The Wandering Warrior

The Wandering Warrior
Photo by pine watt / Unsplash

One of my best friends in the world for the last 15 years is a man by the name of Dave. Now, I'm not going to try and explain Dave to you because he's an enigma wrapped in bacon, but I will tell you this: He loves to laugh at how bad I am at communication.

I know what you're thinking. 'But Dan, you are one of the best communicators I know.' To which I say to you, 'Thank you, imaginary reader, in my head who thinks very highly of me because I created you too.'

Now, to the actual readers, especially those of you who know me personally: you know that I am above average at communication. I have an enjoyable writing style, I'm a competent public speaker, and I can hold a conversation with someone or a group for hours. But Dave doesn't believe any of this should be possible due to my many, many blind spots when it comes to English.

I'm not a very good speeler, but that shouldn't be an issue with the amount of spell-checking software out there. So my work never had spelling mistakes, but it often contained correctly spelled words that should not be there.

For example, I'll write that a character lifted a heavy box with a homemade contraction. Then Dave will laugh and laugh while I wait for him to calm down and tell me what I did wrong.

This example is particularly funny because his other complaint is that I will always write in scripts 'is not, I am, you are' instead of using a contraption.

What's even funnier is that, after I made the little joke here of using the wrong one in the wrong spot, I still needed to go to Google to make sure I had spelt them correctly.

The funniest thing is... Dave hired me as a professional writer.

But it's not just speeling (yes, I know what I'm doing). I often can't pronounce words and spent years saying them wrong before I met Dave. Usually, this causes a chuckle, but there was one time it was a real problem.

Dave and I had a long-running Christian kids TV show. It wasn't exactly that, but it's the best way to describe it, and for a few years, it was on TV on a channel that now doesn't exist. One of the stories we did spanned 3 episodes, and it was a story that my character was reading to his niece and nephew. The story was about a Warrier, and this lies the problem: I pronounced it 'War Ree Ar' instead of 'Wo Ree uh'. Mine is close to the American pronunciation but still off enough to sound weird. This problem was amplified by the fact that I needed to say this word about 73 times in the script.

Have you seen the movie Whiplash? Neither have I, but I assume it was similar to how Dave attempted to get me to pronounce Warrior the correct way.

I will give you a moment to Google Whiplash. You should see a picture of a young guy next to an old bald guy. Any resemblance between them and Dave and me is purely coincidental – and, for the record, not an official observation from this blog.

Now, I tell this story for two main reasons. One: I'm leading this to a really satisfying conclusion and, Two: I started writing the intro and went on this tangent for so long that I better make this focus on the entire blog.

Let's address both.

The last 6 months have been hard. If you've been reading, you'll know I've penned a few entries from the valley. I thought I would write a lot more during that season to help share the burden, but it didn't turn out that way. I began blogging at least 3 times and got about 400 words in each time, but couldn't push forward. There were more attempts, but I couldn't even settle on a title.

The struggle was real, but we managed to persevere. I can successfully claim that I've come out of the valley, and the past few months have been so transformative that I'm genuinely grateful for that challenging phase. It has evolved me as a person, readying me for what we're currently confronting. I might delve deeper into this later, but the situation is a heady mix of excitement, trepidation, and a whirlwind of other emotions. I stand before an endeavour I'm ill-equipped for, lacking expertise and insights. But since when has that ever hindered me?

I struggled, take after take, to record each of those 73 Warriors, but I did it. And Dave? He's still friends with me. Some tasks might seem straightforward, but for me, they can be unanticipated challenges. Yet, with sheer will, I manage to conquer them, step by step. And that's precisely my plan for the challenge ahead.

I am the Wandering Warrior, and even if I can't pronounce it, I'm committed to walking it out.