A Little More About Me

Ever wondered about what my childhood was like?  Probably not.  Even if you know me personally, most people have never bothered to ask with the exception of a rare few.  I also recently realized that over 95% of my Facebook friends are people I met  in High School and afterward.  That means that even my friends might not know most of what I’m about to share with all of you.  Assuming you care… which you probably don’t… but I’m gonna tell you anyways.

See that really confused baby there?  That’s me!  Boy do I look out of it.  Not much has changed, has it?  So why am I having my head shaved by nurses in 1983?  Partly due to the fact that I had to have IV’s put in my head.  I was born with a congenital defect known asHeart Disease Pulmonary Atresia.  What does that mean?  It means that I was born very fudged up.  In a more scientific-yet simple sense, it means that I was born sans (without) a pulmonary heart valve. (valve that transports blood from heart to lungs)  YIKES!!  So what did that mean to newborn me?  It meant going under the knife at 36-hours old.  And I survived!!  HA!!

Oh, plus I had a hole in my heart… how do I explain that scientifically?  I HAD A HOLE IN MY FREAKING HEART!  There… that’s about right.

One day I do plan on sitting down with the cardiologists and surgeons that saved my life and getting all of this documented.  Unfortunately no video recording exists of the surgeries because those types of things weren’t done back then.

Wait… surgerIES?  As in more than one?  Yep!  Four in total.  1983, 1984, 1984 again, and 1990.  At some point in the future I’ll go into greater detail about that… but not today.

sniperSo what did I wanna be when I was growing up?  I certainly had no interest in becoming what most little kids say they want to be.  Not an astronaut, or a firefighter, or a police officer.  What did I want to be?  Well the first profession I remember considering at a young age was a NAVY SEAL; specifically a sniper.  Not quite what you were expecting, was it?  It’s not that I wanted to kill people, I was just fascinated at the idea that someone can take someone else out from so far away without ever being seen… like a ninja.  Actually – a ninja is what I really wanted to be when I was younger.  I guess becoming a sniper was one step closer to that in the real world.  Needless to say, I couldn’t even join any military branch even if  I wanted to on account of my heart condition.

Next was much more family friendly and much closer to a little kid’s frame of mind.  Growing up, I idolized David Copperfield.  I thought his magic was the coolest thing in the world.  I even got to see one of his shows when I was about 11.  He was able to saw himself in half and fly… I wanted to do that.  A few years later, I realized there were different specializations of magic and I thought close-up magic was much better because they were simple; you could do them anywhere without needing crazy sets and fog machines.  All you needed was a deck of cards and maybe a few glasses and rubber balls and you were set.  David Blaine and his “Street Magic” brought back my love of magic years later when I thought it had phased out.  He was so weird but did things I had never seen before.  Today, I still remember a few card tricks, but nothing that would be considered mind-blowing by any stretch of the imagination.

bathtub of bonesWhen I got to College, I changed my major like every other week.  Unless you’re forced into some family business or tradition, everyone who goes to college does exactly that (change majors constantly.)  Growing up I had developed an affinity for the unexplainable and the unknown.  Now that I think about it, maybe magic is what started all that apprehensive and gullible curiosity.  In regards to the unexplained, where I really had a fascination was in unsolved crimes and murders; especially those that are still synonymous with history.  A second gunman on the grassy knoll?  Who really killed Jonbenet Ramsey?  Who was Jack the Ripper?  So what did I want to be?  I wanted to be an FBI Criminal Profiler, or systematically known as a Forensic Anthropologist.  Forensic Anthropologists study remains of victims in order to try to recreate the crime so that they can discover new evidence that may have been overlooked or forgotten.

I saw The Karate Kid in Kindergarden and that’s what did it for me.  Most people know I have dedicated my life (since the age of 6) to martial arts but even I knew that I wouldn’t be able to make a career out of it.  23 years later and I still love it just as much today as I did back then.  The best I do from that is choreograph and perform fight scenes which is something I am DEFINITELY going to be doing a lot more of in the near future.  See for yourself:

Somewhere along the way of all that madness, I realized that I wanted to be a writer.  Maybe because since I never was able to become all those things I wanted to be when I was kid, now I have a way of creating characters to do all those things for me.  I know I create the characters but it’s almost as if they get to live through me vicariously at the same time.  They get to do and be everything I ever wanted to do and more.  It’s actually quite freeing.  Writing for me now is my escape and my reality check at the same time.  Dare I say it, but to me, writing is almost like playing God.  I create worlds.  I create people.  I tell them what to do, what to say, and decide whether they live or die, are happy or sad.  There’s nothing quite like writing.

So what’s next for me?  Who knows?  But rest assured, I’ll have a pen and paper in hand wherever I end up.  It’s part of my life motto now: “Work Hard.  Dream Big.  Write Everything Down.”

Photography by Megan Koop


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