On the internet I seem normal. In real life I’m a weirdo.
There’s a lot I’ve shared online over the last 8 years (some would say too much). But there’s a lot I haven’t said.
Sharing things people don’t know about you has become a trend. Here’s my attempt. I promise you mine is going to be an awesome read.
Here are ten bizarre things you probably don’t know about me.
1. I am a puppy obsessed maniac
When I was on the dating scene I met the woman of my dreams. We went on a few dates. Suddenly she wasn’t into me anymore.
“Every time you see a dog your face goes all screwed up and you talk to them like they’re cute babies in another language I can’t decipher.”
She was right.
As a kid I hated dogs. We lived next to a few dangerous pit bulls. To change my mind, my parents bought me a cute puppy named Alisha Denning.
I fell in love with her. So much so that I plan on naming my daughter’s middle name after my now deceased dog.
She died 17 years ago and I still talk about her every day. That’s true love.
2. The school incident that changed my life
In grade four I sang in the school choir.
We were so good we made it to state championships. I had the voice of an angel before my voice broke. One Christmas we prepared for the annual carols in the music hall. The temperature was 109°F.
Underneath my thick red choir gown I wore a woolen jumper, tie, shirt, and singlet. The extreme heat caused me to faint during one of the songs.
I blacked out.
My chin landed on the hard wooden stage floor and cracked open. There was blood everywhere. From that day on I could no longer trust my body.
I always thought I would get sick. I became scared of blood and medical procedures. And I developed deep anxiety that turned into debilitating mental illness years later.
I can’t be sure, but I’m fairly certain this incident became the start of my downfall and the eventual comeback in my 20s.
3. Public school over private school
My parents couldn’t really afford it but they sent me to private school.
It cost them $20,000 a year. We drove the worst car in the school, a blue van. My dad worked hard labor jobs to pay the bills. After the fainting incident I’d had enough of private school.
All the prestige. All the BMWs. All the fake soccer moms.
And … no girls (boys-only school).
So I forced my parents to send me to public school. It eased their financial burden and I made way more friends.
Being around normies is underrated.
4. Music is in my blood
I love music.
Since I was a young boy I wanted to make people happy through music. When I arrived at public school I saw a kid named Mark play drums. I instantly fell in love. My parents wouldn’t buy me a drum kit though.
“Too loud” said dad.
So I saved up and bought a drum kit anyway. I racked up my 10,000 hours of practice quickly. It became an obsession. I played so much my wrists hurt. I had to regularly change the skins on my drums because I beat them so hard.
I finally convinced my dad to get private lessons. My teacher was an Italian man named Mauro. He was one of the best drummers in the world.
But he didn’t like my closed-mindedness.
“You will play all styles. Not just rock.”
He taught me African, Brazilian, and even jazz drumming. I discovered that all genres of music are connected. I later applied this lesson to online writing.
As I got older playing the drums wasn’t cool enough. I was a status junkie so I took up DJing. Then that led to me studying sound engineering. I eventually quit music altogether after my public battle with mental illness.
Music turned into my writing obsession. (Although I intend to buy an electronic drum kit one day and see if I’ve still got the skills.)
5. Tragic final words hurt me
At 18 years old, I exited the car park of my local gym.
A friend in his V8 sports car came past so fast he nearly ran into my vehicle. I pulled over to get petrol further up the road. His car was parked next to the entrance.
“Mate, you’re going to have a bad accident if you keep driving like that,” I said.
A few weeks later, on the same stretch of road, he was cruising at 30 miles over the speed limit with his subwoofer blasting.
His car came flying over a steep hill. At the bottom was a truck doing an illegal right-hand turn. His car went straight under the truck.
“He’ll be a vegetable for the rest of his life” they told us.
One week later he died.
Innocent words can create someone’s reality. It still hurts. I wish I could have said something that would have saved him.
6. Can’t take a good photo
Every girlfriend I’ve ever had said the same thing:
“Hold the camera still. It’s not hard to take a photo.”
Camera technology has got better. My skills have got worse. I can’t take photos. I don’t understand lighting or focus or symmetry.
I want to live in the moment, not photograph it. Call me weird.
7. Haven’t had the flu in 7 years
I spent 26 years being sick every day. It felt like a curse.
Then I changed my diet roughly 7 years ago. I haven’t had a cough, cold or flu since. My last sore throat was 5 years ago.
I have no idea why.
I suspect the food I eat and the water I drink helps keep me safe. When people I’ve known my entire life hear this fact, they think it’s crazy. Everyone in the first part of my life knew me as “the kid who was always sick.” Not anymore.
Hopefully I’m not superhuman. Or a vampire 🙂
8. Regularly cringe at my career
“Have I said too much?” is what I think sometimes. I think this career I’ve chosen is weird. How do you explain it? One day we might look back and cringe at this generation of creators.
I’m okay with that. When I read anything I wrote a few years ago it makes me laugh. Hopefully that means I’ve grown, or just got less silly.
9. Hate being recognized in the street
This one sounds egotistical. Hear me out.
A few times before coroni-macaroni struck, I got recognized in the street for my writing on LinkedIn. You might think this is awesome.
I hate it.
The couple of times it has happened I’ve frozen. It scares the crap out of me. I don’t know what to say. I want to run and hide inside the nearest supermarket freezer to escape.
Instead, I prefer to transfer any attention I might get to others.
10. Scared of snakes on a plane
My mother is scared of flying.
The fear transferred to me. Until my mid-20s, I’d never flown outside of my home state of Australia. Nightmares of planes crashing or a deadly virus attacking me mid-air prevented me from boarding any flights.
The movie “Snakes On A Plane” didn’t help.
Snakes are everywhere in Australia. They live right behind my house, and I’m scared out of my mind by them. The local council recently put up snake signs everywhere to remind me, daily. Great, mate.
10.5 — Helped tech companies
I worked in banking for most of my career.
Many don’t know it was my job to get tech companies to set up in Australia and New Zealand. If you’re an Aussie or Kiwi and ever used companies like Netflix, Amazon, Stripe, Uber or Slack … you’re welcome 🙂
I’ll leave you with a fun fact. The surname “Denning” is shared with Lord Denning. He was king’s counsel in 1938 and famously created the foundation for the modern law of promissory estoppel.
Now we know each other a little better. Hope you had fun. See ya round. Maybe don’t approach me in the street though 🙂