Discovery channel

All my life I’ve been waiting to get discovered. It may be because I’m lazy by nature, although I think that since I’d simply like to be discovered for what I’ve done – instead of just playing the lottery – I think I’m not a complete slacker.

I’ve always wanted to get head hunted for a job. I think it’d be nice if some movie director saw me order a caffe latte and asked me to audition for a role in his movie. I would have even auditioned for the part of Mini-Me in the Austin Powers movies.

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Maybe that’s why I’ve always liked candid camera, too. The show. It’s the idea that somebody’s watching me, observing me, taking notes, liking what they see, and then sometime, somewhere, someplace when I least expect it, someone steps up to me and says, “smile! We want you for this thing. You’ll be perfect!” And I’d try not to be surprised.

I suppose it’s the fact that I walk around, doing what I do – what it is, is surprisingly hard to explain to other people – feeling like I’m a fake. I expect my cover to be blown any day now, somebody’s going to realize that … well, that I’m naked and that I’m not even an emperor.

I’m sure many of us have the same feeling, and I’m sure it’s due to the fact that so many of us don’t do anything. Except doctors and people who build things. Anyway, being discovered would be the antidote, the opposite of blowing my cover.

I don’t count getting a job I’ve applied for, because I have actively pursued that. When I say “getting discovered”, I mean an out-of-the-blue experience.

T he first time I realized that somebody else was paying attention to what I did was – naturally – in a hockey rink. I was ten years old, and I was flying down the right wing at the Myllypuro rink. I sent the puck to the far post, where a teammate of mine onetimed it, but the goalie made a great save. And then, just before the linesman dropped the puck for the faceoff that followed, I heard the other team’s coach yell, “Keep your eyes on that number seventeen!”

I was number 17.

I was special. They were afraid of me.

A few years later, and after many games with both coaches yelling something to and about that number 17, he – still me, don’t get confused – had been picked for the disctrict team, playing against the best in the country.

The first junior national team was picked out of those kids, us, in the camp. With nine districts, and 22 players on each team, that’s 198 young hopefuls coming to camp, playing their hearts out, and finally, after a week of intense hockey, goals and saves, shots taken, shots missed, wins and losses, sitting in the gymnasium of the national sports center.

I was sitting pretty far back as the camp leaders thanked everybody for their effort, then proceeded to do something that I have no recollection of because, out of nervousness, I was simply not paying attention.

Sure, my team had lost all games, and sure, my play had been subpar. Of course, I was also probably the smallest of the 200 kids in the camp, and, well, I hadn’t been good at all.

But yet, I sat in the dimly-lit gym, in my sweat pants, holding my breath as the camp leaders started to call out names. The 40 kids who had been elected to the first national team camp.

And even with just two names left, and knowing that I hadn’t been good, at all, there was still hope. Maybe, just maybe, maybe the real pros, the national team coaches had seen something they liked that I didn’t even know was there. Maybe they could see the potential in me. Surely they could appreciate the intention behind my genius passes that, yes, got intercepted.

But no. Not that time. It wasn’t meant to be.

I have been discovered, though. It wasn’t for anything special I had done. I hadn’t even been scouted, at least I don’t think so. It was late October over ten years ago, and I was entertaining people in my hotel room in Bologna, Italy, during a company conference when this one young, beautiful lady saw something in me that I didn’t know was there.

Today is our fourth wedding anniversary.

That was meant to be.

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