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  • Writer's pictureMark Whitten

Walter Mitty's Resume

Updated: Jan 27, 2020

If you haven't seen The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, stop right now, pull up your amazon app and watch the whole thing, NOW! Okay, maybe that's not possible right this minute, but seriously, it's a must watch for anyone looking to live a little more from the heart.

Spoiler Alert

The short of it is that a boring desk jockey, shackled with self-imposed "responsibility" is sort-of forced into an adventure that propels him into his true self. One of my top 5 favorite movies of all time...Ben Stiller nails the essence of this story from start to finish. My heart is smiling just thinking about watching it again.

Walter Mitty is a negative asset manager at Life Magazine during its tragic fall from print media. Thus, his job of analyzing negatives from real photos is becoming obsolete. The motto for Life Magazine, "To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life." becomes the story line for Walter's journey towards transformation...and ours, if we let it.

In the beginning of the movie, Walter works with an E-Harmony consultant to build his profile to attract "winks". Walter quickly realizes that his life up to this point has been about showing up to work in order to provide for his widowed mother. Glances of his checkbook reveal, not only a limited budget, but an uneventful life. His identity is wrapped up in his job and his responsibility.

When he gets laid off, his identity as a worker-provider starts to unravel as depression and uncertainty set-in. What ensues is a beautiful working of risk, hardship and adventure, eventually unfolding into a newer, truer self. At the end of the movie, we get a glance of Walter's new resume, as he applies for employment online.

Walter's Resume

[Old Life]

  • LIFE MAGAZINE - Negative Asset Manager, 16 years. Reference: Sean O'Connell (address upon request)

[New Life]

  • One of 3 known non-Navy SEALs to helicopter “free release” in gale-force waters (North Sea).

  • In a single day: Biked, ran, and long-boarded over 17 kilometers to Eyjafjallajokull volcanic eruption.

  • Scaled highest peak of Noshaq Mountain (northwestern Afghanistan face)

  • On Icelandic fishing trawler, earned keep as boatswain (unpaid deckhand) for one day.

I woke up this morning thinking about Walter Mitty's Resume and had to make my own. I've been fortunate to have been blessed with a sabbatical season to write and do some serious interior work. However, I know that this season is quickly coming to an end and I will have to return to "work"...whatever that may be. I need to begin preparing for that reality, but I don't want to leave my heart on sabbatical. I want to take it with me on life's next adventure.

Part of that process involves reflecting on the adventure and impact our lives had had up to this point, while holding on to hope that God is not finished with us yet! Walter Mitty's resume inspired me to make my own. It's sort-of a reverse bucket list. See below. I hope it will encourage you to write a new resume, not based solely on your paper accomplishments, but the "little adventures" you've had along the way.

Mark's Walter Mitty Resume [In No Particular Order]

  • Started a Business at 14

  • Hiked 10 miles to a secret waterfall in the mountain jungles of Papua New Guinea, somehow, ignorantly avoiding Oceania's deadliest snake and cannibals.

  • Hitched a ride on the wing of an eagle ray while scuba diving off the coast of Mexico (came within 20 yards of a massive tiger shark on the same dive-no cage!

  • Spent two-weeks in Vietnam teaching in the underground church

  • Traveled the "ice road" up the Tibetan Plateau and stayed very cold for several days in an incredibly picturesque, Tibetan town.

  • Camped across the Australian outback for 6 weeks. Also rode camels on the beach, took a hot-air balloon ride, chased giant Monitor lizards with spears, did some cliff jumping, swam with crocodiles (fresh water), rode a horse at full canter on Uncle Nev's farm in Melbourne (where The Man from Snowy River was filmed), and took a helicopter ride.

  • Wrote and self-published 8 Non-fiction Christian books, a Young Adult novel, a poetry chapbook, and a children's book.

  • Skied a black diamond in a blizzard in the Grand Tetons, Idaho.

  • Intercepted an NFL quarterback in high school

  • Did an all-day winter tour of Yellowstone on a snowmobile.

  • Was ordained as a priest

  • Collected dirt from the following continents: North America, South America, Oceania, Europe, Africa, and Asia (Antarctica is on my bucket list!)

  • Taught public school at a Title-One school for 11 years.

  • Got a tattoo in the Philippines

  • Helped plant 3 churches

  • 6 kids call me Dad or Daddy Whit

  • Attempted to canoe the Little River in East Tennessee at flood stage. Lost the canoes, kept my life.

  • Dove the Great Barrier Reef on a stormy day Down Under.

  • Ate street food in Ghana, Africa (mistake), Thailand, Myanmar, Philippines, VIetnam, China

  • Climbed a mountain and explored a lighthouse in Ireland

  • Got a tie in Croatia (where the tie was invented).

  • Coached one SEC football champion

  • Coached one Superbowl Champion

  • Drove from Rangoon to Mandalay in one night on a very sketchy night, in a very sketchy car, and an even sketchier road.

  • Rickshaw, check.

  • Married, Divorced, Remarried.

  • Can kill, field dress, skin, butcher, package, freeze, thaw, prepare, cook and eat a variety of wilderness creatures.

  • Started a blog

  • Worked as a project manager for a restoration company

  • Swam with sharks and tortoises

  • Won a state championship in football (was a freshman, but still...)

  • Captain of football team (senior year)

  • Skied Jackson Hole

  • Went to Young Life camp: Windy Gap

  • Worked at Young Life camp: Frontier Ranch

  • Coached back-to-back, undefeated soccer seasons at Whitthorne Middle School

  • Attended two universities. Joined a fraternity at one: UTK - KZ, Graduated from the other: Samford U

  • Etc.

"It’s super tempting to only value the accomplishments that look good on paper (degrees, positions, etc), but true life is made up of all the little adventures along the way. They may not land you “the job”- but they will be the moments that you remember and value in the long run." ~Heather Parady

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