When Dom was in first grade, he told his teacher he wanted to play center field for the New York Yankees.
In a deadpan voice that didn’t entertain dreamers or laughter, she asked, “What’s your back-up plan?”
Dom paused a beat and asked, “What do you think about right field?”
I love that story.
When Dom shared it with me, we were eating pizza with our families, following a Little League game. Dom laughed and laughed. He could still remember the teacher eyeballing him.
The way Dom told the story . . . First you have to imagine his words drenched in a New York accent, with breaks from laughter interrupting the flow. Second, you have to imagine the teacher, one of those old school, hard core teachers, with those now-retro black framed glasses with thick Coca-Cola bottle lenses, a long skirt, and thick-soled orthopaedic shoes.
That night at pizza, he laughed at himself and how naive he was as a kid. I admired him for his laughter. He loves baseball and I know that no matter how much he laughs at that 1st grader, he would have done anything to play Major League Baseball. I admired him for being honest, too. Sure, it was a story of a first grader, but it was a 50 year old story that he’s continued to tell. It means something to him.
I recently read something by Tim Grahl, which reminded me of Dom’s honesty and reflection.
I was first introduced to Tim’s name when he and Shawn started working together on Shawn’s Story Grid site. It was interesting to read what was and wasn’t working as they worked together on Tim’s novel.
Just a few months ago, I found myself reading something different from Tim — his personal story of what has and hasn’t worked within his own life. He wasn’t laughing at himself as Dom had, but his message was just as effective. He was raw and honest — two things I admire just as I do the ability to laugh. As I finished reading the last page, I thought, “He’s not the only one.” I knew his story would resonate with other writers and entrepreneurs because it is a classic tale. I admired him for putting himself out there—for not painting an all-is-beautiful Facebook image.
In the coming weeks, as Steve finishes his serialization of The Artist’s Journey, we’ll start sharing some of Tim’s new project. I hope you’ll join us.