Class Clown

Welcome to my therapy session. Glad to have you here. I have been ruminating lately on something. Maybe it is my INFP coming through and giving the uncanny superpower of looking at something in the past and dissecting the 100s of scenarios over and over. I dunno.

But here is my thought. Most of life is about what energy you show up with. The things you experience, the relationships you make, the outlook you have, all boil down to the energy you show up with.

Now here is where the therapy comes in. I was a rather rambunctious child. I was always tagged as the “class clown.” And while I may have been, I am not sure there is a more well-intentioned but destructive identity you can give a kid.

A teacher’s job is probably one of the toughest out there, so this isn’t a hit piece. Especially on a dollar per hour basis, but that is another talk show. And one of the toughest reasons is kids like me. I was the witty kid who got the class distracted, and turned all of the kids against my teacher at will, in a Lord of the Flies style way.

So I get where my teachers were coming from. And at some point, they wore me down. I stopped. I fell in line.

Now sure, you may look at this and say, “nice job teachers!” And as a parent myself, I don’t want my kid to be the one disrupting class and get the daily report of “she had a bit of trouble listening today.” That is embarrassing.

But I still stand by my “well-intentioned but destructive identity” comment above.

The problem was not the goal (a quiet class who could pay attention and learn in a constructive cohesive way), it was what teachers perceived “accomplished” their mission. They stifled out the energy.

I was disruptive, and I am sure I made it really hard for Lucy and Luke to learn. And for that, I apologize and hope Lucy and Luke are doing well. I just wish I was taught to harness my energy rather than stamp it out.

Now I could be spinning this whole thing into a nothingburger of a truth. A simple story, one of many I tell myself to validate where I see myself today. But I think it holds a little water.

When I look at how I gather experiences, create relationships, or develop my outlooks in life, when I approach them with that almost child like energy I had as a class clown, they are far richer. When I approach them with a stoic mindset (and this is not a knock on stoicism, as I am an active card carrying member), they are flat lined and fizzle.

I wish I was taught to harness.

I look at one of the close friends we have in our GFW crew, Robb, and I am amazed by his ability to control his energy. The guy can turn it up to 11 on a whim, and the next second turn it back down to a 1 and be ready to have a deep connecting conversation. He can light up your world and create relationships better than most people can brush their teeth (not a great comparison because a lot of people are putting dentists’ kids through college at alarming rates).

Sure. I am guessing his energy gets him in to trouble at times. But it helps him far more than it hurts him. And I am positive he is continually refining what level he brings to every situation.

100% of the time I am fishing with Robb, walking the river banks, I know that I am going to have meaningful conversations, actually learn about something as trivial as pine trees, and “laugh my fucking ass off!” (his words, not mine). He brightens almost every situation he is in because of his energy.

But, back to me, this is my therapy session, after all. I notice when I approach a situation as shitty and boring as deciding what meal to cook for the family, I can doom it before I even start. See what I did there? I approached it with this low energy “I hate this” mentality. And the experience is tainted from there.

However, if I approached it from my “Robb point of view” (and I have never seen him prepare a meal for his family, so I have no idea if this is how he would do it), I would be saying things along the lines of “How fricken cool is it that we get to cook stuff today?! Do you know how cool it is that we can get natural gas in to our house, and the physics of how much gas comes into the stove to make just the right amount of heat?! How cool is it that we have parsnips, or pastinaca sativa as I know them by, at our grocery stores?!” Just reading that makes me more likely to enjoy the experience.

So as I think about this, I know I need to bring more energy at times. And to my Latin wife’s family, who think I am probably mute and deaf, they would probably say I need to bring more energy all the time.

To do this, I will have to just “turn it up to 10”, which admittedly will probably only be like turning it up to 3. If you don’t use it you lose it amirite?! I will have to let the cat out of the bag. Let my personality free, and mold it into the class clown I know I can be.

And with that, I am going to probably over do it at times. Maybe I will turn some people off. Maybe I will lose a few deals. But I will adapt and learn to harness it. Build it back up to break it back down.

Our hour of therapy together is about up for the day, but I think we made some good progress. When something in your life isn’t going well, you feel pretty ho hum about having to go out to dinner with your wife’s best friend, or you just don’t feel like doing that basic daily habit (see putting dentist’s kids through college above), just change the amount of energy you bring to a situation. Learn to harness it.

Oh and quit killing class clowns. We need more Robb’s in the world.

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