Traveling: The Energy of People

by talkbackty on Aug 6, 2011

I broke up my driving over many days instead of doing it all at once. It also gave me a chance to see a bunch of friends...and not live out of my car for awhile. Which was great. I felt like even my car started saying, "Man, you smell."

So my trip has consisted of two periods/phases/sections: The alone period and the not alone period.

The different feel to each of these periods is striking. I am a solitary guy. I'm introverted, need to be alone to recharge and think, enjoy the quiet. At least that's what I would have told myself a week ago. Now I am unsure.

This is a work in progress (in my head) so bear with me as I try to discover what I am talking about.

Jay Mohr (@jaymohr37) talks about stand-up comedy as moving energy. The crowd comes in with a bunch of different energy, and the comedian comes in with his energy; and his job is to feel the energy in the room, take it, change it, and then redeliver it back to the audience. Normally in a way that makes them laugh, but also in ways that can make them think. See George Carlin for the best examples of both.

I tell you that to tell you this. I think we all have different energies that are constantly bumping into the rest of the energies present. If you're a paranormalist you call this aura. If you're religious you call this a soul. If you are a Jedi you call it the Force.

I don't like to get tied up with words to define indefinable concepts. So I'm rocking it like Jay Mohr and going with energies.

The self-generated energy- the introverted energy- is the one that I feed off normally. It's what inspired the last post. It's what drives this blog. It's where I find my motivation for doing things like driving 3,000 miles alone. And up until a few days ago, I would have said it was the only energy I really used.

Then I stayed with a certain family for a day (I didn't ask if they wanted their name on the blog, so we will go sans name for privacy reasons). Let me first explain that I am the oldest in my family, my brother is 18, and my sister is 16. However, I haven't exactly spent a lot of time at home the past two years.

Needless to say, it has been awhile since I was around little kids.

This is my family. I put this in because this post was text-heavy and it needed a break. See, one small child. The tiny one is my first cousin, once removed and lives in Georgia with her family. I, for the record, am the gray-shirted, jean-wearing, strapping young lad in the first row.
This host family has one married-aged, one college aged, three teenagers, and two young kids (ages 5 and 9, if memory serves). Along with the little ones there are three friends that, as far as I could tell, spent the majority of their time at the house too. Making five kids under 10.

My introverted, self-generating energy wasn't exactly front and center.

The energy present was palpable. Kids are running, screaming, crying and laughing almost constantly. Teenagers are asking about parties and colleges and all that good stuff. And super-mom (and the college-aged daughter who played super-mom while mom was away for a bit) is handling all with ease.

I enjoyed it quite a bit. Like Jay Mohr I consider myself someone who is good at feeling out other people's energies. With young kids there is no "feeling out." They bring the energy and smack you in the face with it. Sometimes they just smack you in the face. 

Either way there is no mystery. Everything is a game. Everything is funny. Everything is sad. Everything is...exactly what it is at that certain moment.

It's beautifully simplistic and surprisingly complex all at the same time. As we get older it's all about what happened to us previously, and what we are going to do in the future. Rarely are we so enthralled with each moment as these little kids. And that energy is infectious.

I love the whole concept Jay Mohr outlines. A movement of energy from audience to performer back to the audience. It's a concept I've latched on to since I heard it a couple of months back. However, while Jay Mohr was talking about adjusting the energy in order to make people smile and laugh; I'm talking about letting others energies affect our own in positive ways.

Letting the enjoyment and enthrallment of the young inspire us to play often. Letting the beautiful work and talent of the musician inspire us to think deeply. Letting the strength and foundation of our parents inspire us to build ourselves up.

More than anything though; allow the energy of conversation to flow freely and deeply between friends. Be honest. Be kind. Use all the energies available to us to create wonderful moments filled with laughter, bliss and happiness.

Thanks for reading.