I've been wrestling with myself lately.
(Before we go any further, that's not a jerking off reference. This isn't that kind of blog, though it could be...). I'm grappling with who I am and who I actually want to be.
Why do I pursue the things I do -- the nearly unattainable goals, the quests for meaning, the self-destructive vices, the numbing distractions -- and what do they say about me? And how can I be the me that I say I am in when I'm psyching myself up in the shower?
I have followed many paths in my life. I've changed ideas of what I want to do more times than Mick Foley's changed gimmicks.
But whether I was obsessed with being a bus driver or a marine biologist or a psychiatrist or a Baptist preacher or the most relevant comedian of my era (currently working on this one...), the one constant in my life has always been my obsession with professional wrestling.
I don't remember a time when I wasn't a loyal mark for the WWE. I remember watching Superstars every Saturday morning as a kid after cartoons ended, living and dying by the twists and turns in the world of the Ultimate Warrior, Bret "The Hitman" Hart, Papa Shango, and the "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Some people played house; I played wrestling booker. Every playtime was a pay-per-view. It's possible that my first words were, "Let me tell you something, brother."
I'm sure some people are reading this and you don't give one shit about pro wrestling (or me yet - which is weird that you're still reading, but thanks and I'll do my best to earn your concern). If you aren't into wrestling, that's fine. It's normal actually.
Here's the promise I'll make to you in my blog: I won't be judgy of whatever your weird, totally dumb interest is if you do the same for me. In fact, I'll celebrate it. We all have our thing we obsess about, that we retreat to when we need the world to make sense. For some it's other equally addictive TV shows like Game of Thrones or the Bachelor(ette) or sports. (I mean who doesn't love watching hot, hyper-aggressive people working that tension out on each other)? For others it's cars or video games or working out obsessively or playing with your cat, however you choose to interpret that last one. For me, the comings and goings of the WWE Universe provides a stable release -- also read: distraction -- from whatever else is going on in my life and the world around me.
The content isn't always good, but what show other than Seinfeld nailed it every episode? Still, I remain a faithful follower. I've been to multiple Wrestlemanias. I may or may not still have my Rock plush action figure up in my bedroom. Hell, I used to have my friend Thurman tape Monday Night Raw for me every week in high school because I didn't have cable. (This is the same high school where my friend Edgar and I used to stage matches on the front lawn after class until the security guard got sick of us.... Good times).
So yeah, the WWE is my thing and whatever your thing is, as long as it's consensual, I support it. And that's the bottom line, cuz...
Being a lifelong wrestling junky has given me a framework to think about the world. Without even realizing it, I've picked up mannerisms, machismo, and methodology from watching the exaggerated struggle between good and evil that plays out week to week in the WWE. Maybe you psych yourself up for a big moment by imagining you're Ironman or something; I think about Kofi Kingston finally winning the WWE Championship after 11 years (more on that in a future post).
I've been wrestling with how to connect to you, my audience (however few or many of you there actually are). Part of this is fear of putting out content that's not perfect. Another part is giving in to useless things that pretend to be more important than giving my goals an honest pursuit. It feels like I've been losing the fight lately. But that's the beauty of wrestling; even when I am down, I can still kick out. And even when I lose a battle, I can always hit my opponent in the back with a steel chair and get a rematch.
There is always hope. It doesn't matter your size, your gender, your ethnicity. It doesn't even matter if "The Authority" believes in you or if you look the part . You can, you must, make your own break and give them no alternative but to improve your storyline.
So that's what this blog is about. It's me publicly wrestling with my journey to be the man (woo!) I envision, and using the metaphors and magic of the world of fake fighting to give great advice to help us win our real fights.
To those of you who don't know Dudley about wrestling: firstly, you totally missed that reference, but trust it's funny; secondly, don't worry! I will make this blog accessible and entertaining so you can get something valuable out of the ideas. Together let's wrestle with and defeat the enemies keeping us from the top.
If you find this useful for you, chances are high you know others who could also benefit from reading it. Share and comment. Let's start a conversation and build a faction of positivity!