I spent today home sick. Eventually wound up watching Invincible, the story of Vince Papale and his journey to the NFL. I started thinking about being a kid again. I remember when I was little. To this day one of the most treasured gifts I ever received was a Cowboy’s football uniform with a big #8 on the front of it. White jersey, grey pants, and that helmet with the one and only blue star on the side. If you’ve seen the movie then you know Vince gets invited to camp and if you haven’t seen the movie then I won’t ruin it for you. There was something that stuck out to me though. Vince comes into the whole situation fully expecting to not last the first day, much less make the team. During one of the first few rounds of cuts, Vince sits in his dorm room one night patiently waiting for one of the assistant coaches to come knocking on his door letting him know his time is up. I don’t know if it was the color grading of the film or just the angle but there was something about that picture that resonated with me. Here’s a guy that we all know is going to have something amazing happen to him, I mean, it’s Mark Wahlberg and Disney for crying out loud!
Course Disney is the same dude that had Bambi’s mom shot but whatevs.
He’s got his bag packed, playbook ready to hand in, and the coach just walks right by his room. It’s not that he’s let down by the fact that he hasn’t been let go, it’s that his mindset is set fully on the thought of the eventuality of being told that he doesn’t have what it takes. He is already convinced that he will be cut which is why I am sure that part of his nightly routine involved packing his bag. Keeping his closet empty because why bother to unpack if you’re only here to visit?
I hated the scene for how much I related to it. That’s part of the reason this whole website, this whole blog, this movement hasn’t gotten started until now. February and not January; 2017 and not 2016 or 15 or 14. If I’m going to be completely honest I will say that part of me still has a “bag” packed and am prepared to leave at the first whiff of adversity.
I am not cut out to be an Internet star
I nearly had a panic attack the other day when a stranger commented on one of my videos. What he had to say wasn’t mean in any way but it made me uncomfortable all the same. This is not just a blog or a landing page for YouTube videos or a ploy to get a bigger following. This is me creatively ignoring my fear just long enough to press the upload button. This is me creatively seeking a space where I can unfold all the things I keep hidden in my pockets. This is me, I am Wild Indeed and the sad thing is not many people know that. I have kept a huge part of myself hidden away and ever since I decided I was worth taking a chance on, a lot had occurred to me.
We live in a culture of untapped potential. A smarter man than me hung out with a lot of people in an assisted living home one day and when he asked them what their biggest regrets were the most common answer was about the things they didn’t do rather than the things they did do. I will not be that guy. I refuse to be that old man in his wheelchair asking myself why I let me get in my own way. At the same time, this is an invitation. Look, I don’t know how often I’ll put something into words or how often I’ll make a video. I work close to 50 hours a week in two jobs and I’m finishing a master’s degree. (I am trying really hard not to let that be an excuse) I’ve got loads of unpublished material that is ready to be released; I just have to find the nerve. I’ve got this “bag” packed and I’m trying to unlatch it. In a way I’m having a Papale moment. Eventually he came to believe what everyone else around did, he has what it takes. I am coming to that same belief. It is a profound experience: To suddenly come outside of the room that is the lie. It’s like the door just suddenly appeared but it was there along I just had my eyes closed long enough to believe that all was lost. What is it to have courage? What is it to have the realization of greatness? What are these foreign things? It is a long and frustrating fight in our minds. We listen, so well, to the ones who insist on screaming, and yet, it is the whispering we hear the loudest at night before we close our eyes and go back to what we wish we could escape to when the sun’s up. We have what it takes. Often times it is not the grandiose things that make the biggest difference it is the brave step we take forward who’s reverberations we feel long after we learned how to walk. I hope I never forget to listen.
I have no idea where this is headed, but I know where it came from. And I hope that is enough for now.