Six years ago, I started my first blog, and one of my early posts was about “Man on a Wire.”
“Man on a Wire” is a documentary that chronicles the amazing and almost unbelievable story of a Philippe Petit, an eccentric, young Frenchman who performed a tight-rope act in the gaping space between the World Trade Center twin towers.
Now, performing a tightrope act between any two points is pretty amazing — especially when it is without a support rope — especially when it is 1,300 feet in the air — and especially when there was an elaborate, illegal, and radical coo to make it all happen.
(Yes, that’s Philippe crossing the towers.)
It took Philippe Petit six years from the time he first saw an image of the World Trade Center to pull off a seemingly impossible mission of smuggling his equipment over 90 stories up both of the Twin Towers, rigging his wire (through the use of a bow and arrow), and walking between two of the world’s tallest buildings… on a wire.
The story, like a classic heist movie, is exciting and thrilling. There is danger and suspense, fear and relief.
But more than anything, Philippe’s story is inspiring and uplifting.
It’s not a story about tight-rope walking. It is a story about finding your passion, believing in yourself, and chasing your dreams against all odds.
It’s about straying from the norm and doing what makes you unique and free, which is why a post about the “The Walk” — the recently released feature film retelling Philippe’s crazy journey — is the perfect way to restart my blog “The Independent Project.”
(This is what Philippe would have seen when he stepped on the roof of the World Trade Center.)
While I’ve been blogging for over five years, I’ve never really found my niche or had a place in the blogging world. I just couldn’t find a topic I really cared about.
Not knowing what to write about certainly didn’t stop me from blogging, writing, or setting up online communities. I built an entertainment blog about Tampa that lead me to some great opportunities. And I have a new and growing online audience at Simply Stated Media where I help people and businesses build online platforms.
But while I was blogging about Tampa from a brand voice and helping others build their platforms, I couldn’t help but feel a bit discouraged that I hadn’t quite drilled down into what I really wanted to build my personal platform around… until recently.
When I really thought about what I wanted to create, who I wanted to talk to, and who I really was, one word came to mind — independent.
As I reflected on the past few years, I noticed a theme. I’d spent years absorbing anything and everything I could about the being independent in work and life. I’d created a network of others who shared the same values. And I was constantly sharing advice (both solicited and unsolicited) with others about how they could do the same.
I saw that I am a free thinker, freelancer, and a firm believer that a free life is a happy life.
So, I thought this would be the perfect place to find my niche in the blogging world.
The Independent Project is going to be my place to share resources, advice, stories, and ideas that promote living a life where you can be more free, unique, and self-sufficient.
I’ll explore topics that promote independence in life and work through:
- Acceptance (Of Yourself and Others)
- Hard Work
- Sharing (Both Your Talents and Your Compassion with the World)
I finally found what I believe to be my niche and I hope you will enjoy me for the ride. It’s going to be a slow start as a carve out my path. But I’d love for you to be along from the start by signing up for my newsletter so you can be an early adopter of something small that I hope will bloom into something much bigger than me.
Starting a blog or any public project for that matter is all about getting your courage to take the first step… which leads me back to Mr. Petit’s and his wire.
Philippe’s unbelievable walk across the twin towers (and Philippe himself) is a perfect example of what is it to live an independent life, take chances, and follow your passion.
I won’t tell you all of the details of Philippe’s walk in the sky, but I will tell you what his story taught me.
We all have dreams and ambitions. They may not look like anyone else’s. They may not seem realistic to others. And they may seem so far out of our reach.
But you have to just take it one step at a time and keep walking toward them without worrying about what is happening on the sidelines.
Philippe realized that he wanted to be a tightrope walker when he was a child. Most of the people around him didn’t approve or understand.
Philippe wanted to want walk on a tightrope between the Twin Towers. Everyone said he was crazy.
But he spent his lifetime learning and perfect his craft, his calling. He did whatever he had to do to keep moving toward his dreams. And six years after seeing a drawing of the World Trade Center, he turned his dream into a reality.
Sometimes fulfilling a dream takes awhile. It requires a lot of hard work, practice, and determination.
You’ll have to take risks, face adversity, and experience critics who say you shouldn’t, can’t, or won’t.
But if you continue to believe in yourself, move forward with pride and confidence, you’ll walk the path toward what you really want.
Just like Philippe.
If you want to get the whole story as told by Philippe, I strongly recommend watching the documentary “Man on a Wire” first. That way, you get to meet Philippe and see his natural, unique and true character before watching Joseph Gordon Levitt play him (in a great performance) in the movie.
Then, go see the full-feature movie to get the visual of the walk that “Man on a Wire” couldn’t deliver. It’s pretty spectacular, exciting, and entertaining.
After you watch both movies, let me know what crazy dream Philippe inspired you to chase!
Come back and let me know in the comments below or Tweet at me @RaubiMarie.