Sunday, February 26, 2012

Peanut Butter Cups

It's amazing how often things in my life begin overlapping and merging together. Some of these combinations seem as though they've belonged together all along. Despite my best efforts to ignore the synergies buried deep down, they are pungent all the same, as though they were always at my fingertips. They are like peanut butter cups, taking individually fantastic ingredients and combining them into something even better, even more enjoyable.

I enjoy, love, and am passionate about all sorts of things, some stranger than others. One thing I've wanted to do for years is to open a coffeeshop or a bar, some place to create an atmosphere of openness and community, where different people and ideas can come together and spend time together. I want to create a place where both hipster and grandpas feel welcome, where artists feel appreciated and everyone is welcome. Oddly enough, the more people I meet, the more people I find who share this same desire. Not just to create a space for conversation or community or art, but to do so in a coffeeshop setting. Perhaps not so coincidentally, these are the same people I am drawn to, who I want to spend time with.

Those people who know me best have probably gotten sick of my propensity to quote lines from films at any and all opportunities. It's a problem, to be quite honest with you. And of all the movies and movie lines I love, the one film which has long been my favorite and also the most quoted is the Shawshank Redemption. In fact, the background of my computer at work is a quote from the film. The peanut butter cup here might be a bit of a stretch, but I enjoy it nonetheless. Perhaps my favorite sports writer is an individual known as the Sports Guy, Bill Simmons. He writes for ESPN and Grantland about both sports and pop culture, and it seems like he enjoys Shawshank almost as much as I do. In fact, he quotes the movie and works it into his essays and arguments constantly, something I enjoy to no end. It's pretty funny actually.

The last one of these is a three-parter, like a peanut butter cup with marshmallow or something. That sounds delicious actually. The first of these three is what has recently been my favorite band, the Freelance Whales. I love their sound, and the upbeat nature of the music has gained them some attention. Their music has appeared in a number of television shows and commercials, but it has also found its way into two of my other favorite things. A few months ago, an article of mine was published in a newly formed magazine, known as Makeshift. I love the magazine and the concept behind it, so it was a pleasure to support them with my writing. Even cooler was the fact that in their introduction/concept video, they chose to use a song by the Freelance Whales. When I stumbled across that video while doing research on the magazine, I knew I was writing for the right people. The third thing in this triangle of awesome is something known as the Holstee Manifesto. I love it when philosophy and art are combined, especially art using words as its medium, and this Manifesto is the greatest example of this crossroads I've found. Anyway, the Manifesto has been one of my favorite things for a while now, purely on its own. In fact, if you were to walk into my apartment it would be the first thing you see hanging on the wall. Imagine my surprise when I opened up my copy of Makshift Magazine Issue 1 and found the Holstee Manifesto on the inside of the front cover. Couldn't have planned it better myself. And believe it or not, someone has created a typography video of the Holstee Manifesto, set to a song by the Freelance Whales. Yeah. I know. Pretty weird, pretty unlikely, but pretty cool at the same time. A peanut butter cup if I've ever seen one.

Anyway, the point of this isn't to talk about my favorite things and fill space in a blog that hasn't seen much action recently. Rather, what I want to get to is this: in life, we only have so many opportunities to find and experience things we love, cherish and enjoy. We run into opportunities all the time that will only be there once. As the Holstee Manifesto says, life is short. Great things don't come around all that often. When they do, we have to seize them. The point of this, for me, is to recognize that when things I love start to cross paths, I'm probably headed in the right direction. When I find friends who are passionate about the same things I am, those are the people I need to connect with and invest in. When my church is focused on the same things I am, I need to plug into it and make myself part of that community. These moments, these situations, they're pretty rare. When I find one, I need to dust myself off, dig my feet in, and enjoy the place I find myself. You never know, I may not find myself in a peanut butter cup situation for a long, long time.

And so on...

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