I have received so much positive feedback since my podcast with Chris Ryan posted, on his podcast Tangentially Speaking. So many lovely souls have reached out to me, through this blog, my instagram account, and email. Wil is one of those people, and I bow to him on his journey. He is doing some beautiful things here in the Northwest as well, helping to build people up. His own story mirrors mine in alot of ways, and I resonate with it. Check out his web presence too. Here is Wil’s story….
My name is Wil Nelsen, you know that feeling you get when you’re in a new city, without any friends, in a place where nobody can relate to you? That feeling of not belonging is something that has followed me since I was a child.
I was born in California where my family and I would race bmx across the western states with our team. I loved it, it was the most rewarding and memorable experience of my childhood. Soon the drugs began eroding any semblance of family and identity that I had. Everything collapsed and changed radically as we were packing to move to Seattle, Washington. Being 7 years old, I was excited to see a new place, but it never really occurred to me that I wouldn’t see any of my family again for twelve years. I began intensely feeling like a transplant and the adults, my only friends, looked at me like I was an add on, a child who tried to fit in. The feeling of not belonging has been cultivated. 6 months after moving to Seattle, we moved to Hope, Idaho. It was a dismally small town of about 400 people and our backyard was bordered with national forest signs. You know when you were a kid and you started a new school, that fear of acceptance, the anxiety of change, the anger of losing friends, insecurities compounding upon insecurities. Well when it’s a small town, children can be wary of anything new which compounded with those hurricane of emotions. From making friends with mostly adults, I would look at the children my age as naive little people who didn’t know how to have “a good time.” I was more interested in what the adults were smoking and who they were fucking.
By now I confirmed the alienation from my peers by separating myself and looking at myself grouped with the adults or older kids. To show the young adults that I wasn’t some dumb kid and that I could keep up, this little eleven year old would do the most drugs. That is, until I overdosed six months later and my alleged friends left me naked in a ditch and those kids I alienated myself from, rescued me. Now I was outcasted by all three nearby towns and the entire school. They thought I was a bad influence who would corrupt their children. Six months later, I got expelled from school. I began going to an alternative school and I began excelling rapidly, finding people so deeply wounded that it rocked me to my core. I understood that pain, it felt familiar, I fought to help others alleviate that pain.
My life turned around somewhat and I realized that I have the power to create something beautiful. This took effect slowly, I was selling drugs, a step-dad at thirteen, and an angry little human that hated himself deeply. I eventually completely turned my life around, became a chef and met an alcoholic that was addicted to meth. I wanted to help her more than anything and so I did. That transformed into a lot of fucking, hiding alcohol and moving her in my mother’s house. I tried to leave her several times when I realized she was helpless, but the final time I got the courage to walk away, she told she was pregnant. When she pushed to drink while pregnant it scared me breathless, I made sure it didn’t happen, but I was gaining this insight into this deeply wounded woman. We eventually got married and all I could think was the fear of my son, like myself, being born to an addict and having to break the cycle. I began resenting the evils of addiction and got completely sober. I started attending college to pursue my degree in Computer Sciences.
Growing up with absolutely no clue of what one is supposed to do in life besides work to afford to get fucked up, I was lost. I was asking myself, what do I do with my free time, is there more to life than this, aside from a career what is the meaning that I can attach to existence? I thought that having a family would make me feel like I belonged, but that was pretty far from the truth. Hip-hop artists introduced me to poetry and that inspired me to write poetry feverishly when I was younger to help understand the pain the I concealed and let it go. The writing has never stopped, from childhood into adulthood. It was the greatest addiction I’ve ever had. After writing for years in nearly complete secrecy, I began to get the wild courage to try to share it with people. I thought that maybe there were communities of poets out there performing their art and maybe I could be apart of something, fill this void. My insecurities kept me locked in a prison, it scared me to meet all these random people and perform in front of them. I never went to perform until two years later when my wife and I separated. I realized that I was the only one getting in the way of my own happiness and this is not a way to teach my son that he can be something beautiful, confident, adventurous. I began studying everything that people could be interested in and with/without my son, I would go out and do them. We started doing road trips across the Pacific Northwest, going to open mics, going to events, joining interest groups, and doing things that fucking terrified me. This is when it happened, this my becoming, my voids were beginning to fill very slowly, but my voids were beginning to fill. People I worked with and family would tell me about what troubled them and those “unattainable dreams” that forever lurk in sleep, in stasis. I found this fascinating, but many would accept this as simply life, that wishes are something to be caught by the wind and drift to never. I believe this to be false, no adventure unattainable, no skill unlearnable. So I thought maybe they struggle in some ways that I do, why not make spaces that could give people an opportunity to heal, to connect, to find what makes you ultimately satisfied.
This is where my tagline KILLyourKING comes from. We have one side of the mind which handles logical thinking and another that handles emotions. Killing your king means to kick that logical side down from its hold on your emotions, your confidence, your courage, your creativity. You know that feeling of always wanting to do something but doubting your capability, not knowing how, or being too afraid? We all feel those things, but sometimes it’s hard to see that, to understand it. On my blog I’m take readers on my journey of becoming human, where I curate all the possibilities to meaningfully fill your time and help you grow into the person you never thought or always thought you could be. We are all different and that is profoundly beautiful, with that in mind, I’m trying everything thoroughly so if it’s something that strikes you and not me, I still can show you where to begin. This is an encyclopedia of the pursuits in life and demystifying the intimidation that can come from any pursuit. I also host a web series on blab.im where I give performance artists a virtual stage to perform whether its their first or thousandth time. We’re moving to doing contests, feature rolls on social media, and we’re building a running list of all past performers to benefit their web presence and show our support.
I’m also starting the Podcast The Unsung which we interview the homeless population, not to illuminate their current living situation, but their story. If you look at people as books, we all overlap in different ways. If you looked at a genius, they’d usually have far more outliers or overlap less which makes them all the more fascinating in society. Looking at homeless and their untraditional life, they too can offer insight and stories that can be so different from our own in which we could attain some wider perspective of life or even relate to these people that are interviewed. I’m also interviewing people that are fascinating to me for other reasons as well to keep things a little revolving. I just want to help people illuminate themselves, be proud of what they do offer, and make our communities a more vibrant place. In the end I think it comes down to this, “I know more than you, and you know more than me.” Cheers!