I’m not quite sure what it is, but spending time with groups of my friends does something to me that is different than just hanging out with one or two of my friends. Not that hanging out with just one or two friends doesn’t bring me great joy and inspire me as well, but when I’ve had an opportunity to spend time with a larger group of my friends, I tend to find myself afterwards in a state of being inspired in so many ways. I’m inspired to be a better person, to thank each of them for being in my life, to strive for a higher level of intelligence, to apologize for any of my short-comings I have had with them in the past, to use this opportunity to inspire me to adjust any of my other friendships that need adjusting, but most importantly, it inspires me to look forward to our next encounters together.
Each of these inspirations have hit me at some point over the past twenty-four hours, as I had an opportunity to spend Saturday and Sunday with 5 individuals that I admire and respect each in their own way. I don’t know what it is, but being with people we hold special places in our heart for can affect us in ways that even the most powerful individuals in our country, or the world for that matter, can’t.
This sense of power did not truly come to it’s fullest power until everyone arrived in the allotted destination. It was then, then when the six came together, that I truly felt the power and unity that a group of friends can bring to a setting in our life.
We had come from different areas. Some from the east, some from the north, and some from the far east, but whatever the case, it wasn’t complete until everyone arrived. I felt it. I felt the power growing as the groups slowly came together. As myself and two others made the last part of our journey to the destination in my car the unity was growing, but it felt stronger when I was calling over the walkie-talkie to the one in the car following behind us. It was that other voice bellowing into our car via the walkie-talkie that made me feel as if we were growing in strength. But it wasn’t until we were all united in the ranger’s station at the state park that I felt the power in full force as I looked around and saw us all together.
A “typical” group that you would have seen together a few years ago when we were all in school? Nah. But people who were all united in one way or another? Yep, and that was what brought us together this time and allowed for the power to be there.
I marvel at what can come from a group of people who are different, but still similar in so many ways.
You’re likely to read several different blog entries on this adventure from this weekend, and I can assure you they will all be different and unique in their own perspectives, but they all happened at the same time with the same group as a whole. That is what is so cool!
My perspective is most likely going to be very different from the other five’s, but that’s okay. We all will see things differently, even if they are the same things we are each seeing.
This weekend I had the opportunity to challenge my thoughts in so many ways! I love to observe and try to make connections and understand why someone does one thing and why someone else does something else. That’s what is so fun about having a group of people together. There is so much to observe!
First, let me share with you a few of the happenings of this weekend:
--Having teamwork in assembling two tents in the DAYtime.
--Getting to see the differences between camping “home” styles: tents, campers, “suitcases.”
--Seeing the difference between skipping rocks on a lake and nailing sperm whales with rocks on a lake.
--Getting to throw a softball and play catch as if we were the American Olympic softball team one day, and throwing it the second day as if we are 80 year old women’s hall of fame team.
--Playing games that included giving someone some bull, getting people to remember an author by the name of Orville, and scratching one’s own butt.
--Listening to and reminiscing over “old school” music and the memories that it brings about, whether it was too Vitamin C’s “Graduation Song,” Kriss Kross’ “Jump,” Dolly and Kenny’s “Islands in the Stream” or R. Kelly’s “Ignition.”
--Seeing and tasting the influence of West Texas wind on a sandwich.
Now, having had all that happened, here were some of the observations I made this weekend that really interested me:
--Making goals, or as I jokingly put it, “vows for the weekend,” can make for some added fun and something that tends to stick with people consciously. Whether the “vows” made were met completely or not, wasn’t really my purpose, but more that it was a pleasure to observe how conscious people became of them and how they were referenced on a few occasions throughout the time together.
--The three individuals who are in graduate school brought books along on the trip to read; none of which were class-oriented textbooks. The books brought included: Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner, Contemporary Cognitive Therapy : Theory, Research, and Practice by Robert L. Leahy, and A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. Note: all of those books are non-fiction. Each of the books were opened and read for some period of time at one point during the time we were all together.
--Peer pressure isn’t always going to get the best of someone, especially when it comes down to someone’s values, morals, beliefs, and desires.
--Cliques, groups, posses—whatever you want to call them—are hard to break down, but not impossible. They will be present, but not necessarily in control or dominant. And that inspires me and leaves room for hope!
--When differences, even belief differences arise, a sense of respect can keep things in check and keep problems from emerging.
Each of these observations came about from specific happenings this weekend. Things that intrigued me to watch as they unraveled before me, as well as brought a smile to my face as I realized they were happening. And none of them happened until the time when the six of us came together.
I was honored to spend the short time I did with these wonderful women and I look forward to another opportunity to inspire me, as well as to make me laugh again, to love again, and to learn again!