White Eyed Rowdy – A Guide Through Hard Times
We all go through our own struggles, some worse than others, but everybody deals with internal battles that are only understood by them.
We also have our own ways of dealing with these problems and balancing the dark cave that we occasionally sink into yet never talk about.
I’m twenty years old, yet every day I stress about what I’m going to do in life.
I play basketball right now, but for some reason all I can ever think about is what I’m going to do afterwards.
It’s always been like that for me, and I’ve always had a guide to lean on for comfort.
That was Rowdy.
In middle school I’d follow people I wanted to be like on social media.
Mostly being basketball players, I saw how they could run the court in five steps, spring into the air and glide almost in slow motion for a dunk.
I saw hand-eyed coordination and shooting mechanics that represented a decade of practice.
I saw passing ability that was bred from a natural wiring of the brain that’s extremely hard to imitate.
Yet I wanted to be everything I watched.
I was a five-foot nine, unathletic kid that watched these people every day and developed a delusional mindset that I could be that.
I was a foot smaller, it took me twenty steps to run the court and my hand-eyed coordination was undeveloped.
Yet, I still thought I could be them.
When I moved onto high school, I didn’t make the varsity team and this was a huge blow as it was all I really cared about.
I went home, ignored my parents out of insecurity and went straight to my dog.
No words were needed; he just looked me in the eyes, let me pet him and threw in a couple of licks.
His comfort became routine.
When I was stressed, worrying about what I didn’t have, we’d make our way to the yard.
He had this toy he’d salivate over called the chuck-it, and he was obsessed with it ever since a puppy.
It was a curved device that contained a pocket at the tip that held a tennis ball.
We’d spend an entire hour of one-on-one interaction playing together.
I’d throw it thirty yards through the grass, he’d take off as fast as he could in pursuit and his momentum would send him in summersaults as he overran his target.
Once he recovered, he’d retrieve the ball, sprint right back to me, drop it at my feet and prepare to do it again and again.
I’d sit there watching his unwavering attention on that green ball in awe, wondering how his eyes were locked on one target for a solid hour.
He wouldn’t stop until his lungs and legs physically couldn’t take any more.
He’d slump his body in the shade of our tree and lay there panting aggressively for another hour.
This was a moment of clarity for me, as I felt a wordless connection through my dog and forgot about my unimportant worries of the world.
Whether it’s sports, our animals, friends or hobbies we all have our own outlets to relax and forget.
I believe social media and the Internet is the tool many use to forget, regardless of the negative externalities that follow.
We get inside scoops of the lives of people we want to be like.
We start to ponder what we need to do to be like that person because they have life “all figured out” and they’re “happy.”
We stress and our imagination runs wild thinking about what we need to do to get there.
We think we need to get there in a day even though it takes years and decades of patience.
These small devices are simply tools, but we abuse them and they become our life.
They’re developing an ADHD culture addicted to the shot of dopamine that a like on Instagram offers.
I often find myself mindlessly navigating from app to app doing absolutely nothing.
Or a video pops up with an interesting headline that I spend half an hour watching instead of reading a book or doing my homework.
What the answer to these problems are, I’m not sure.
All I know is that they’re changing how I think and increasing my anxiety.
When I put my phone away for a day…
Play basketball for the love of basketball…
And forgot about all the stresses that social media and the Internet bring…
I find myself a lot happier.
Even though I don’t have Rowdy anymore, he stays with me as a reminder to find the same feeling we’d share in the yard with the chuck it in another activity like basketball.
Rowdy is continuing to keep me confident and comfortable with who I am by keeping me away from social media and focus my attention on what gives me the same feeling he used to provide.
- White Eyed Rowdy
P.S. Next Friday we'll be having a give away through the White Eyed Rowdy Newsletter. We have Rowdy paintings created by talented fans and a variety of White Eyed Rowdy gear for you the winner to choose from.
You'll also receive his first near death experience story when you sign up.
Here's the link if this is something you'd be interested in ;)
Also, if you're a new fan, here's a couple videos to catch you up.