When Ruins Sing...

Where my faith and creativity collide! A freedom freelancer, prayerful painter and clarion for Christ.

The Introvert and The Tailgate

The Introvert and the Tailgate: Roll Tide Fall of 2014

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I am a sucker for a good TED Talk. In 2012, author Susan Cain presented a TED Talk titled “The Power of Introverts” and she gave words to what it means to be me! She said,”solitude matters and for some people it is the air that they breathe.” Susan defines introversion as “different from being shy. Shyness is about fear of social judgment and introversion is more about how do you respond to stimulation, including social stimulation. So extroverts really crave large amounts of stimulation, whereas introverts feel at their most alive and their most switched on and their most capable when they are in quieter, more low-key environments.”

Another interesting piece of trivia and a mythbuster about introverts, taken from a blog post by Carl King-“10 Myths About Introverts”, is that we “actually like public events but we just don’t choose to stay FOR AS LONG. Introverts like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for introverts.”

So, based on that introduction and the fact that I am an introvert, you may be wondering where tailgating comes in.

IMG_7763-0.JPGWhen your first born leaves for college, a momma will do just about anything short of sin to see them every chance they get.   Therefore, season tickets and tailgating were the backdrop of fall 2014!  Putting an introvert at an SEC tailgate is like dropping someone who can only tread water in the middle of the ocean, but that is what you do in order to catch a glimpse of that grown-up newborn who stole your heart May 1, 1996.

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Remember the environments where introverts thrive-“quieter, low-key environments”  and how introverts like public activities but “just don’t choose to stay FOR SO LONG”.  Well the definition of tailgating is “loud, high-key and 10 to 12 hours.”   Visually there are colors, tents, clothes, houses, people, buses, banners, flags, floats, you name it.  The sounds are equally as numerous-voices, songs, conversations, band instruments, laughter, cheers and boos, theme songs,  introductions,  goodbyes, you name it.   As for smells- yummy cologne, flowery perfume, bus exhaust, port-a-potties, food, food and more food, drinks, drinks and more drinks, you name it.  And last but not least, the tastes are anything you could ever dream of-salty, sweet, crunchy, dips, meat, chicken, sauces, sour, candy, cookies, crackers, chips, casserole, salads, pasta,  mexican, italian, hot, mild, medium, soup, chili, gumbo, chex mix, nuts, sausage balls, punch, cokes and beers and waters of every kind, you name it.  Sensory saturation at it’s finest and “Almost Heaven” (that was the name of our tailgate-C-11 Almost Heaven) for the extrovert.   Introverts hit a wall and they are ready to go home, recharge and process all that they took in and that is exactly what I am doing.

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In processing we have choices.  What are we going to focus on?

Recently, a friend of mine shared a daily practice she had begun.  Each night before bed, she simply wrote down her “TOP 10” for the day.  This “Top 10” consisted of the 10 things that day that she saw as beautiful and thanked God for!  Notice she did not do 2 lists-“Top 10” good and “Top 10” bad.  She intentionally choose to pull out the 10 best things from that day, write them down, give thanks to God, and fall asleep to that.  What a great practice and one I have been implementing as well.  It has led to sweeter dreams, less stress and more gratitude.   It is changing the filter with which I view everything and in my opinion, is just another way of viewing the world through the lens of Christ.  So what does this have to do with tailgating?

My “Top 10” for the 2014 Tailgating Season:

1-I met some of the kindest, most generous, and most hospitable new friends from all over the great state of Alabama (and other states as well).

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2-I got to see my 1st born a whole lot more than I would have, if we had not gotten season tickets.

3-I loved sitting back and watching old friends reunited, generations of sorority sisters coming together with deep, deep, to the bone, joy and laughter and love, watching families and friends eat together, tell stories, take pictures, cheer, dance and make memories, seeing babies and grandmas dressed in Houndstooth and Crimson celebrating a team but really celebrating relationship!

4-I loved seeing boys in coats and ties, sons pulling chairs our for their mommas to sit in and opening car doors for their game dates, boys becoming gentlemen (in sometimes the strangest ways-I will never understand the whole pledgeship thing) looking to the future, while fully embracing their present season.

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5-I loved the concentrated family time in the car on the way to and from the games, as well as the many meals we shared under a tent, at a restaurant, or from a gas station!

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6-I loved meeting all the new guys and girls the Lord is bringing into Jake’s life- seeing their Zaps, meeting their parents, hearing about their small group, seeing them with their hands raised high in church, meeting their mentors, loving their school pride and their commitment to being loyal fans (#RTR)

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7-The hospitality at our tent was above and beyond-I know I already touched on that but I am reiterating how grateful I am to have met and gotten to know better the crew of “C-11 Almost Heaven”- They were welcoming to all, extremely helpful to the newbies, they know how to throw a party that is beautiful, delicious, entertaining, and fun for the whole family.  Everyone was joyful, positive, inclusive, kind, generous and easy going.  You can tell there are deep roots among this group-love, loyalty, memories and future fun to be had!

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8-Having not grown up a football fan (Notice:  I did not say that I did not grow up around football.   I just said I was not a fan:)  I am learning to appreciate the “love of the game”.  It brings people together and it gives everyone an opportunity to shine the light of Christ in the world, although we are not “of this world”.  As Jesus followers, we are to follow Jesus into the world and a football game is a microcosm of this world.  We have opportunities to show HIS love in parking lots and traffic jams, with opposing team fans and the overly intoxicated, in concession stand lines and with the tailgate clean-up crew, with policemen and traffic directors, waitresses and waiters,  the Greek system, the athletes, the student government, the faculty and staff, the independent student body, the bystanders and the troublemakers etc…

9-I loved listening to people on the parking lot buses-conversations about putting a meal in the church freezer for the homeless, someone helping a stranger with a cut open hand, preschool age kids decked out in Bear Bryant checks asking, “are we there yet, are we there yet?” (and we are only on the bus going from the parking lot to the quad:) parents with adult children enjoying this new stage of life together, grandparents taking their grandchildren and pointing out all the scenery on the Bama campus, conversations anticipating the game and conversations recapping the game, bubbly excitement and exhausted yawns, all telling the story of “The Tailgate and Tickets”.

10-In the midst of a crowd, I was still able to sit face to face with friends and enjoy a conversation; I was still able to lean into Jay and feel like he and I were the only people in the stadium, take selfies with my kids under the tent and in our seats, order popcorn and a coke zero from some of the most joyful concession stand servers,  and if I leaned in to listen, I could hear God- whispers everywhere.

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This introvert learned a lot in her first tailgating season!  Although the numbers and noises were at an all-time HIGH, it was still my choice what to process.  I filtered out some really fantastic moments and I guess that is why the “recharging is absolutely crucial for introverts.” It is in the moments of solitude that follow my “social settings”  that the diamonds are formed (a little diamond trivia: diamonds are formed deep within the earth, and it is the combination of HIGH temperature and HIGH pressure that is necessary to grow diamond crystals in the earth -see smithsonianmag.com) and memorial stones are laid.   I will always cherish and protect “these diamonds” and I will remember every time I read this blog post-my memorial stone-“The Introvert and The Tailgate”!

Welcome to my world.

These are my moments. What are yours?

Cherish every second and choose to view every memory through the lens of Christ.

It is a beautiful filter.  One that will never disappoint.

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About Katie Wilson

Where my faith and creativity collide! A freedom freelancer, prayerful painter and clarion for Christ. #amwriting #Compel Forgiven and Free Living a life that says: COME AND SEE!

3 Replies

  1. Theresa Eddleman

    My precious Jesus friend!! You have a wonderful gift!! I love to big as the sky!! #keepwriting #giftedauthor

  2. Reblogged this on Psalm8110's Blog and commented:

    One from the archives-a sweet memory to relive!

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