A virtual stranger labeled me that recently and he had no idea how right he was. Right away it brought up an image of a cute little turtle dressed up in its finest, dancing its little heart out and the second someone enters the room, bloop, it retreats back into its shell with lightning speed, leaving nothing but a cute little decorated shell seemingly rocking to the beat.
This insight has had a real and lasting impact on me that has made me both happy and sad. Happy that I have apparently been caught dancing outside my shell long enough for someone to spot the dichotomy, but sad because it is a painful reminder of something I like to try to forget and that is that I live about 90% of my life inside my shell (and not necessarily because I want to.) It’s just that I have been afraid to come out.
The worst part is that no one is going to push me out of my shell, because hardly anyone even knows I’m in there. I’ve got a great cover and for all appearances it looks like I am perfectly happy and way outside my shell already so no one suspects a thing, but that’s only because no one would ever guess how much lies inside, but I must confess that what lies inside my shell is big, it’s what you might call eccentric, maybe even a bit uncomfortable to some including me on occasion and it takes up a lot of space, way more than I am used to asking people to make room for.
See the thing I’ve never outright admitted to anyone, not even myself, is that in my shell I am a total geek who is not at all satisfied with just leaving the world the way it is. On the outside I often feel like I can’t do much to make a difference, but inside I am Walt Disney, a big dreamer with a hopelessly hopeful heart, constantly envisioning and creating a better world through my favorite avenue which is storytelling. This is my happy place, this is where I live and at this point my shell is packed with so many beautiful stories that its getting real cramped and creating a bottle neck effect but yet the stories just keep on coming (like the sorcerer’s stone).
I am grateful for this beautiful gift of imagination I have been blessed with, I truly am but it has also been painful over the years because no matter how hard I try I just can’t seem to figure out how to get them (and therefore me) out of my shell so that I can share them with the world and sometimes it feels like I might just implode.
But this week something changed in me. I finally got seriously tired of that same old song I’ve been singing “poor little me stuck in my shell, boo friggin hoo”. This week I actually got into a fight with me and I won. I told myself who gives a crap if you’re scared. Everyone’s scared. Get over it. You don’t know how to share? Bullshit, it’s easy, you just open your mouth and you share it. You’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver on what you want to deliver in the way you want to deliver it? That’s true. You won’t. Especially not the way you’ve been doing it, little miss thinks she can do everything all by herself.
See you may be blessed with a great imagination and gift for storytelling, but it takes a lot more than that to get great stories out into the world. It takes people, lots of people, talented people who have equally amazing skill sets that you don’t have, and lots of money you currently don’t have, all working together towards a common goal to make those kinds of amazing stories (particularly films) come to life and if you don’t start sharing and trusting and asking for support this is never going to happen. Walt may have been a great man but he would have been nothing without Roy, probably just a crazy old dude doodling and giggling to himself in the corner.
You need to go find your Roy and you need to do it quick because you have a lot of work to do to clean out that shell. You’ve only got about 40 or 50 years left and with the looks of all the piles in here you’re gonna need at least that, so get friggin on it. Move!
So I guess I really told myself. Bam. And I was right it is time to get serious about looking for my Roy (or Roy-ette). I’m looking for that needle in a haystack. That someone truly special who has the desire, time, connections, resources, vision, kindness and patience it takes to partner with an old stubborn turtle like me. To whoever you are I will say this: Despite my sweet, smiley demeanor, I can be a real pain in the ass on occasion but I can also be so incredibly awesome too and if you are as good at producing and selling as I am at creating and performing then I truly believe that the results could be no less than legendary. I hope we find each other so we can start producing Magic.
Either way, today marks the day where I have officially kicked me out of my shell, so please excuse the temporary mess and yes, hand me that party dress, I’ve got a business partner to find and I want to make sure he or she sees me.