What Swingers (1996) Taught Me
The sky was dark that night.
I was the only one left in the room as usual. And as I tucked my chair in for the last time I began to tear up. I looked around, realizing this chapter was done. My career in Radio was over. It was hard, and so, it deserved a little time. I turned off the lights and looked around remembering the last 10 years. All of them at this desk.
I had turned into Mike from Swingers. Except instead of waxing poetic about the good times with a lady, I was nostalgic for what I was leaving behind. It was a big deal. Nearly 15 years in Radio and on that day, I was closing up shop for the last time.
Everything in my life, and I mean everything that was constant in my life, Radio had given me. I may have had a hand in it too, but yeah, radio gave it to me.
Every close friend I had in the city came from a connection to Radio.
My first roommate who became my best friend, I met him through an intern I had.
Even the girl that would be my wife, I met her while working an event in Radio.
My next step even came from my work in Radio.
I mean everything. Radio was my Thanksgiving toast, nearly every year.
And at that moment, I was changing offices and moving on to TV. I have to admit, it was scary.
Moving on is scary. That’s why Jon Favreau couldn’t focus on anything good in his life until he moved on. And there’s a great scene in that film where Ron Livingston & Favreau are talking about the stakes. Ron’s character “Rob” has just been turned down to play “Goofy” at Disneyland. Mike laughs, but also realizes shit, my life isn’t that bad. In fact, Favreau, in the eyes of his friend is a success story. And it’s that reason alone that he snaps out of it.
And here I was crying in my office remembering the good times.
Lesson 4: You’ll never know your worth when it’s raining.
I’ve been in my current role in TV for nearly 8 months and I have to say this is the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced, professionally. There have been some clouds and I’ve had to pull up the big boy pants, dig deep and get it done. But there have also been more sunny days in this role where I’ve seen that worth more than I ever had in my 15 years of Radio.
Your memories are always there before you have to move on. They’ll be there for a long time after too. But life moves forward. Never back. And it’s up to you to wake up and determine what the sky will look like today.