The 1993 end-of-year presentation night for the Scone Squash Club was coming to a close.
It had been my first year of competitive squash.
I won many awards that night but the highlight for me was the tank of helium anyone could take a hit from, which I did continuously!
Now, I was standing outside the Scone Cinema Theatre at 2am.
Out stumbled Troy, mightily drunk, yelling and swearing at his significant other who didn’t seem to be following him.
He pulled out a cigarette and was in the middle of lighting it, still yelling, but with his girlfriend definitely out of earshot now.
So, who was he talking to?
We were good friends, and since he was one of the top players in the club, I looked up to him – he was definitely a cool dude.
However, his aggressive verbal attacks had frightened me.
With his first puff of the cigarette done and dusted, his tirade continued as he turned to me.
He realized I was frightened and instantaneously paused just for a millisecond before breaking into laughter, letting me know it was nothing serious.
In fact, I got the feeling it was all fun & games for him.
I laughed and he started some small-talk to ease any lingering sparks of fright. Unwittingly, he taught me a valuable lesson:
Human behavior is a facade.
And outbursts of emotion are just that – outbursts.
Yes, what we feel is real, but the way we play out those emotions is like theatre.
We can get wrapped up in uncontrolled folly.
Or with mindfulness – whether via meditation, introspection or intervention – we can shift what we do to controlled folly.
It will probably only last a few moments.
But then we can try again. And again. And again…