So guess who's going to Berkeley! If you pointed two thumbs at this guy, you'd be correct, but should probably not point with your thumbs because you look like a moron. Since I decided to move on with my life and try to give up on the girl I really want, I decided to fill my time with something more productive and try going back and being involved in the Debate Community. I have to say, its been amazing. So many of the same people I used to see on a regular basis, and so many people I'd forgotten whose company I used to love. Not only that, but it gives me a time to listen to people engage in a constructive dialogue. Not only the debates themselves, which are often times extremely educational and stimulating, but the people involved in the community are a group of people with some of the sharpest and most open minds I know.
It's great to be a part of something like that when you're so stuck in your own mind with no outlet, it gives you something to focus that otherwise internally destructive brain power on. I guess that's one of the things that drew me to it in the first place. Most people are pretty well aware that I dislike confrontation, nothing gives me more anxiety than confronting people, and potentially being in disagreement. But, with debate, people are free to express themselves and opinions, in a structured and orderly environment. When you go into a debate, you know what you're getting yourself into. You know you're engaging in something to take an opposite side. No one's feelings are hurt, and no one is upset when you disagree with them, because you're supposed to. It's what you're there for. Politics, Economics, Philosophy, Emotion, etc, they're all part of what you're agreeing to and you do so willingly. Some of my most hardened beliefs have been as a result of the dialogue had within debate rounds. Dialogue that liberated me logically and emotionally, and some of the people I've met, have been the most extraordinary people I know.
When I was a Sophomore in high school, I attended Dixie State College's Sun County Forensics Institute, and it was there that I really was given a firm grasp as to the type of family this community creates. My old debate coach Stan Banks, was not only my coach, but much more of a father figure than my own Dad often was. To this day he remains one of my closest and dearest friends, I have seen his kids grow up, I have been invited to holidays, spent weekends with the family, and consider his whole family as much a part of my family as I do my own sisters. It's the people that often times make our outlets so unique and so much a part of us that we continue to engage in them for our lives.
Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like had I not done Debate, and there's not a time I ever believe it would have been for the better. My views on women were completely changed by Debate, I don't believe in patriarchal values at all. There are very few times I ever say something shouldn't be extended to women. It changed my idea of equality in general, and made me more sympathetic to people who fight just to try and obtain the same rights that are just naturally extended to me. IE I don't use the word "Gay" or "Fag" as derogatory terms or pointed insults, because on the other end of that insult is someone who is affected by it, who simply tries to live and cope with a life that is already facing enough adversity without somebody using a term to verbally spit on you with. I don't think I'd be as concerned about the impoverished of the world had it not been for debate, or even those less fortunate here in the US. I'd be a much different person, and unfortunately, it'd likely be a lifestyle similar to that of many youth growing up in the most Conservative and religious state in America.
Not only does Debate provide all of the aforementioned benefits, but it doesn't necessarily have a shortage of potential relationships! :D I guess that's how all of my REAL relationships have begun, and thus far, they've all been pretty shitty, but I attribute that more to poor judgement on my part than I do to the female populous in Debate in general. In fact, last weekend was the Copper Classic Round Robin, and I saw one person specifically that I'd been interested in before, but she had a boyfriend I was good friends with; come to find out, she's single now and available. Who knows? Maybe something will come from it! Maybe not... But in any case, at least it gets me involved and in a community, rather than being stuck home wishing that options that are not likely to open up, would. And to be perfectly honest, I knew that getting into it. So, why not try and afford myself the possibility of being happy?
I guess when it comes down to it, our activities definitely help shape us, and it's important to have those activities in our life. They're what give us structure and definition, they're what helps our moral compass point in some direction that isn't solely based on self, and set toward self-destruction. Our activities give us access to the people that can have some of the biggest impacts on our lives, and remain with us forever. Our activities give us something beyond ourselves as individuals to come together and interact and engage with each other through. I hope everyone has their activities like that, and that whatever it is, it continues to bring you more happiness for as long as you want it to.