There are a few ways to take that… The title, I mean. Famed entrepreneur, Tony Hsieh of Zappos, spoke about ‘collisions’ at a recent trade conference; I was moved. He spoke of the desirability of increasing the number of seemingly random interactions with others we have in a day, and living and working spaces set up to promote those ‘collisions’. Good stuff. I definitely stopped being self-conscious about the high number of such random happenings I experience myself, and let the world take over on sending experiences my way. Then too, word-wise, a ‘course’ is a route, sometimes, but also curriculum. I love words.

Evening downtown.

Evening downtown.

Last night I was definitely on a collision course; I went out for the evening to see one of my most favorite and most awesomest rappers – MC Frontalot!! I had invited my partners, neither of whom were into the idea quite enough to want to go out for a late night on a Tuesday. I admit, I made real effort not to think about it being a Tuesday. lol I’m glad I went. Experiences are funny things – there’s no amount of sharing after-the-fact, or pictures, video, or blog posts that really share the event with an other person. The phrase ‘you had to be there’ is pretty much always true…except… we’re each having our own experience. Mine is mine, regardless. It was an awesome evening. You had to be there.

The place, without the people.

The place, without the people. (Yes, I am uncool enough to be ‘early’. lol)

I hung with my temporary bestie, Eli (short for Elizabeth), and shortly into the evening, and before the show started, we were joined at the bar by Joey-a-Software-Guy. Both very cool people. We had a blast. Eli and I connected when she arrived and immediately had to shake off the possible creeper I’d taken a seat at the bar to move farther away from. It’s a common experience for women, and she and I laughed it off, shared ‘war stories of similar/different/this one time’ and took turns keeping an eye on each other’s stuff for trips to the restroom, or the merchandise table. Last night I very much valued the community of women. Joey and Eli found some nice moments to connect, and at one point I found myself giggling over how ‘typical’ in life’s plot writing it would be for Eli and Joey to find themselves 10 years hence, talking about how they met that night at the Frontalot show.

I left the show one song early, and made sure I didn’t miss the train home. I walked through a city I love, and gazed up at her skyline from that peculiarly human pedestrian vantage point. It’s not a particularly dangerous city, nonetheless I was practical and cautious walking alone at night; I took well-lit streets, more commonly traveled, and stay away from obscured doorways. I found myself musing about the fear lurking in the background, and the state of mind that can result from diving into that mess and taking it too seriously. I enjoyed the walk in the night air and the change of scenery.  The ride home was not entirely uneventful. I  had to switch to a different train – at a very dark lonely stop, at which I initially appeared to be alone. Fear’s icy finger traced a narrow line up my spine when I saw two men at the far end, heading my way.  We ended up making each other’s acquaintance due to the state of intoxication of one, and the other being a friend was doing his best to keep his buddy in line. They were very young… 18? 21? Definitely a bit lost – and about to take the train in the wrong direction (which is how we made each other’s acquaintance). I couldn’t justify a dick move like not pointing another human being in the right direction on a deserted train platform at midnight. We were all waiting for the last train. It ended up being a pleasant ride. (I sure hope Todd got home okay.)

In short – a pleasant fun evening seeing a performer I really love. The lessons were mild, gently offered, and graciously received. I had an amazing evening, and even the small bit I’ve learned about emotional self-sufficiency resulted in a night out free of guilt, or stress, or awkwardness, or anxiety – or really any concern at all about whether having a great time was ‘okay’. This morning… well, this morning I’m pretty much incredibly aware I’m not 21, but as I type the words I recall with clarity the mornings after things and all that went with them, including the terrible hangovers and headaches (alcohol intoxication is probably a very poor choice for my TBI, but at the time I didn’t know I had that to consider). It wasn’t any easier, really, I just wasn’t as self-aware. lol (Your results may vary.)

Corn Mo opened the show - skilled and humorous.

Corn Mo opened the show – skilled and humorous.

Dr Awkward. Wow. West Coast rap takes a detour.

Dr Awkward. Wow. West Coast rap takes a detour.

The reason I go out on a Tuesday night - MC Frontalot.

The reason I go out on a Tuesday night – MC Frontalot. (That’s Corn Mo on keyboard)

My kindle has a rapper’s autograph on it (Thank you, Dr Awkward! You’re a new favorite). I’ve got a cool fan pic with MC Frontalot to cherish for years to come, and an autographed copy of his newest CD… none of that matters as much as the moments of connection with people – real people, rappers and all. The night was worth every penny of  the ticket price, and every moment of my time.  I’ll use today as an extension of those life lessons – because we’ve all got to pay for our thrills.

A night of fun, a night of music, and night of thought-provoking interactions.

A night of fun, a night of music, and night of thought-provoking interactions.

Today is a good day to be mindful that we are each having our own experience. Today is a good day to smile and reach out a helping hand. Today is a good day to appreciate real human beings and all the qualities they bring to those random collisions with one another – never knowing if that one moment changes things in important ways. Today is a good day for openness and enthusiasm – and taking care of me. Today is a good day to share new things, and enjoy what we love. Today is a good day to change the world.