That One Night When The Buried Life Guys Changed My Life

In Television, Uncategorized on March 29, 2012 at 12:28 am

by:  Eric Buenning

That strapping young lad in the middle of this picture is, in fact, yours truly.  The guys flanking me in the pic?  Well those guys would be Dave Lingwood and Jonnie Penn from MTV’s The Buried Life ( actually, MTV axed the show this year.  I’ll never understand why.)  These guys are half of the amazing quartet that has trekked across the country, sharing their story and touching many lives along the way.  This article will cover only one night of that journey, but it’s a night that I can definitely say changed my life forever.

They came on stage shortly after 7:30, to waves of applause.  After telling their incredible story, it hits you:  these guys are no different than any of us.  They just had the stones to go after what they wanted.  They desired more than anything to cross items off of their bucket list, and they did just that that.  If this sounds to simple to be true, it’s because it is.  Their message is that anything is possible, and while it’s cliche, it’s also 100% true.  To often in life we let people around us tell us that we are weird or crazy or just plain stupid for dreaming up these grand scenarios in which we are the protagonists.  The only difference between what we are dreaming of and what these guys have done is that they turned their dreams into projects.  They gave everything they had to accomplish this stuff, and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t have the same drive to go after our dreams projects, too.

That message is really all fine and good, but there was more to last night than just their presentation.

After they  talked and told stories for roughly an hour, they opened up the floor to anyone the audience willing to share items off of their bucket list.  Again, something hits you when you see a guy with incredible dance moves, or a young woman with a stunning voice: people are abundantly talented and have amazing stories to tell, if you just give them the chance.  It’s hard to imagine going around to everyone you see and asking them “What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?” and them giving you gold in answer form, but imagine what happens when you do strike gold with someone and are selfless enough to help them achieve that?  I don’t know how many of you reading this have watched the show, but when you give 100% effort into something that you really, desperately want to happen, the stars tend to line up just how you want them.  It’s incredible what the human will can accomplish, and what you can witness as a result of just taking part in things like what TBL is doing.  Nothing truly is impossible at that point.

After the show wrapped up and books were being signed, a friend, myself, and a few others were scattered at a local bar, waiting to see if these celebrities would make good on a promise they made earlier in the show to come have a drink with us.  After an hour of waiting, you begin to wonder why you were there in the first place.  There’s no way these guys would show up.  Nope. Not a chance.

It was at that very moment that Jonnie and Dave entered the Eagle’s Nest, unaccompanied by no security guards or entourages, just two guys, making good on a promise.  After I flipped well beyond the appropriate amounts of shits and sent a round of beers their way (which they were incredibly grateful and appreciative for), it hit me again: these celebrities are here. With us locals. Just shootin’ the shit at a bar.  Who does this?

People that truly believe in their message and purpose do those kinds of things.  These guys have zero trace of phony on them.  They are as genuine, fun, and personable as TV makes them appear.  The fact that they are taking time out of their schedule to come suck down a few drinks with their fans, unknowingly inspiring people like me to be motivated to accomplish whatever I want……is something I will never ever forget.

Look, I’m not always as happy as I seem.  I’m actually rarely as happy as I seem.  It’s tough being called weird or odd.  It’s tough to hear that multiple times a day.  After a while, you legitimately begin to believe it.  People will say, “Oh, you can’t take that stuff to heart,” but when you constantly are reminded that you are not normal; that you are NOT normal, that you are truly, indisputably  weird, you will start thinking of yourself that way. All it would take is someone out there to remind you that you are not those things.  It takes only one person to remind you that you are one hell of a unique individual, and that absolutely nobody is capable of stripping you of that individuality.

Luckily, I meet two of those people last night.  This one goes out to my heroes (outside of the family, of course.)

Here’ to you, Dave and Jonnie (and Duncan and Ben, wherever you are).  I am forever thankful to have met you.



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