“I wanna write a song the drunks all sing, and the sober sing along…”
Those are the opening lyrics to this song, Drunks by Johnnyswim and it’s one of my favorite songs. The first time I heard it on their Georgica Pond album, I didn’t think much of it–nor did I have a grasp on the lyrics of the song. It wasn’t until I saw them in concert a few months later and they explained how they wrote the song. It spoke so deeply to my heart.
The husband and wife duo explained that they went to this bar in Europe to grab some food and watch a soccer match. Fans of both teams were in the bar, hurling insults toward each other–you know, as opposing fans would being really into the game. But it was what happened after the soccer match that inspired them to write the song.
In this bar, these rivaled fans gathered together and sang songs well into the night.
And that night at this show, we sang the chorus, all together. No matter our differences or similarities. For that moment, our walls were down and it was beautiful.
I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet! There’s this line that says:
I wanna learn what David played
When he found himself alone
Let it ring, let it ring
On every street and stage
Till the loneliest feel known
Over the last few months, I’ve spent some time learning about the Enneagram. I’m not going to get into that because I’m not completely ready to share that discovery of my life yet, however, one of the things I deeply want in life is to be known. Maybe it’s part of my Enneagram type, maybe it’s part of my personality type, maybe it’s a bit of something else. If you know me at all, you would know how important a heart connection is to me. When I ask “How are you?” I really mean it. When I ask to grab coffee or lunch, it means I want to spend quality time with you, get to know you and your heart better. When you ask me how I’m doing, I’m not going to sugar coat anything. I loathe small talk (that’s the introvert in me). I can do it, I’ve learned how to deal, but I would much rather talk about your passions and maybe even your fears. I used to think something was wrong with me. People have always described me as intense at times. I don’t mean to scare people away, I just think there’s all this stuff underneath that’s worth acknowledging and bringing to the light, that’s meant to be there.
To be known, to know someone means you have to be willing to show up. Not just physically, but mentally, and emotionally. Sometimes, it’s not all at the same time and that’s okay. Ask any of my close friends, I’m the one showing up to their softball games, trivia nights, concerts, life events, keeping in touch through text messages, phone calls and trips. To me, it’s important to show up, even when I have stuff going on in my head (or heart), I show up.
Recently, I was reading through the book Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequest. A friend recommended it to me around Christmastime and it took me a few months to finally read it. Throughout the book, the author talks about her struggle with being present instead of perfect. There was so much in the book that I resonated with, you should see the book–it’s underlined, highlighted, notes are written in the pages…it’s a good read I would recommend to anyone. But there was this excerpt that caught my attention and I had to read it over and over:
“It’s about learning to show up and let ourselves be seen just as we are, massively imperfect and weak and wild and flawed in a thousand ways, but still worth loving. It’s about realizing that what makes our lives meaningful is not what we accomplish, but how deeply and honestly we connect with the people in our lives, how wholly we give ourselves to the making of a better world, through kindness and courage.” pg. 129
It takes courage to show up. It’s hard to be vulnerable, it goes against how our society functions. Sometimes that blows up in your face. Sometimes people take advantage of your vulnerability. Sometimes they don’t know how to react. Other times, you make this really strong connection and it tells the other person they’re not alone.
We were meant for connection. We were created to show up. We were made to be known.
I’m not always a good friend. I can be selfish. I can have tunnel vision about a thing. I can be in my head a lot. I will sometimes say the wrong thing. I will even not say anything and that probably hurts even more. But to be known, to know someone, means you can say “I’m sorry. I messed up.” and it means something. To be known, to know someone means you let your walls come down.
The song continues:
And if the walls of Jericho
Could crash on down to just a tune
I bet our walls could fall also
Even if only me and you sing
To be known, to know someone means sometimes it hurts more than you’ve ever known. To be known, to know someone means sometimes you love/are loved more than you’ve ever loved/have been loved. To be known, to know someone means life is worth living.
I challenge you to let yourself be known. I challenge you to take the time to know someone. I challenge you to make our world better by living courageously and kindly. I challenge you to show up. I challenge you to be present in the moment where you show up. Give that person your undivided attention. Let them know, I’m here for you means so much more. I challenge you to be you.
So, raise a glass and sing along.