Lately I’ve been reading a lot about flow states. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term a flow state can be described as such:
Defined as and “optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best“, flow refers to those “in the zone” moments where focus gets so intense that everything else disappears. Action and awareness start to merge. Our sense of self vanishes. Our sense of time as well. And all the aspects of performance, both mental and physical, go through the roof.
Flow can be achieved both on an individual level as well as collectively, most commonly achieved by high performing teams. For example, SWAT teams describe the collective flow state as a type of telepathic connection, where team members manage to sync in such a way that little to no coordination is needed. When one guy looks to the left, the other looks to the right, another looks in front while there’s always someone watching their back.
Although the story I’m about to unfold doesn’t have a direct connection with a state of flow (or no connection at all as some may judge), this concept served as a source of inspiration for my story. I’m a romantic person and like to see(k) connections and synchronicities everywhere. This view of life helps me cope with existential anxiety. I prefer to build a meaningful story line around chaos, instead of living my life as a tiny drop in a random series of events.
Going with the flow
I started this spring with a visit to my home country, Romania. The reason for my visit was mainly business related, I had to deliver a training. Although most of my family, friends and connections are still back home, home doesn’t feel like home anymore. I am depressed and like any depressed person, I just wanted get over with my society dance and then crawl back into a dark corner and sob. And that’s exactly what I did.
One Friday after work, I invited my close group of friends over. The house was full but I felt empty inside. There was a predominant good vibe in the air but I could not tap into it. I laid on the floor like a starfish trying to connect to the conversation in the room, but was trapped inside my own thoughts.
Around midnight everybody went home and there I was, crawling back into my dark corner. I was just blankly staring at the ceiling, waiting for something to happen. Hoping that I will fall asleep soon. The silence in the room gets disrupted when Alex, a good old friend of mine calls to take me out for drinks and to catch up. I was about to accept his invitation, but then he tells me that he’s with some old friends from highschool. I had no problem meeting with Alex, he’s a close friend, someone who I can relate to. Someone who I can share my pain. Someone who doesn’t judge. However having the other company arround us would have changed the dynamic of the situation. I wasn’t in the mood of wearing a mask with a fake smile and a fake story of how good my life is. So I declined. He called again trying to convince me and I declined again. He then tells me that the other guys are about to head home. At which point I agree to go out and start walking towards the city center. I get there and it turns out that he lied. He knew I was depressed and he didn’t want me to be alone. I was so angry that I wanted to leave, but in the end I agreed to stay for just one drink.
We were in a pub and the music was pretty loud, you could barely hear the person next to you. I remember chugging one glass of wine after another, smiling and nodding like a silly person. I had no clue what we were talking about, but no one seemed to notice. At some point during the night our friends were trying to convince us to go to a different place, were it was supposed to be a lot more fun. I was looking for any excuse to ditch them so I passed. Alex passed as well. We decided to stay for one more drink, but in the end we left the pub at closing time. We were wasted and went to get some food with the intention to call it a night. We got some crappy junk food and were headed towards a taxi. For some reason I start feeling anxious about going home and propose we go to a casino instead. I knew it will work because Alex plays poker for a living. He will never decline an invitation to poker, especially if he’s drunk.
He’s a superstitious person and agreed to come on one condition. I pay for the money we gamble and he will pay me back once we get home. A few hours later I go all in and lose all my chips. I don’t normally gamble but I’m a reckless gambler when I’m sad. So I move from the poker table to the slots. Alex was still playing, but when he saw me where I was heading he cashed out and convinced me to leave before I max out all my cards.
We left the casino and we were about to head home. He invites me over to his place so I don’t spend the weekend alone. I accept his invitation, but I asked that we pass through my hotel so I can
get my wee change. While walking to the hotel we start getting into a deep conversation about life, ups and downs, chance and fortune. He was telling me about a good friend of his (Laur), whom I also know, and how he was struggling with his music career. He’s a very talented person, but as all artists you never head of the struggle is real. He was saving up money, singing on the street, so he can buy an electro acoustic guitar. Alex was telling me that he was thinking of buying him a guitar, as a persent. At which point I said “Let’s go do it”.
With an almost terrifying look on his face, he was like “Dude, you’ve read my mind!”. At which point, the drunk and the stoner embark on an epic mission to deliver a good deed to a person in need. That was our bro flow moment. We lost all notion of time and everything came together in this one true moment. All of the sudden we had a goal which was bigger than us.
Because we wanted to surprise him, we did not call Laur to ask him what guitar he wants. We went into the music store and asked for an electro acoustic guitar. Being the ignorants that we are, super hyped about our mission, we ended up buying an electric guitar. Although the staff at the music store strongly insisted many times that we should get an electro acoustic guitar, because this is what Laur wanted, we still bought the electric one. Our reasoning was that of a teenage boy.
“This looks like an old man guitar. How is he supposed to pick up any chicks with this?”
The guys at the store made it very clear that we can’t take it back. We didn’t care. We were super convinced that we knew better than the rest of these music educated mortals. So we bought the shiny toy instead. We also bought a big ass case for it. It looked like we were carrying a sniper, turning heads as we walked down the main street. We didn’t know whether it was the sniper like case, our stupid smirks on our faces or the fact that we were drunk and high at 10 am in the morning. We didn’t care, we felt like a million bucks.
Alex then calls Laur with a stupid excuse to go visit him. We get to his place and we hand it over to him. He was super happy, you could see it all over his face. After a few moments, when his excitement lowered to normal levels, he tells us that he has some money saved up and that he’s thinking of exchanging it for an electro acoustic guitar. At which point Alex and I look at each other and start laughing hysterically. We then explain to Laur how stupid we were but we agreed to accompany him back to the store and try to change it.
In the end we waited outside as Laur went in and explained to the staff at the music store that although our intentions were noble, we’re still a bunch of retards. After one hour of negotiations, Laur manages to exchange the guitar to what he wanted initially.
Although our bro flow moment did not manifest itself as a typical flow moment, we still managed to pull it off in our own typically ungracious way. Here’s the result:
If you want to hear more of his music, or just want to say hi to this amazing guy, just drop him a line on his facebook page.