I Got A New Gig
- May 27, 2016
- Wells Thompson
Some call it a job. So post surgery sure has had it’s ups and downs. But you know what they say? Tis’ life homie! And tis life is right. We just have to roll with the punches and trust our good, good Father!
I wanted to introduce myself to the ‘real world job’ peeps in my new gig and I thought I’d share that with you.
Is my soccer career over? I don’t know. But what I do know, is that time will tell! So we shall see.
So without further adu…lemme introduce myself:
Even though I’m two blogs down as Angel Oak Creative‘s newest marketing consultant, I feel like I should probably take a few to introduce myself. My name’s Wells. Wells Thompson.
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of me before. Maybe I’ve been referred to as that guy who hangs around ‘the twins.’ Or Daphne’s husband. Or something along those lines. Okay, I confess. I do hang around ‘the twins’ a lot because one of them is my beautiful bride (so lay off guys) and the other one’s my sister-in-law.
THAT SAID, I’VE BEEN AROUND AOC SINCE ITS INCEPTION AND LONG BEFORE.
‘The twins’ and I have known each other since pre-school. No joke! Daphne was my first ever girlfriend in 3rd grade and first kiss in 4th grade. She dumped me shortly thereafter. (I guess the kiss must not have been that great. Come to think of it, I immediately ran away afterwards.).
Regardless, we stayed close friends over the years and thank the good Lord she accepted my plea for her to marry me! I guess you could call it destiny.
Caitlin and I, on the other hand, are a different story. Our relationship has had its ups and downs, which 9 times out of 10, was directly tied to how things were going with me and her sister. (Twins are freaking crazy, y’all.)
My point – whether Caitlin would admit this or not – I’ve single handedly kept AOC’s doors open for the past 4+ years. Without me, there’d be no AOC. (That’s a joke; please laugh). You’ll learn that I’m the funny one of the bunch. Seth’s the techy. Daph’s the details queen. Cate’s the one who’s permanently high on life. Grace is the saint. David’s the wisest. And Caitlin…well Caitlin is the brains. You’re either laughing with me or at me by now, but I ain’t picky, I’ll take either one! Laugh away!
SO WHERE WAS I?
Oh yeah, my involvement with AOC. Caitlin hired me two months ago as marketing consultant. For the last decade I’ve been a professional soccer player. This winter I was all set to head into my tenth season, but life and God had other plans.
My season, and most likely career, came to an end in February when I underwent unexpected surgery to prepare a torn right labrum in my hip – my third surgery in just as many months. I guess my body was telling me something. Something like “You’ve had a good run. But it’s that time Brotha. Let’s see what’s out there. It’s coming sooner or later.”
I picture my best friend, Jesus, also saying something like, “Don’t worry. I got you! I got plans for you greater than you can possibly imagine! Just trust me young one. I slung the stars in the sky, helping you transition ain’t no thang.”
SO HERE I AM.
I’ve struggled the last several months with the reality that I’ve probably played my last professional match. It’s been really tough. I’ve felt lost ’cause my world got turned upside down. (Read here for more details).
Then the opportunity to join AOC and officially become one of the angels (at least for the time being) appeared out of thin air. And I could have never imagined how cool it would be! I absolutely love it! This experience has rocked my socks off!
And here’s one of the reasons why. The very first client meeting I attended as an AOC consultant was with Project CATCH of the Salvation Army. Our objective — devising a plan and strategy to raise awareness around the gravity of children experiencing homelessness in Wake County.
It’s really hard to feel sorry for yourself when you’re trying to wrap your mind around the reality that child homelessness is even an issue. My sweet two-year-old son Declan…homeless? I truly can’t fathom this. Sure I started the meeting off wishing I was kicking soccer balls and slide tackling the crap out of someone, but those ‘insignificant’ and ‘selfish’ longings were swiftly kicked out of my head.
It was then that I started to feel okay again. The fog started to lift. I felt like I was gaining some balance and finding my way in this new chapter of my life.
And I’ve come to find out that what I thought I knew about AOC just scratched the surface. There was so much I didn’t know. I’m truly amazed at what God has and continues to do through Caitlin and the rest of the team.
Experiencing the struggles, the meetings with all the incredible people in and around the community, and the opportunities to form relationships with amazing nonprofits has been a game changer. And seeing the mission in action…I’m just grateful for a chance to be part of the journey.
AOC is doing incredible work, and I’m humbled to play my part, my small part. And I’m beyond thrilled to join a team that loves each other. A team that selflessly works together for the good of others. A team that lives out the Church – to shine the light and love of Jesus for all to see!
SO HOW DO I FIT INTO MARKETING?
Good question. After a decade of playing pro sports for a living, I’d say I know a thing or two about brand exposure. Believe me, after hundreds of live interviews, I know what the media likes to hear. After hundreds of live appearances, I know the importance of being a brand ambassador and marketing a brand successfully with tangible results. I’m not too bad at that thing called social media and I’ve always been a philanthropist at heart! So don’t you worry…the experience is there.
Maybe this life-after-soccer thing ain’t as bad or hard as I thought it would be. Sure this “real world” job takes some getting used to, but I’m on my way, and I’m eager, willing and dawgon ready to give it my best!
Is my soccer career over? I don’t know. But what I do know, is that time will tell! So we shall see.”