Chasing Satisfaction, Gaining Perspective

World Series Champions! The Chicago Cubs?!!?! I would have never thought this would be a reality, or one within my lifetime. Over these years of being a Cub fan, I’ve experienced excitement of victory followed by the quick let down of the opposite, or just painfully ugly seasons of disgust. It has been rare to be as excited about the boys in blue and their success as it has been the past couple years, but it’s been unequivocal to this season. World Series Champs? I just had to say it again, but notice the — still in shock — question mark that follows. My city, my team, the beautiful memories of Wrigley Field, Wrigleyville, and the times I shared with my Dad, Matthew, and my friends just rush to the forefront of my mind.

I was so excited about all of this, but I was also dunked into a cold pool of sadness, depression, and longing for what I was missing. It hurt. I said things like “it’s just my luck, they win for the first time in 108 years during the first year I leave the country,” and “man, I wish I was home for this!” They feel like normal feelings to have, and just feelings to have; but the more I think about it, the more I feel guilty for feeling or saying those things. Yeah, it’s a bummer that I did not get to experience one of the greatest sporting miracles in the history of sports, and albeit it was with my team, and something I have been waiting for my entire 25 short years of existence, because I am currently in the middle of an adventure of a lifetime. I am chasing my dreams, and fulfilling them. I live in the freaking jungle.

This lead me to do some introspection, like many things do, as I am a man trapped inside of his head, and the ideas of perspective and satisfaction came into my mind. Perspective, a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something, a point of view, can be often hard to change for many of us. I know it is for me, but it is something I attempt to do every day. Looking at my current situation and that I am living with people who have opened their arms and welcomed me into their village and homes as their own, and give me any and all things they have, when they don’t have much at all, has changed my perspective on life in general. I wish more Americans could have this experience so that they can see that the power in giving is humbling and courageous, and can change your point of view on individuals or of humanity. I am on this uphill battle of trying to give back half as much to this community as they have already given to me in the amount of experience and kindness. One of my favorite lyrics from my boy Dave Matthews is “if you give, you begin to live, you get the world,” and that is so true. I have seen it come to life. In this moment, I’ve been given everything I need, and that blows my mind.

Satisfaction, fulfillment of one’s wishes, expectations, or needs, or the pleasure derived from this. When I think of that word, it boils into an internal war being waged in my heart. When am I actually satisfied? I have been blessed in so many ways throughout life with education, friends, a house to live in, a vehicle, food, jobs, and I can go on forever. I am currently on the adventure of a lifetime, chasing my passions and hopefully going to be a catalyst for change and development, but I wanted more; something else. I wanted to be home amongst the madness, the chaos, the citywide party. I wanted to be home with my dad watching the game in the garage, drinking some cold beers while the November chill tried to shake us. I wanted to be with my friends at the parade, or anywhere celebrating this incredible spectacle with them. I wanted more. I wasn’t satisfied with what I have been so fortunately blessed with. I am living in another country, a beautiful one too, with a family that has given everything to me, and I am still finding a way to long for something else??? When do we say, “Wow, I have just what I need,” or “I am so happy with what I have.” We don’t, well, I cant speak for you, but I know I often don’t. This realization made me feel guilty and sad. Why do I have this perpetual grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side- complex? It is a curse that has been sabotaging me almost as long as the Coyle Curse (its real).

The challenge I am presenting to myself, and I guess indirectly but directly to you, reader, is to look around you and be aware of the people that exist there, even the ones you don’t know, and try to be selfless with your actions, or at least be conscious of your actions and how they affect others. Give without being asked, or before you give in to the overwhelming guilt once you say no (ok this might also just be me but how do I really know?). Look around you and appreciate the things and people you have in your life. They may not be there forever, and once they are gone, trust me, you will miss them. With that being said, make an attempt to be satisfied. Scary, I know, but I do believe that those small moments of satisfaction can be edifying. If fulfillment is what we chase after, why do we keep running when it probably is already in our hands? Let me be clear, this isn’t me telling you to forfeit chasing your dreams, but to look in the present moment and see what you have and attempt to be satisfied for a moment. We all have so much, just take a second and embrace that.

Thank you for reading! Still miss you back home, as always. I am happy here, continually chasing the dream. Love you, miss you, and keep chasing your dream.