Here we go again. Tonight, my favorite obsession is officially back in my life. The Memphis Grizzlies will take the court tonight for the first time in the 2016-1017 regular season. They are playing the Timberwolves, but that really doesn't matter. What matters is that the thing that makes my heart race, the thing that makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck, the thing that gives me more joy and more heartache than any sport should give a person is BACK. It doesn't take long for people to realize I have an obsessive personality. When I find something I love, I think about it all the time. Thankfully I don't do drugs, and I don't drink excessively.... very often. Instead, I've tried to find other things that make the blood rush through my veins and give me an escape from life when things get a little too real. And things have gotten too real this year. I won't go into the details here, but this has definitely been the hardest year I've had in a long time, maybe ever. There's nothing I will enjoy more tonight than "stressing" over things like whether the starting lineup is right or whether my team is going to make it all the way this year. When you love a sport as much as I do, it's inevitable that people will try to remind you that this kind of stuff isn't what truly matters in life. They'll tell you it's just a game, and there are much worse things than losing a basketball game. And I agree, basketball isn't what truly matters in life and it's absolutely true that there are MUCH worse things than losing a basketball game. I've experienced some of those awful things. I don't want to get too Debbie Downer over here but it's not a matter of "if" but "when" life will kick you down. In the real world, we experience pain and loss in ways we never thought were imaginable. We look back and wonder how we got here and if things will ever be okay again. That's why we need things like sports, music, and movies. That's why sometimes we need to care about things that others might dismiss as trivial. I truly believe the weight of only caring about absolutely serious and "meaningful" things will eventually bury you. Yes, we should be informed. Yes, we should fight injustice and take a stand for what we believe in. But we also have to cut ourselves some slack from time to time. We need to let ourselves (and others) have fun. Recently with all the terrible things going on in the world, there has been a lot of things written about self-care, and I think basketball is part of my self-care. I'm not sure humans are capable of fully freeing themselves of worry, but we can take a break from worrying about the awful things in this world and instead worry about our favorite team's record for the season. So when the lights go down tonight at the Grindhouse, I'll be doing just that. Maybe it's only for a few hours, but it's a few hours that I get to care about something fun. I get to feel this excitement with others that share this same passion as me. It's hard for me to sum up or even explain all the emotions I feel on opening night every season. I just know I get what I need. And I hope others do too. Let's do this thing.