Donnie Wahlberg on Finding Out Who We Are. The Story Behind the Ripped Jeans.

As he is getting ready for BlockCon, digging in his storage in the search for those NKOTB memories we treasure so much, Donnie came across the ripped jeans. And, more than a piece of clothing, more than “an NKOTB memorabilia”, he found something bigger: an inspiring reflection on the struggles of finding out who we are.

Donnie wrote on Instagram,

“Sometime back in 1988, I cut these jeans up myself. Trying to, as I often did, come up with something unique to wear when performing with this crazy new band that I helped form. I bought them with some money I’d earned while working at my after school job (which wasn’t very much), so I kind of had to get them right — or just go with it, even if I got them wrong.

The first time I wore them, I felt both very cool and very self conscious. Not quite ready to own my individuality, while also being very aware of the need to establish myself as an individual. I guess that dichotomy is just part of growing up. Something we all experience at some point. Figuring things out, while figuring ourselves out. Making due with what we have, while trying to figure out exactly who we are.

To be honest — I haven’t always looked back on these jeans fondly (or maybe it’s actually some of the videos that I wasn’t fond of, and the jeans were just guilty by association), but when Jenny and I found them in storage (after assuming they were long gone), a lot of emotion came up inside of me. Shock. Gratitude. Amazement.

It also had me reflecting on the early struggles — all the dumb stuff that we used to worry about as a band and the humble beginnings from which we came. It all had me very emotional. Mostly though, I felt this great rush of excitement knowing that I’d be able to share what I’d found with all of you — my Blockhead Family!

You have been by my side since these jeans were a thing (if they actually ever were “a thing”). I literally couldn’t wait to share this discovery with you (as evidenced by the fact that I didn’t bother to save them for #BlockCon).

Anyway, all I ever wanted to do back then was find my way (even if I never knew exactly where I was trying to find my way to). I’m so grateful to have realized that I was simply trying to find my way to this amazing bond that we all share. I think of you all, and am thankful for you all, every single day. The moment that I unearthed these jeans was no different.

See you next week. I can’t wait. Love you my Blockhead Family! 🤖❤️♾💫✨🤟🏼”