...

 

I'm doing this all wrong.

 

I've had a tough couple of weeks. The type where the worst thing that can happen is a tangible fear leering over you, ready to bite a chunk of your life away before spitting it back into your face. Yeah, bit dramatic I know. But it's a natural mental reflex to think of the very worst scenario. A coping mechanism primed to defend against what feels like the inevitable. You accept that fear. You're practically compelled to.

Thankfully, the conclusion to all this has ended (for now) with a big fat sigh of relief. In the midst of it all, it's cleansing how everything around you that isn't family, friends and people you love diminishes into insignificance. What's left is suddenly unfiltered and transparent and all you hear are varying degrees of the ridiculous. All you see is madness, everywhere you look whilst you stand anchored to the only thing that does make sense; that raw instinctive desire to protect those that you love.

The grand epiphany from this was that none of the madness really matters, not really, not when it comes to things that we choose to follow and belong to. Not when it's all stripped away and you're left emotionally naked. The thing you want the most at that very point is your truth. Mine is the one I mentioned at the end of the last paragraph. All that surrounds it is superficial. 

It's cathartic, the realisation of what is genuinely worth your passion and emotion and angst. All those faux problems turn into comedy, the energy wasted on bitterness, hate and the lust to be disparaging. It's laughable in its delivery and laughable when we react to it. When I react to it. 

I've been flipped upside down.

Superficial is nice. It takes up our free time. We have plenty of free time tbf. And if it does matter, if you're dependent on it, you alone get to choose the path you want to take in how to edit and filter your personal sensory consumption. You are in total control. Unless you choose to have the hive control you. Pick a side and ignore civility and balance, it's all black and white and there's no in-between.

In terms of this old place and football, I'm not dismissing what Tottenham means to us. In its purest sense it's actually about connectivity with family and friends, our youth, identity and the social escapism it brings. That primal desire to be part of a tribe is what drives most movements, be it sport or politics or whatever. A tribe not bound by binary ethics, one that is expressive and expansive. Everyone is different yet everyone is the same. The rest of the rhetoric and hyperbole that wraps around it is mostly irreverent bollocks that gets tagged with ego and sycophantic traits and rants. The superficial. Again, this is just us being human. Or rather choosing to be a particular type of human. One that abdicates control or abuses it.  

I've wasted so much time here in this blog and on social platforms trying to validate how I digest football. Arguing about the semantics of support against those that choose a different outlook. Trying to rationalise results and players and managers. So much of it is us feasting on time before the next game kicks-off. So much of it is testing how resilient our choice is in terms of perception. Most of the time it has nothing to do with the football or whatever the topic is. Absolutely nothing. It's simply a form of self-preservation. 

I know, I've been here before right? Football is a conduit of emotional outpouring blah blah blah. It's reflective of the person we are outside of the sport yadda yadda yadda. We're all unique and yet we're all stereotypes. Personally, football is about how amazing and untouchable it can make me feel and that even in the depths of defeat, its very essence means there is always hope. It all resets and we start over, no matter what. It's the building blocks (special goals, last minute winners, magical flicks, glorious celebrations, bullish pride etc) that generates the emotive momentum that weaves itself into the tapestry of my (our) life.

It's superficial as fuck but because of the relationships we have with the people we grew up watching Spurs with, because of the memories...it remains a visual soundtrack to our existence. A constant. Artificial highs and lows that are wholly acceptable. I've always believed that the club, any club, is defined by its supporters. They're the club above and beyond the ground or the players or even the badge. Deep yeah?

To you football is possibly a matter of life or death but not really. We simply pretend it's more important. 'Can't smile without you' pretty much sums it up as much as 'Glory Glory Hallelujah'. It's a privilege imo, not a chore. Not a spreadsheet or a business project or a surrogate for your troubles. It's you rewarding yourself and acknowledging there are others like you and some that are polar opposites yet we're all together, somehow, singing for the same team. It should be a good thing, it should always be a good thing. After-all, you wouldn't choose to be resentful and disappointed all of the time, would you? Hahaha, keep that answer to yourself. I don't care. I wouldn't stop listening to music because someone else doesn't appreciate it. 

It's psychedelic. Sometimes I have a good trip, sometimes a bad one. Occasionally something profound can be experienced. At no point in my life have I reconsidered or accepted regret, cursing the fact I'm Tottenham. What Spurs means to me is only relevant to me and I'm thankful I have others around me that perceive it the same way.

Why should I care about anything else other than that? 

I've been far too concerned about the dark ether and its abnormalities. 

When I was distracting my mind waiting to hear about the aforementioned conclusion I cited at the start of this, I thought about football and this place and the social space. I asked myself wtf am I doing? I'm accusing others of sucking the spirit out of belonging to Tottenham by taking it way too seriously and at the same time I'm doing the very same thing by writing about them.

I can't change the way people choose to formulate ideas and opinions. I can't influence how people wish to perceive things. Should some of it still be acknowledged? Sure. But not in the way I've been doing it. I can't change them but I can change it for myself. I have to.

This isn't about not being critical or admitting I was wrong or even admitting someone that thinks differently to me was right. It's about style and execution. 

Once upon a time, I innovated. I created. This blog has always been about therapy. I'm doing it right now, sharing this with you. I could choose not to. Or I could simply choose not to care enough to consciously alter what I write because of the fragmented audience reading. I need to cater for myself and if it resonates, great. If it doesn't, still great. I need to start enjoying this again. All of it.

I've been doing this all wrong.