane, but just something that feels a little crazy and out of the ordinary for me.
If I’m honest, I haven’t completely adopted this practice yet, its hard to commit to…and let’s face it, it’s a bit crazy. It’s also a challenge because you have to be very creative in your crazy act for the day. Sometimes you could plan ahead, or other times you could be inspired in a moment. However, you can’t just keep repeating the same things, because then it ceases to be crazy for you.
For the record, there’s no denying that there are levels of crazy that go beyond reason and rationale and lead to destruction. Despite the fact that I find them fascinating, I don’t care to personally experience those echelons of insanity. I simply wonder at them from a safe distance.
Live update: I’m currently sitting in a coffee shop trying to finish up this post and I’m coincidentally observing a pretty curious scene. It’s like the crazy is coming to me as I write! Aside from the Barista and I, there is an old man and a young couple in love. For some reason, in an empty, but spacious cafe, the couple and the old man are sitting on the same wall bench about 8 feet apart. The old man – who could easily play the part of the prophet of doom in some creepy thriller – is alternating between napping, reading the paper, and then snoring; seemingly unfazed by the glaring affection of the young couple nearby. Side by side and in a constant state of awkward embrace, they loudly whisper sweet nothings in one another’s ear. In the midst of this scene, I can’t help but wonder; who’s the crazy one here?
Changing tangents completely from that special moment, I’d like to mention something from my mission trip in St. Lucia. The priest in charge of our mission, the wonderful Fr. Gerry, gave a homily one day that had a curious twist. His preaching style was very exuberant, charismatic, inspiring, and quite entertaining at times.
In this particular homily, Fr. Gerry put his hands out as if on the cross and stated “Jesus is crazy!” We all looked back at him with a look that surely gave the impression that we believed him to be the crazy one. However, as he explained himself – merely by recounting the things Jesus did that were out of the ordinary…you know like charity and sacrifice – it became clear what he meant. It’s that kind of crazy, we can strive toward.
When ordered towards the good, crazy can be inspirational, crazy can be revolutionary, crazy can work wonders!
So, maybe I am crazy, but if crazy can change me, if crazy can make a better, kinder, stronger, smarter, more fascinated, more appreciative, more helpful, and maybe even more revolutionary, then I don’t mind at all.
At the end of the day, the struggle is making sure that I can order my craziness toward the greater good. Crazy is no good when it’s primary purpose is to put the self on a pedestal. That kind of crazy will score you high on the “Psychopath Test”. Crazy is good when it can make the world a brighter, more hopeful and more joyful place to live.
Go ahead then, take the risk and do something crazy today. If you feel like it, tell me about it, I could use some support here!
For now, I’m still developing my special brand of crazy both on and off the field. On the field, I’ve had a break in games – which is driving me crazy – and so there is not much to report, but I’m crazy enough to keep on going. I’ve actually been really enjoying the work I’ve been putting in on the field recently and I’m confident it will pay off!
Stay crazy my friends!