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In which John visits you from the land of Peak Happiness after giving away his favorite shirt.


Huge congrats to everyone at Liverpool Football Club on winning their sixth European championship this weekend. What a season.

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Good morning Hank it's Tuesday.  I had a great weekend, in fact I'm probably experiencing peak happiness right now.

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So listen, I don't believe in listening to my gut, I find my gut to be unreliable on many levels. Sorry about my voice by the way, I've been screaming for four days.

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But yeah, when you live with an illness of disordered thinking as I do, you have to learn not to trust your intuition, because it's constantly lying to you. To cite a minor example from my own life, my intuition tells me many times a day that I did not lock the car door. When, in fact, I always lock the car door.

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I bring this up because on Saturday morning my unreliable gut told me that in order for the soccer team that I've loved for most of my life to win the Champion's League I needed to give away one of my most prized possessions. A jersey signed by former Liverpool captain Stephen Gerard.  Now this is the part of the video where I tell you that, of course I understand that giving away a signed jersey is not going to affect(?~0:49) the outcome of a sporting event that's happening thousands of miles away. But no, no I don't know understand that!

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I mean I get it intellectually, I guess. But one, like a lot of humans. I'm incurably superstitious.

And two, who am I to say why we won the Champions League!  But, I think something else might have also been going on. Which is that, lately I've been thinking a lot about the verb "to treasure" and how valuing something can sometimes lead to hoarding it. When what would help the universe most, might be to share what you value, rather than clinging to it.

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Like, that jersey had brought me a lot of joy, and maybe it was time for it to bring someone else joy.  Right, so I was in New York City for Book Con that day, and I walked into a soccer bar, found a guy sitting alone wearing a Liverpool shirt, that appeared to be approximately a size L. And I told him that I'd had a premonition that I needed to give away this signed jersey, and I gave it to him. He was a nice guy with a PhD in, I think, something sciency, he didn't know who I was but he was very excited about the jersey.

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So we chatted for a bit, took a picture together, and then I left. He told me his name but I don't remember it. I'm not gonna show his face because I don't know if he wants his face shown, but if anyone happens to know this guy, I would love to know how his day went!

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Due, primarily, to me giving away this jersey, and secondarily to the exploits of the players on the field Liverpool won the game two - nil. I was actually back stage at Book Con during the last couple minutes of the game. And Kristine Froseth, who plays Alaska in the Looking for Alaska Hulu show, got this video of me very nervous and excited!

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After the game Akilah Hughes and I went to a Liverpool bar in the neighbourhood and sang our hearts out. And everyone was hugging everyone. At one point in the evening, I was hugging a stranger, which is not something I do in the normal course of daily events and I noticed that he was crying, he was heaving sobs and I didn't understand why he was crying.

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Until I found that I was also crying, and then I knew why.  Sports are about winning and losing, heartbreak and joy, grief and celebration. They provide simple narratives when life only provides complicated ones. But more than that, I think that they are about celebrating together, and grieving together, and being together.

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Sports reminds us that what we have is not as important as what we share, and that we are never truly alone. Not in loss and not in victory.  At the end of every game, Liverpool fans sing a song that ends "Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart and you'll never walk alone" My wish is that each of us might always know that truth as profoundly as I did on Saturday night. Wether you love football or not, you'll never walk alone.

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Hank, I'll see you on Friday. Subtitled singing.