Mourning Knows

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Dreams Interrupted: 4th and Long

 "Dreams Interrupted" is based on a true story. Ever wonder what life is like for big time college football players? You know, the guys who get all the girls in college and move on to make millions of bucks in the NFL?  Better yet, have you ever wondered what life would be like if for your entire life you planned on living out this dream until suddenly, you wake up four years later and the possibility is stripped from your finger tips without ever realizing your opportunity has expired? This is the story of the failures of childhood dreams, the struggle with masculinity and the limited experiences of life outside the walls of his hometown that leaves Glen (Mourning) stripped of his confidence, confused about his future and subsequently frustrated with what a life without football has to offer. 

         In this psycho analytical journey of a young man who enters the world of the athletic elitism, the main character realizes that college football and stardom isn't exactly what he imagined it would be. When the traditional route to the National Football League is no longer his path, time and the opportunity of going pro expires right before his eyes. During his four year journey in college as a full scholarship athlete, he is faced with the realization that college football, as much as it seemed like a dream come true, was actually a torturing and psychological nightmare of multiple experiences. The failures of childhood dreams, is only the beginning of an internal conflict that he faces as a future without football doesn't seem worth living. What do you believe in when you can no longer dream without interruption?

My Story

What do you believe in, 
when you can no longer dream without interruption? 

Chapter 1: Page 25

"With such a defeated living situation at home, and lack of moral support, how was I supposed to ever believe in anything or anyone from my mother to a teacher or any other influential figure in relation to them telling me that I would someday become successful?" (First signs of communicating anger and confusion-what was there to believe in?) 

Chapter 2: Page 59

"But just like that, the tears were blocked, the frustration was lifted and I managed to communicate only a brief reply for the remaining moments that we stood face to face" (Connecting missing my father with the abandonment, frustration and pain of meeting him for the first time at the age of 18, although football had already taken his place) 

Chapter 3: Page 75

"It was now time to start dreaming big, not just for myself but for everyone at Nineteen Oakland avenue and the boys" (Establishing accountability and  feeling encouraged-I had to make everyone in my family and best friends from home proud) 

Chapter 4: Page 85

"After today, my dream...signing a double digit million dollar contract would become a distant opportunity of the past" (Feeling trepidation and anxiety after draining my spirit and confidence of its potential of success as a man after college)

Chapter 5: Page 97

"I realized that it was soon to be over. We were done. No more crying to our parents about never being put into the starting line ups, no more lying to ourselves hoping that one day all of the bull-shit we endured in practice teams and as back ups would pay off" (Disappointed when coming to terms with reality and being forced to settle for something less than the childhood dream of the NFL) 

Chapter 6: Page 108

"I began to consider all of the "what ifs". The thousands of what ifs that I have had over the course of four full years were now on my mind" (Unappreciative and selfish relating to viewing graduating with a diploma as an irrelevant tool) 

Chapter 7: Page 143

"And in that moment, although the majority of us had never met his father, we had all realized that each and every one of us had lost a family member" (Experiencing the surreal moment of realizing the closeness and brotherhood of being on a team) 

Chapter 8: Page 159

"You can compare my confusion and uncertainty of leaving for college with that of Christopher Columbus as he left Europe to find the new world. But here is why this situation is so crazy! Imagine that instead, with their same knowledge they had about sea travel in the 1400's, they would have had to apply that unique expertise when walking into a modern day airport in the year 2009" (Pessimistic about the limited knowledge it takes to successfully make it in college as the first in your family to do so) 

Chapter 9: Page 175

"We learned as we grew, as we realized that the things we were to do in order to become positive and productive men were in fact never modeled by men in our lives. We were influenced by women and raised to be hard workers and caring members of our communities by women. The only thing that men helped us with was showing us how not to be, how not to act and how women are not supposed to be treated" (Growing mature-finding my place in society as a respectful young man among disrespect men)

Chapter 10: Page 193

"But unlike the unrealistic truth of the game, what was real was that when the video game ended, you were able to hit restart, create a new season, change teams, increase performance criteria like speed and agility and pretend that it was as real as you'd like, as a fourteen year old kid. But for me, when the time ran out today, it meant that you would be leaving behind 100 young men who were as real as a heart attack" (Regretful and alone relating to leaving my football family behind for good) 

Chapter 11: Page 219

"I no longer wanted to volunteer my heart or the conscious of my soul and spirit to resemble the tough guy, tough as hell, hard as nails, macho man, boys don't cry mentality that was mandatory in the world of college football" (Relieved and hopeful relating to finding peace once I accepted my new reality of a life without football)

Chapter 12: Page 242

"For a few seconds the excitement on my mother's face flashed through my mind; Lillian Mourning' mother of five, where I, her oldest child and first son was doing her the first honors of presenting to the world her first college graduate, for the entire family and for the world to see" (Experiencing pride and joy relating to understanding how great of an accomplishment graduating and representing my mother and family was) 

Chapter 13: Page 273

"But here we go, getting closer now. I could feel my hand pushing open the protective and precautionary metal door, revealing the space between myself and the roller coaster car itself. Just like boarding that roller coaster, with people, all different types of people to the left and right of me, behind me and perhaps in front of me, with their own emotional progression, their own way of revealing excitement and nervousness, uncertainty and fear, had been the same exact way I had been feeling while standing in line awaiting my next step towards those arena doors" (Optimistic and rejuvenated relating to feeling like life had a purpose again) 

Chapter 14: Page 285

"Well I think I'm finally prepared to revisit that afternoon where the Glen I had known my entire life was stripped of his physical talent and athleticism" (Shameless as it ties into learning the life lesson of letting trials and tribulations shape you into a strong person resilient person)  

Chapter 15: Page 319

"The secret, now being communicated as a whisper from an internal voice and from an intrinsic perspective was whispering slowly and clearly as it finally spoke to me and whispered, "It's gonna be your eyes" (Feeling accomplished and loved for the first time in my life and content with giving football up forever)