It's past midnight, and I have class in the morning. I don't have time to read this column again and again. I don't have time to think about what I might type or go back and edit.
I just need to write.
Tomorrow I will continue to be shamed.
This is the funny fuckin' thing about life, about the lived human experience: it is not linear.
We progress and we regress. We are lifted up and we are brought down. We are loved by one, hated by another, and, worse, get no reaction whatsoever from some.
It's not just pro wrestling. In life, there is no worse response than an audience that does not care.
So yeah, in life, you graduate high school, big-person on campus, just to be a freshman again. Again and again you rise and fall. You are somebody until you are nobody and nobody until you are somebody again.
In 2013, I had to decide between two Master's programs, and I did something that maybe nobody else in the world has ever done. I wrote columns, wrestling as the great metaphor, until I figured out which university I wanted to choose.
Yes, I chose my Master's program off of CF columns and the responses I received.
And I based much of my work off Bobby Roode, who had, at that time, recently dominated the heavyweight division in TNA. I considered Roode to be of the earth element--very sound, very grounded, very methodical.
I am the opposite.
I am of the air element.
Everything I've ever done has been based in the invisible.
I am emotion.
I am energy.
I am the experiential.
I walk in a room and I can't tell you what it looks like or what anyone is wearing, but I can tell you the mood of the person three rows back who has yet to speak a word.
But Bobby Roode.
He doesn't strike me as a man of the inner world.
He is of the earth. He is leg strength and spinebusters and he doesn't use his time away from wrestling to contemplate the world. He uses it to watch hockey.
In 2013, I made myself methodical.
I copied Bobby Roode.
I traded air for earth and I chose the program opposite of what I would have otherwise chosen.
And funny thing: life imitated art. In the program, I learned critical thinking. I learned to use my mind and not just my expressions. I happened to become the person I imitated to make my choice.
But it's over two years later.
I have graduated from that program, and I moved a thousand miles to start a PhD program.
But the program I'm in, while it may be a better fit, is not the program I wanted to choose. It's the program my mentors told me to choose.
I have now experienced the other side of giving away your natural element.
I became so good at being something that I'm not that I forgot who I truly am.
I became very social and often led my cohort. I influenced them and they influenced me. I came to believe, according to my teachings, that there was no personal, no individual, that everything was socially constructed and socially influenced.
But guess what happens when your social influences influence you to move 1,000 miles away.
You wake up one morning and everything that you've known is gone. You wake up one morning and there is no one to tell you what to do or where to go or even why you're where you are.
You wake up one morning and don't know who you are, where you are, or what the hell you're doing.
And it's not like you can ask yourself. You were once of the air element. You could touch the sky, gather the most elusive emotions, and bring them back down for humankind. You could go inward and find anything anyone needed, at any moment.
But you gave it all away.
And you wake one morning and you remember
that there is
and there is
and there are
And you write your way forward, write your way up, out of bed, and you look out the window and see within your soul.
that everything you see
is everything you are.
You are not quite redeemed.
Your not flying again.
But you've got that first feeling.
And you remember,
you remember in your being,
that you are a being,
and that you have a choice.
And you know
you're getting ready
to do something
And you look to Bobby Roode,
and you wonder:
What the fuck were you doing when you were playing the babyface?
When you looked like a poor man's Nikita Koloff?
You went from longest reigning world champion to a world title win that didn't even entice me.
When you were playing the babyface, were you doing a role reversal similar to mine? Had you forsaken the earth element, the methodical, to pretend that you were born to prance about, all good-ish like, and maybe try to fly?
Now you've wrestled tag matches, and I hear that they were good. But I don't want to watch them, either.
I don't want to see you, Bobby Roode, as anything less than what you were born to be. Just like I no longer want to see myself as less than my elemental birth.
So I see a tweet the other day, Bobby Roode, and it says that you will be in the GFW world title tournament.
A new place.
A new start.
I don't guess you will win it, but could you want to?
Could you fight for it?
Cheat for it?
Hell, maybe kill for it?
Could I see what I saw in 2012 once more?
In other words, once we've fallen out of favor and lost ourselves, is there a way back to what we used to be?
See, I haven't told you this
while I may end up staying where I am
and choosing this place
I may just as easily
in a year
to a place
of my own choosing.
I may do something crazy,
I may blow up the world constructed,
to remember what it's like to walk amongst broken shards.
GFW is like transferring to a similar program. It isn't TNA, but is like it, or maybe even is it.
Last time I went first
in trading elements
and it worked for awhile.
This time you go first.
And I will be watching
that our better days
are not somehow lost in time.
I can't be Bobby Roode. I know that to be true. And you sure as hell don't want to be me.
But could we recreate what was never created in the first place?
Could we go back to being what we were when we weren't trying to be anything at all?
Or is the truth much worse?
Did we stop being who we originally were because there is no place in the external world that will privilege who we were?
I benefited from trading away my air element, at least in the academy.
And maybe you played Nikita Koloff and the tag wrestler because nobody will let you be who you truly are.
Maybe we never wanted to change.
Maybe there just ceased being a place for us as we were.
I want to go back, Bobby.
I want to be me again.
And it sure as hell would help me
if I could see you