Flipping the Script Intro (Part 3/3)
Along my journey, I’ve found that many people would rather live a life without meaning, struggling to make ends meet and lacking basic happiness, rather than putting in the work necessary to effect positive change in themselves and in those around them. I get it. I’ve been that guy, and it’s no fun.
We are living in a world that is changing by the minute, and it feels like we’re all trying desperately to keep up, but what exactly is it that we’re trying to keep up with? I’ve always prided myself on being an individual and not caring what others think about me, but the truth is, I care...I care very much. Even typing this is making my heart race and my mind go to weird, scary places. I feel vulnerable and I feel uncomfortable, two feelings that usually make me pick up my iPhone and check my social media accounts. I can’t count how many times per day I pick up my phone to see if I have missed a call, a text, or a new alert from Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or any number of the other ridiculous new platforms that seem to multiply like Gremlins eating chicken after midnight. If you don’t get that reference, you’re probably too young to realize the negative impact social media may be having on your life, so it’s a good thing you’re reading this book.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that all social media is bad (except Live.me, that’s seriously the worst). What I am saying is that, just like anything in life, too much of anything is never good for you. I’ve felt the shift in my own life and in the lives of those around me, and I’m not okay with it. I miss the days of face-to-face interaction and long phone calls with friends and family. I’ll be honest, I still call my mom every day, usually multiple times, but I can’t really say that about anyone else in my life. That reality makes me sad; it makes me feel disconnected, and it makes me question how we got to this place, so I’d like to explore that a bit. Also, my hope in writing this book is to share my story, as well as the stories of some really awesome people whom I love dearly, to remind you that we’re all in this thing together.
Life is meant to be fun, miserable, messy, exhilarating, terrifying, frustrating, and absolutely incredible, all in the course of a single day. Much like the weather in my home state of Ohio, you never know what you’re going to get hour by hour. You can embrace the constant change or you can complain about it. Either way, change is constantly happening. I say we learn how to not only expect it, but to welcome it with open arms and a big ole bear hug!
You see, what I want for you as you read this book is the same thing I want for myself: to face the self-sabotaging habits that we’re all repeating on a day-to-day basis and to show you that no matter how glamorous someone else’s life may seem, there’s so much more story to tell than just what you see on TV, social media, or the big screen. And in the end, I hope you are inspired to take back your life and live the life you were created to live.
I know that change can be scary; maybe not in that whole afraid-to-go-to-bed-for-a-solid-year-of-your-life-after-seeing-A-Nightmare-on-Elm-Street-for-the-first-time kind of scary, but more an I’m-not-sure-what-living-the-life-of-my-dreams-would-actually-look-like sort of scary. Both are terrifying, but only one ends with your bloody remains being sprayed onto the ceiling from a mattress after you fall asleep with a TV casually resting on your stomach. Spoiler alert: You’re going to survive and movies are make-believe, so we’re all good.
But this is not about that. THIS is about the type of scary that turns out much rosier —if you’re willing to put in the work! THIS is about the type of scary that I’ve had to fight against and overcome every single day of my life, because I know that I have an obligation to myself and to the world to do so. Within the pages of this book, I’m genuinely writing myself out of one of the darkest periods of my life. I’ve decided that I need to shake things up in a big way and take a long, hard look in the mirror.
I’m sitting on a couch in a coffee shop in my hometown of Celina, Ohio, looking for the right words to speak to your heart in the way I so desperately yearn to. I have no problem connecting with the countless streams of people who keep marching their way from the order counter over to my little nook in the corner in front of the gas fireplace (seriously, I’m borderline famous in my hometown). Verbalizing my thoughts has always come easy to me, which is probably why everyone feels so comfortable stopping by for a chat. I love a good conversation, even though each one delays the writing process a little longer. These are my people and they’re worth it.
This is day three of my sixteen-day writing sabbatical. The trick is putting my words into print. I come from a long line of talkers. Writing, however, is a whole other beast. But slay the beast I must!
I chose to come home to start this process because this is the place that made me into the man I am today, good, bad, and everything in between. If I’m going to share my story, this is where it all began.
My life in Los Angeles can be very exciting, don’t get me wrong. Interviewing celebrities on the biggest red carpets and breaking down the latest Kardashian drama live on air in front of millions of viewers is a lot of fun and something I’ve fought hard to be able to do, but I want more. MY SOUL NEEDS MORE!
We were all created with a purpose and for a purpose. My soul desperately needed to find MY purpose. So I decided to start writing and go on the journey.
This book is my Hail Mary, my last-ditch effort to create the life I know I was born to live. In the chapters to come, I’m going to tear my chest open, bare my heart and soul to you, and hope you’ll accept the love that I am pouring into the pages of this book. I’m dead serious when I say that I love you, I want nothing but the absolute best for you, and I will do my very best to make sure that the time you’ve dedicated to reading this book will be more than worth it.
Before we go all the way down this rabbit hole together, I’m just going to lay all my cards out on the table. I genuinely want you, my new friend, to know that within the pages of this book you have found a safe space, a judgment-free zone, a refuge. I’ve held so many emotions in for my entire life and in the process have built so many walls that it feels almost impossible to undo, but try I must!
I have the best family on the planet and love every member with all my heart, but like many families out there, some of the closest people in my life have hurt me the most and destroyed my self-confidence in ways I’m sure they’re not even aware of. I feel guilty just typing that, but it is my truth, and I think it is something that will be able to help my readers. While I plan on being brutally honest about the messy family dynamics that have contributed to who I am today, I’ll also take 100 percent of the blame for every mistake I’ve ever made in my life.
You must know I dropped out of school twice because I was entitled and allowed life to overwhelm me. I’m the guy who racked up over $50,000 worth of student loan debt and a few thousands of dollars more in credit card debt, with no way of ever repaying any of it without the help of my parents. I never took the time to fully understand the difference between 1099 and W-2 income, so it’s my fault I got that tax bill the first year I made real money in my life. I made a lot of bad choices, and I’ve learned from them.
I told you it would be messy, but I promise to unpack this more later.
I’m going to get real honest about faith and God and sexuality and money and all of that complicated stuff that people are afraid to discuss with brutal honesty, because these are things that NEED TO BE DISCUSSED WITH BRUTAL HONESTY. I know I can’t be the only person on the planet who feels like I’m misunderstood and don’t belong in any of the subcategories that society has decided to box me into. So, I think we should talk about some of that. Actually, I think we should talk about ALL of it...no holds barred!
This book is going to be a wild ride, and I need to know you’re down for the journey. If you’re willing to go on the ride, you will learn a few things about yourself, and through the tools this book will provide, you will see a path toward a much more fulfilling, more exciting life! I’m not a licensed therapist, and my opinions are mine and mine alone, but I am an expert at one thing: BEING HUMAN! So if you’re down for some real talk, human-to-human, that I know will benefit both of us, let’s do this! I’ve waited thirty-seven years to put my mess of a life into words, and for whatever reason, felt compelled to then share these words with the world, so if nothing else, you’re sure to have a good laugh at my expense, which I’m more than okay with.
The stories in this book jump around a bit, so I’ve assigned numbers to each “scene” to help clarify certain points in my journey. Life does not happen in a linear fashion, so I’d like this book to
reflect that. In life, we rarely move forward along a straight path, so think of each chapter of this book as an expansion of who I am as a person. Also, at the end of each chapter, you’ll find “Script Rewrites.” These are simple exercises aimed at helping YOU rewrite your story
right along with me. Feel free to download your own personal “script” on my website www.AJGIBSONTV.com, so you’ll have something tangible to refer back to after you’ve finished this book and go out into the world with a renewed confidence and passion for
life! I can’t rewrite your story for you, but I can show you how I was able to rewrite mine.
My hope is that you’ll be able to relate to my life and that you’ll find hope in my words, because I promise you this: I should not be alive, and it is only by the grace of God and lots of love from my
family that I am even here today, about to pour my soul out onto these pages for you to read, dissect, and hopefully draw inspiration from. I love you, I am rooting for you, and this book is for you.