I’ve finally narrowed down the choice of my book title to the final 5. But I need your help!
Please visit http://www.facebook.com/ShaunMyburgWrites and vote for your favorite!
As always thanks for the support
6. The New Me, Same as the Old Me
Over the years the most noticeable things to disappear from my life were my smile, my laugh and my self-confidence. Finding a picture of me smiling from the last 7 years is about as likely as finding gold in a hobo’s dentures. Over the last few months, all of those missing elements have begun to return. A lot of it can be credited to my new work colleagues who have a very similar sense of humour to me, and they truly bring out the old me that I know so many of my friends once knew. I laugh more, smile more, and have the confidence to be the person I really am again.
The me at home is VERY different to the me out in the real world, and for the longest time, the real me stayed at home permanently. I wasn’t fun to be around, I could barely hold conversation with people without getting annoyed to the point of wanting to drown them in a small shallow bucket. I’m at my best when I am funny and witty. I love to make people laugh and lighten the mood. That’s my gift. I make people feel good. When I couldn’t do that, I felt incomplete, and quite honestly worthless. Now I feel I can walk into a room and light it up again if need be. I walk with an air of confidence again, I take pride in the way I dress. It’s certainly not like this 24/7 , but now I don’t feel like the short fat kid who has to sit in the corner at the school dance anymore. I’m the short fat kid who asks the prom queen to dance again.
7. Live for the moments.
I am the KING of the big gesture, I used to do so many epic things for people (yes, girls), to try and win them over and convince them of my awesomeness, 99.9% of the time it backfired and I often didn’t get so much as a thank you. Yet I didn’t learn, I kept doing it, because I enjoyed doing those things, but selfishly I wanted something back from it, even if it was just a thank you. Those sort of things can be so draining to both your heart and soul. The easy answer was I was doing it for the wrong reasons, or so friends would always tell me, but then when the next “target” came along, I would commit the same foul.
Over the last few months, a light switch finally went off in my head that allowed me to admit that I was doing it for the wrong reasons. However, and this is a big however, so take note. This does not mean I should stop doing it. I ENJOY the big gestures, the work or research (called creeping these days), that goes into a big gift, or heartfelt gesture, so why should I stop doing it? No, instead, I need to change the reasons as to why I’m doing it. I no longer expect anything in return. I do it now because to simply make someone’s day is good enough for me. It makes me happy. Whether it be friends, a love interest or a complete stranger. I like to show that romance and magical moments still exist. Now I live for those moments. The moment of telling a beautiful girl in the elevator that she is in fact a beautiful girl, then simply walking away with no further interaction needed. Sending someone flowers, anonymously or otherwise, simply to make them smile knowing that someone made an effort for them that day.
So be warned, you may in fact be the recipient of a #BurgMoment… when you least expect it, something good could happen to you. You may get flowers, you may get your lunch bill paid for, you may have a clowns show up at your office, you may get invited to an all-expenses paid holiday. There are so few genuinely good moments in life, that sometimes you have to make your own. I notice everyone and I’m happy to say these moments have already started happening… so you could be next!
8. Don’t Give a Damn about People Opinions, But Stand Up For Yourself.
I’d always been “too nice”, too nice to rock the boat, too nice to complain, and too worried about what people might think about me, didn’t wanna embarrass myself you know. I had my pride. (This was always a very strange contraction to my outside appearance, with my tattoos, piercings and clothing, I always seemed to attract attention. I had an aura about me that drew people towards me). This effectively led to me being screwed over way too often and always coming out with the short end of the stick.
Then something changed. It might have been the 5 years in the music industry that hardened me, or maybe that was just part of it. But somewhere along the line I became a bonefide badass. You didn’t mess with me. If I am in the right, I will fight till the bitter end to make sure I come out the victor. Customer services and banks around the country know this better than anyone. I don’t accept cr@ppy service, I don’t accept being spoken down too, and I don’t allow people to be bullied. I stand up for those who feel they don’t have a voice anymore. I’m still learning the fine are of not going too far with making a point, and admittedly, sometimes I do push it too far, but I blame all the pent up aggression I have inside me. However, I’m glad I have hardened the eff up. And you know what? I have gotten more freebies, gift vouchers, apologies, and service than I have even had in my life. Score a point to the little guy.
9. Open to Trying New Things
I have always been so stuck in my ways. As much as a free spirit as I am, it takes a lot for me to break out of my own personal mould. It’s always been frustrating for people, because if my mind is made up, there is no changing it. Ok ok, let’s just cut to the chase, I will finally admit it. I am stubborn, fussy and hard to please….wow, I can actually hear about 400 people collectively saying “I told you so”. But I do admit it, and this is what has led to a lot of arguments with friends. Lately however, I have been so open to trying new things. Whether it’s something simple like a food I hate that I’ve never actually eaten, or maybe going out somewhere I don’t like with friends just to be with friends, or heck maybe even the reverse cowboy…I more than willing to entertain new things in my life. Maybe it’s something that comes with age, I’m not quite sure…all I know is that the way I’ve been living wasn’t making me happy. Of course I do all this within reason, it’s not like I’m living the life of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll now simply because being sXe wasn’t working for me, however I am now open to that cocktail on the beach in Hawaii or that beer in Germany…
10. I am Awesome.
To steal a catchphrase from The Miz. I am awesome, and I need to keep believing that to survive this crazy ride through the rest of my life. I’m a good person, and so proud of that, because there are very few of us left. In a world that is getter meaner and crueller by the day, it is us few white knights who need to keep the hope alive; the hope of something better out there, something good and caring.
I take this role very seriously; I like to bring hope to people but in an honest way. That has always been the purpose of this blog, and my life. I have seen it all and been through more, and it’s these life lessons that give others strength. There may be a touch of arrogance to what I say, buy my life has never really been my own, and I finally understand that. My experiences, the tragedy and the triumphs are given to me because I can handle them. I live my life openly, and this blog has never been shy of revealing things that most people are ashamed of, but I do it so that if just one person can relate to it, it’s been worth it. I’ve always seen myself as a person who comes into people’s lives when they need me the most. I offer comfort when others cannot. People tend to trust me and share their problems with me, which while overwhelming at times (especially when it’s not something I can physically help with), is something of an honour.
As my blog approaches that magical milestones of 100,000 views, I’d like to take this time to thank #TeamBurg old and new for supporting me, for loving me, for hating me, for having a reaction to what I say. I write because I feel I have something to say, and I always encourage you to do the same.
The path to happiness is different for everyone. There is no hard and fast rule on how to get there, and of course, one person’s idea of happiness may leave another scratching their head. So each to their own I guess.
Now that all the clichés are out the way, I can get down to this blog’s real purpose.
It’s been a tough few months obviously, those who follow me have seen the drama first hand, as I’ve never held back sharing anything I’ve been through. Lately however, I’ve been feeling a permanent state of contentment, and seemingly happiness. It’s not happiness by definition though, there is still a lot of issues and drama I deal with on a daily basis, a lot of which would make most people give up on life, but for the first time I have found some balance in my life, and for a Libra, balance is VERY important.
As I sat back and thought about what exactly brought about this change in me during a very significant time in my life, I was (much to my surprise!) able to identify 10 specific reasons why I have this sense of calm over me lately.
1. Big Dreams, Smaller Steps
You all know about my obsessions. The New York deal, the being a writer deal etc etc, and I know most people are sick to death of me constantly talking about it. Well, have a think about it, and you’ll actually realize I’ve been very quiet about it for the last few months. Not because I’ve given up on it, but I’ve realized that every time I get close to it, someone moves the proverbial goal posts further away. My solution to this is to make smaller goals, but more of them.
To achieve my dreams, I need to slice up life into just a few more pieces, this helps to avoid such big disappointments. There will always be an end goal, but for now, I’m content to chase smaller dreams in the hope that they will all add up in the end.
2. New Job
Another thing that was well documented was my unhappiness in my old job, and the people I with whom worked. The simple solution was to walk away from everything I knew for the last 5 years and start again. A silly, not very well thought out decision, but one that had to be made. And now 8 months later I can honestly say I made the right decision.
I have a great job, in a great location, and work with some great people. People I get along with, can joke with, and more importantly, people who have given me a fair, clean slate. Instead of judging me on things I have gone through. It’s a wonderfully liberating feeling.
3. Traffic vs Train
One of the worst things about living in South Africa is the traffic. Well, not so much the traffic, but the idiots on the road who get away with the most shocking disregard to road rules you will ever see. On a daily basis this would anger me, fuelling so much rage inside that I would be tense and irritable all day long. It was bad… very bad. I would chase down taxis who cut me off, forced me off the road, drove in emergency lanes… it was making me a very angry and hateful person. Not in a racist way, as some people liked to blame it on black drivers in this country. I don’t care if you’re black, white, yellow or green. An idiot is an idiot. However I just didn’t like the person it forced me to be. Also, not having my own car was a downer.
Thankfully with the new job, and the recent implementation of the Gautrain (a public train system for my international readers), I was able to change my way of travelling, and I can honestly say, this was the best decision I’ve ever made. It’s changed my view on life in a big way. I feel more carefree, more relaxed and most importantly, it now gives me time to appreciate people more. I’m a big people watcher. I love seeing how people react to situations and such. It also fools me into thinking I’m living a New York or London lifestyle, which keeps me content for the time being.
4.More Time for Friends, new and old; Less time for People who Make Me Feel Bad.
This was a very important thing for me, and hopefully something a few of you have picked up on too. I’ve made a genuine effort to speak to my friends more, and in fact try and see them more. In the last 2 months, I have seen more old friends than I have in the last 5 years. I say yes a lot more when people ask me out, or ask if they can visit, and in fact I encourage it.
I still have promises to a lot of people I very much intend to keep. I still have a few issues with transport and such, but they will come right soon enough. I’ve also been open to making new friends, something I had forced myself to become too cautious with over the last few years. Thankfully, I have made friends with some wonderful new people which has made my circle that little bit bigger. As for those who have added no value to my life, I have taken the Scorched Earth approach to them and snuffed them out my life completely without compromise. It’s best for both parties. No longer do I beg people to be my friend, because the truth is they probably never will be, if I have to do that. I have learned appreciation for my friends old and new.
5. More Accepting of Help
Ok, this has clearly been the toughest one. Through all my struggle I have always tried to handle things alone…often with disastrous consequences. I always felt so guilty about accepting help from friends, as if I had failed or let everyone down (which in some cases I have), but now if someone offers to help, and I need it, I take it with a thankful heart, and a promise not to abuse that trust. I’ve learned my lessons the hard way in taking people up on their offers, but now I understand what goes into gestures like that. I am so thankful to #TeamBurg and I couldn’t even begin to thank everyone by name for fear of leaving someone out. I would not be here today if it wasn’t for you guys, and I always appreciate the kind words you have for me, and the encouragement you send my way, even if at times I come across as a cranky old b@st@rd.
Stay tuned for the part 2 of this blog later tonight…
It’s a sad state of affairs when you keep calling yourself a writer, yet the length of time between you actually writing something seemingly gets longer as the months and even years float by. I laugh at myself these days when I tell people I’m a writer. It almost seems like a lie. A well intentioned lie, but a lie none the less.
The most common question people ask me when I say I can’t write lately is “why?”
It’s such a layered question to answer. The simple answer is I’m not inspired.
That is the truth though. I’m not inspired in my life. In my career, in my friendships, or even in my dreams (so much for those dream & desire tattoos in my arms eh?). As a writer I should push myself to find ways to overcome that problem.
Finding inspiration is so difficult for me lately. Even my rant blogs don’t appeal to me anymore.
I have a hundred stories floating around in my head and yet can’t seem to translate them to paper. (or MS Word as the times would have it). The worst part is, I know those stories are good. Damn good.
It’s not hard to tell you what inspires me. It’s people. It’s person. It’s places. It’s place. It’s the impossible. It’s the dreams. It’s the desires. All wonderfully broad terms, yet their exact meanings are very clear to me.
When I was kid, I used to win the school book prize every year, (bar one or two), and the prize was always an amazing reference book of some sort, filled with history, places, people…things as a child you would only see in a book. I used to stare at those pictures, and touch them trying to put myself in that place or time and imagine a world so different from the one I was living. It brought me peace, and calmed me to the point of knowing exactly what I wanted out of life. I wanted to leave the place I was in. Be inspired by the world around me.
Fast forward 20 years…and I’m still in the same room. In the same house. In the same street. In the same neighbourhood. In the same country. I’m seeing the same person every day. I have the same conversations. I’m reliving the same drama over and over.
This week however, I felt a flame begin to burn inside me.
I can pinpoint it to seeing a picture someone posted on Facebook.
A picture of a particular friend (who I’ve never even met mind you) in the French Alps. It was so beautiful it saddened me…but as I looked at that picture, I touched it on my screen and I had that same feeling come over me that I had as a child. The want for a different world.
So I have a plan. A plan to breathe new life into my world…and perhaps even into those around me…it’s as outrageous as it should be from me.
Stay tuned…I will let you all know in part 2 of this blog how this effects all of us!
A few weeks ago I posted a picture of myself with my idol, Bret The Hitman Hart -one of the happiest moments of my life. However one person commented saying “you could’ve looked slightly more excited.” I was actually offended by the comment. I don’t really smile anymore, and I by no means have a big toothy Cheshire cat smile, however this was the happiest I’ve been in years. I don’t smile anymore. You won’t really find pictures of smiling.
I’ve mulled over that comment since it was said, and with the events of the last few weeks, the one question that I keep asking myself is, what makes me happy?
I’m not happy, I haven’t been for the longest time. I have fleeting moments where thing are tolerable. But nothing more than that.
My life has been a constant struggle and the truth of the matter is the sadness has engulfed me.
It’s very difficult to explain, and when I do try, I get copious amounts of advice about how things can’t be that bad, or how things will turn around, or that there’s something out there waiting for me. All words which people feel they should say to help “keep my chin up”.
Honesty has always been a very important part of my blog (and my life), and right now I’d life to address three aspects of my life namely Life, Love & Career.
I’m tired…Of everything. I can’t do it anymore. Not the way I’m living it anyway. I get so many people making suggestions as to what to change in my life, but they don’t know the truth, and they don’t know the pressure I deal with while constantly having to keep my depression in check.
I can’t deal with the repetition. From coming home and having to hear the same stories about how the dog pee’d on the potplants or what the neighbours did, to hearing the same jokes from the same people.
I can’t deal with this country, the government, the strikes, the shortages, the service, the delivery, the lack of educated people.
I can’t travel on the roads anymore. I can’t deal with the complete arrogance and apathy towards the rules of the road. It’s bad. Real bad. It’s the wild wild west out there.
There are so many people that tell me that I must be thankful for what I’ve got, but the truth of the matter is I’m not. Their idea of happiness is a 9-5 job with an income, a house with 4 walls and a family. That’s not my idea of happiness. I believe there is more out there for me. Please don’t get me wrong, if this is what makes you happy, then good for you, you’ve found your element of happiness, but please don’t try and convince me your way is my way.
I can’t fake a smile, and laugh anymore. People have started to notice too. I fear I’m becoming bitter towards the world.
I am so lonely. Unbelievably so. Being a 33yr old guy without a partner, lover, girlfriend is hard. (That’s what she said.). I’m so tired of people saying that “when the time is right”, “she’s out there”, “it’s better to be single” you know, all the clichéd comments. Most times they come from people who are trying to tell you they’re not interested in you so don’t even try, or they are somebody who is constantly moving from “The one” to “the next one”.
The truth is, there’s a very good chance I will be alone forever. It happens to people. You’re only trying to convince yourself when you keep telling me I’ll find someone. Stop.
There are people I’m interested in. They know it (some are probably trying their best to avoid it too). But I come with so much baggage that it’s over before it can go anywhere.
I’m not saying I’m looking for my soul mate, not by a long shot. I just wish I had someone to share my dreams and desires with. Someone I can spend time with, someone who makes me feel like a human being physically. Yes, I said it, I would like to knock boots with someone. I need to feel something in my life. And feeling wanted and desired is a massive hole (that’s what she said) in my life.
I’m so tired of serving my time in this world alone. There are so few people who truly understand how lonely and alone I am. I wish someone would show interest in me, realistically. I can’t be anything other than what I am.
It’s just that i think fighting this battle and chasing the dream would be that much easier and more believable with someone by my side.
I’ve been working non stop since the month left High School in 1996. My movement from one vocation to the next has been well documented. I’d never spent more than a year and a half at a particular job, and constantly found myself wanting to move on to the next challenge. It’s those facts that make my 5 year term at my current job such an anomaly. I love what I do, always have, but the time has come to move on. I won’t go into detail for obvious reasons.
I’ve been dealt a hand that has forced me to play the role of husband, home owner, and provider. This saddens me every day that my life is slipping away without ever having the opportunity to make selfish decisions.
Being the sole bread winner taking care of a parent, a house, replace things that break, need to be fixed and debts that aren’t mine is a task I’ve been doing for the longest time. I just can’t do it anymore. When I tell people how much I earn, their first words are “how do you survive??”
Surviving is easy. I’ve done it my whole life. But I need to live.
I always felt my job would be my key to getting out. Out of this life, this country, this personal hell that saddens me a little more every day. I’ve given everything I have to it. The truth is, its not going to give back.
I get it. I’m just a spoke in the wheel. I will never be the wheel itself.
Sometimes I feel live I’ve given up on what make’s me ME. I’m a creative soul who needs to be inspired, and for a while now I feel like I’ve locked that part of me away.
These are the realities of my life. I know a lot of what I said above will anger people. There will be those who once again dispense advice and attempt to get me to stop feeling sorry for myself. They will say they understand. They will mean it.
All I know is I’m the loneliest and saddest I’ve ever been in my life. I’m making hard decisions every day of my life.
We all know what my dream is, but I fear I won’t survive long enough. So until then…the idea of finding a cabin in the woods to be alone in, you know to grow my beard and write my books, is a pretty decent second choice.
During Bret’s 13 years exodus from the WWE, there were many teases about his return in some capacity, but it never happened.
On Pay-Per-View nights, my friend Gordy and I had many conversations about THIS being the perfect angle for The Hitman to return…but he never did…time and time again we were left disappointed.
Then news started to filter about Hart dealing with the WWE again. Over the years DVDs and merchandise were released with Bret’s involvement…but still no on screen appearance.
In 2006, Bret got the much deserved call into the Hall of Fame…it was an epic night for the fans to see Bret get inducted, but Bret left straight afterwards and never made the traditional on stage performance at the following night’s WrestleMania.
Bret again disappeared.
Then…out of nowhere, an angle started up on RAW in December 2009…
WWE were running with a series of “Guest hosts” for RAW…from celebrities to former WWE stars. Vince McMahon teased that Bret Hart would be the one guy who would never guest host.
In a promo with Vince McMahon, Shawn Michaels spoke the prophetic words of – “If you bring Bret Hart back, – good things will happen.”
Then January 4th 2010, Bret The Hitman Hart returned to the WWE. When his signature music hit…and the Hitman walked out after 13 years…I was in tears.
Bret buried the hatchet with longtime enemy Shawn Michaels…I was in tears.
Bret got involved in several storylines leading up to a matchup at Wrestlemania XXVI where Bret was given retribution against Vince McMahon. A good feeling for life long fans. With Hart family members at ringside (and the member of those we lost)…I was in tears.
The WWE played out further storylines with Bret as GM of RAW and eventually being taken out by the Rising youngsters including South Africa’s own Justin Gabriel – NEXUS. Bret was written off tv.
Nobody knew if that was it for Bret’s triumphant return, for months it seemed like it could be.
Then Bret was brought back for Summerslam in 2010, but used minimally. There was a Hitman tribute show on RAW a few weeks later, but by the end of 2010, the Hitman stepped away with his short term contract seemingly done.
Internet reports suggested Bret was done with the WWE.
Earlier this year, I found out the WWE would be returning to South Africa for a series of shows…of course this would involve the current roster of Superstars.
It was officially announced.
Meanwhile, in May 2011, during a PPV match between Hall of Famer, and long time friend/rival Jerry The King Lawler and Michael Cole, the Hitman stunningly made another return to WWE TV, and also appeared the next night on RAW.
I heard mumblings that Bret would be joining the Smackdown tour to South Africa in July! Surely it was just another in the long list of rumours that I’d heard about Hitman in my life.
I went straight to the source and tweeted @BretHart asking if this was true…and he replied IT WAS!
After last seeing the Hitman 15 years ago, I was going to get another chance to see my idol live…Meeting Bret was always a bucket list item for me, and suddenly there was a tiny window of opportunity to achieve this.
My personal struggle with the world over the last decade has been well documented, but the one thing that always kept me going was that I was a dreamer. I believed in the impossible, in beating the odds. However being a 33 year old single guy who still has dreams, and heroes is a weird juxtaposition in this day and age.
For the last few months in particular I had lost faith in the world. I had convinced myself that nothing good exists anymore, and that dreaming only leads to disappointment.
A few months ago, I posted a question on Facebook asking which three people you would love to invite to dinner. Some people went with the usual dead celebs, rocks stars, Nelson Mandela etc. My answer was – Leona Lewis, Johnny Depp and Bret The Hitman Hart.
I was determined to do what it takes to meet The Hitman this time around. Heck, I NEEDED this!
I organized tickets through a good soul, and knew I would see the Hitman in some capacity at the show at least, but I needed that handshake with the Hitman, I needed one conversation with him.
Being in the industry I’m in any knowing the people I know, I had a lot of contacts. Many of them casually promised they’d organize me a meet and great, or back stage passes, etc etc. All those sort of things people randomly say. As the Johannesburg dates grew closer and the Superstars arrived, those promises amounted to nothing.
I knew time was running short and if this was going to happen I needed a) a bit of luck and b) to do it myself.
The promoters had not organized any signings, so that was out.
Then it dawned on me to simply check the wwe.com website for “superstar appearances”…I did and slowly read
Cape Town – Justin Gabriel and Sin Cara signing at a toy store.
Durban – The Big Show signing at a toy store.
Johannesburg……Bret The Hitman Hart signing at a toy store.
…..wait a second…
BRET THE HITMAN HART WOULD BE SIGNING IN JOHANNESBURG!!!!!!!
Out of all the superstars that could possibly appear at the Johannesburg signing it was the one person I wanted…the Gods of Fate were either smiling upon me…or teasing the hell outta me.
This if course was no guarantee I would even get close to him , I had been to many wrestler signings in the past, and they were mostly disasters.
Marc Mero & Sable – 4 hours in the baking hot sun…no photographs allowed.
Mark Henry – no photos allowed
Rikishi – just say hi and walk on.
JBL and Ivory – this was actually decent, I spoke to JBL for a bit.
Rey Mysterio and Kidman – just walk past and bump knuckles. No autographs or pictures.
I found out about the signing on Friday morning, and it was on Saturday. For the next 24 hours I felt sick to my stomach about everything that could go wrong. I tried to find someone to come with me, but nobody was interested. Story of my life right there.
On Friday night I looked at all my Hitman merchandise and wondered what should I attempt to get signed? Then as I looked at his autobiography it make perfect sense to that that. It was his story, which formed part of my story.
On Saturday I woke up later than I would of liked, and raced through to the shopping centre he was scheduled to appear at. It was a far drive, far enough to allow my mind to get the better of me. Should I turn around and not risk this turning into a bad experience? I don’t think I could handle that. Is the dream better than the reality?
I arrived, got parking, headed to the men’s room to dispose of my energy drink. And made my way to find the “spot”.
With relative ease I found the queue and it looked fairly short…good start!
Then however I noticed everyone in the queue had a “wwe ticket”. I asked what these were for and got told you have to have one to meet The Hitman. However to get a ticket you had to spend R200 at the store sponsoring the signing!
This was not advertised anywhere, and I happen to be someone who NEVER carries money.
I was heartbroken (excuse the pun), and immediately felt defeated. Then…in my George McFly moment, I raised my head up and with great confidence I went to the store and explained some of my story to them. The manager either feeling sympathy or fearing my beard organized me two tickets to go stand in the queue.
As I stood in line I began to wonder what exact I would say to Bret if I did in fact get to speak to him.
Do I tell him about that Battle Royal with Bad News Brown that made me a fan?
Do I quote his line I use almost daily? “Settle Down Anvil, settle down”
Do I tell him how he helped me through tragedy?
Do I ask him how he’s enjoying SA?
Do I just say “sup hitman”?
I thought I’d distract myself by taking some photos….
Which would have been a good idea if my digital camera hadn’t suddenly and inexplicably stopped working!
Panic set in…what was I going to go? The cameras on my phones were fine for close ups, but they would never be good enough for a pic with The Hitman!
They then allowed to queue to move forward right up to the desk where Hitman would be signing. As I looked at the queue I saw a few die-hard fans who were educated about the Hitman, but the crowd was mostly youngsters who were probably born 15 years ago. I knew I was the biggest fan there and smiled to myself thinking this was all just for me and Bret.
I asked the couple in front of me if they could taken a pic of me and Bret if possible and send it to me. They said sure.
Then a dear friend of mine happened to be in the centre and came and joined me. Oh great, nothing like a beautiful woman to see you at your geekiest as you try and justify why you are there. But she was awesome, and even decided to join me to meet him! As we shuffled through the hundred camera phones we tried to find something that would be the best.
The lady on the PA system announced that Bret Hart had arrived, and told us a few rules. No ticket no sign – check
Only one item allowed to be signed – check
You can take photos but can’t go behind the table – awkward but check.
Then, they pumped up some random hard rock music and out came Bret “The Hitman” Hart!!!!
He was wearing the black leather jacket and the sunglasses!!!!!
He got a warm reception. And took his place at the table…
I began to shake from what can only be described as a hybrid of excited and utter fear.
The line moved quickly and before I knew it, it was our turn. I let my friend go first, and took a picture of them with her phone, I felt almost blind though, so I don’t even know how her pic came out!
I saw the couple who was in front of me walk off, so much for them taking a picure and sending it to me!
As I walked up to Bret, 25 years of memories came flashing into my brain, and as I handed over my book in my shaky voice I said to him “Hitman, after 25 years I’ve thought what I would say to you if I ever met you, *he looked up at me*, and all I can think of is….thank you.”
He half smiled and said, “Well thank you for buying my book I appreciate it”
He then asked my name and signed the book to me. I asked for a photo and he extended his hand and shook mine.
At that exact moment my friend got the digital camera working and took the perfect picture of us.
I said thank you and enjoy the rest of the tour.
I didn’t look back, and simply walked off and got onto cloud number 9.
There are so few perfect moments left in life (especially mine). But this was the single greatest day of my life, and it took a series of events to perfectly align for it to happen.
For Bret it was just another of his millions of fans he’s met over the decades, and he won’t think about it for another second.
For me it was everything I needed it to be to believe in dreams again, and remind myself that there is a destiny out there waiting for me.
There’s not a day that doesn’t go by without me being thankful I work in the music industry as a full time job.
I’m lucky enough to dabble in the film and TV industry when the opportunities present themselves, and truth me told, if I was brave enough I would try being an actor/writer on a full time basis.
Being South African, which is mostly embarrassing at times, it’s very difficult to make a career out of film, for many reasons, of which I won’t go into now. But its also ridiculously disheartened at times. Unless you’re prepared to make a career as a soapie actor or “that guy from that commercial”, film recognition is something that’s reserved for the elite few.
I dream of being a big star. I dream of working with my idols and heroes. I dream of winning an Oscar and making the funniest most heartfelt speech (straight after I make out with Halle Berry).
And 99%, that’s all it will ever amount to. A dream.
But there are times when something happens that motivates me so that I believe wholeheartedly in the ridiculously impossible. They are few and far between.
But today I experienced another one of them.
The first however should be noted. It was that very moment Charlize Theron won the Oscar and made her speech saying she’s bring the Oscar back to South Africa.
I doubt my feeling was one of being proudly South African, I’m not THAT contradictory. It was more of a feeling of “I can do it too!” – no not win best Actress, but rather work my way up there.
The second such moment as I said happened today.
Following on the groundbreaking success of “District 9”, its unknown South African star Sharlto Copley was elevated to that level the rest of us dream of.
He was quickly cast as “Howling Mad” Murdoch in the big screen adaption of an 80s serious I grew up on – The A-Team. (I still have my action figures on my desk to this very day).
Even as the news was rumored and then later confirmed, it’s something that didn’t quite set in.
As I browsed my daily film news sites, I came across this image that literally put me on District cloud 9 and made me believe in the impossible.
Here is a guy who was just walking down the street in SA one day…and is now starring with the likes of Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper and Jessica Biel.
I can’t even imagine how his mind is processing all of this. For me its like a dream.
Is it all about hard work and sticking to the task?
Is it all about the lucky break?
Is it about destiny?
Maybe it’s simply the right combination of all three.
It’s not about chasing the fame. It’s about chasing the dream…..and my friends… I may be the biggest dreamer of them all.