Home is Where the Dream Begins.
It’s hard to explain the feeling of being at a place you call home. You know? A place that just feels right. A place where every time you go back you can’t help but be in a great mood. Home is a place that you spend time with some of the most important people in your life.
Yes, home is of course the place you actually grew up with your immediate family. But I’m lucky enough to call a few different places ‘home’ and today I was back in one of them. Hamden, CT.
As I sat in the arena this morning and watched my Alma Mater practice,I had two thoughts on my mind.
1) It’s time for the Bobcats to go dancing.
2) I couldn’t help but reminisce on where it all started.
I was immediately brought back to 2012. When it all clicked. It was that moment in time when I realized what I wanted to do with my life (or at least the path I wanted to go down).
I’ll never forget it. It was a few weeks before graduation, I was shooting around in the TD Bank Center at night (recently rebranded as the People’s United Center). Typically I would be playing trick shot H.O.R.S.E. or launching half court shots with my guys partners in crime Sean and Austin, but sometimes I enjoyed being up there by myself.
Just me. A beautiful 3,500 seat arena. Not a peep in the gym.
And then it hit me.
“Holy shit! Graduation is here. Am I actually going to be a real life person after this? No more living it up as a college student anymore? No more late nights and college parties? No more ‘Teaching People How to Dougie’?”
(just kidding. My teammates tried to help me with that one… but it never worked).
I was petrified of leaving this place. I didn’t want to do “adult” things. I dreaded the 9-5 life. What if I ended up working with people that I didn’t like? I wasn’t ready for the Sunday Scaries! I didn’t want to start spending my weekends at Home Depot and Bed Bath and Beyond yet! NOOOO.
Anyways. Where were we? Oh… getting up shots in the empty arena that had been home for me the previous four years. Man what a time. Just replaying the ups and downs of those four years both on and off the court. From walk-on tryouts freshman year to almost getting cut due to Title IX issues the following year. From being a rebounder in every drill freshman year to becoming a (self proclaimed) scout team specialist during my senior season. From a few hundred people in the stands to a sold out GOLD RUSH during the NEC Championship game.
And let me tell you, I will never forget the feeling of the crowd chanting my name. Why the heck did they even like me so much? The #TarcaTime signs got me every time lol.
As I regrouped my thoughts and came back to reality, I realized I was a few weeks before graduation and still had no idea what I wanted to do! I mean… sure I had a general idea. Just like everyone else. I wanted to do something that made me some money and something that I would enjoy. So I started to think…
Let’s start with basketball. Obviously basketball has been the vehicle that has opened many doors so far in life. Maybe that will continue. Should I give the NBA a chance?
(LOL… just kidding. I clearly never thought that).
Let’s be real here. Even though the crowd chanted my name every once in awhile and my friends shamelessly painted their bodies with my name on it (proof below), I had a better chance of seeing Jesus walk through the doors of the arena that night than playing professional basketball.
But the body paint dedication never went unappreciated lol… shoutout my guys.
Ok. Next idea. Business? Finance? I had been applying for a few different jobs that month. The Financial Leadership Development Programs at both Johnson & Johnson and United Technologies.
Maybe one of them would come through. Could be great pay and benefits, right? Hopefully I’ll get one of those!
…as I rolled my eyes. Nope. I can’t. I just can’t do that. I would be miserable.
The most recent conversation I had with J&J was one of the final round interviews. Do you remember just about every single math exam you studied for in high school? Pretty much any exam for that matter. Those ‘let’s – memorize – formulas – and – definitions – and – cram – the – night – before – and – hope – I – remember – it – all – the – next – day’ type of exam?
Yea. That was exactly what that interview was like. Identifying assets and liabilities, defining headcount and walking through depreciation schedules and… blah blah blah. No thanks.
Alright. Not for me. Maybe I should rescind my name from those applications… Back to basketball. What else? I knew I loved business. That’s a good combo. Basketball and business! I’m not a business man, I’m a business…. mannnn.
See… locker room talk even helped me stay up on my rap game.
Ok let’s keep going with this. I know I love people. I know I love traveling. Exploring new places and learning new things is great. We went on that foreign tour during the summer before my junior year… yes! We’re getting somewhere. Basketball. Business. Travel. People!
Let’s do that! The European trip was unreal! How can I combine them? What if I could manage people? Manage international talent? Should I be an agent? Oh wow. Oh yea! That sounds cool!
You probably guessed what movie I watched that night…
So there we were. May 10, 2012. The day I started dreaming about becoming an agent.
My dream started that day… and let me tell you… being an agent now is much different than what I thought it was in 2012. The ups and downs of the past 6 years, 5 months and 3 days is a conversation for another day. But for now… I hope that brings you up to speed.
You probably have a similar story. And you probably remember the exact point in time when things just “clicked.”
As for me, home is where my dream began.