Tell us about your amazing (or not so amazing) life!

I thought it might be interesting to see what others have to say about their lives, as they see them, up to this point. Accomplishments or setbacks, or things that seemed bad but turned out good later are all fair fodder here, but I’d generally like to keep the tone upbeat. So, jump in, folks!

As for myself, I’ve never been “skydiving…rocky mountain climbing…went 2-point-seven seconds on a bull named FuManChu…” but I have:

Started and ran my own successful computer system integrator and network services company at the age of 22, for 8 years. I eventually burned out, but closed the doors while the company was still number one in the city.

Achieved a near-six-figure income with a large medical info systems company, in spite of never finishing college.

Conquered a debilitating medical condition.

Became a master-grade cabinet builder - though I’d never go so far as to claim I was a “master carpenter.”
Been in numerous interesting sexual situations, most of which most people never experience.

Hunted - and been hunted by - various forms of wildlife.

Survived numerous adventures as a teenager that probably should have killed me, not to mention other recent incidents in my life that should have caused me to cease respiration.

Been in love with - and loved by - 4 different women, two of whom I am still friends with (one considers me her “best friend”) to this day, one who I have no idea of her whereabouts or life condition, and the fourth to whom I have been married for nearly 16 years and am raising three children.
I may be back to add more later, but that seemed like a good start…

Well, let me see. . .I survived a childhood in which my father drank alcoholically, my mother was emotionally and verbally abusive and a “friend” of the family who lived in the house with us sexually abused me and a couple of my sisters. My life’s goal up to this point is to be a good mother, something that I had to study on my own, since my mother never taught me. I believe I’m succeeding in that.

I’m a top-notch wife, this according to my hubby, who himself is top-shelf goods.

I’ve overcome certain fears enough to go whitewater rafting.

I have a good sense of humor, thanks to my father, who was funny as hell, drunk or sober.

I’ve been in some very interesting sexual situations, but am happy at this point in my life to be monogamous.

I have, since earliest childhood, had a deep love of pop music, even the really bad stuff. In fact, at this moment, I have The Eagles Farewell I Tour, Live From Melbourne, in the DVD player in the next room. Right now, they’re doing Down At The Sunset Grill. They look like shit, but damn they still sound good!

I’m pretty much self-taught in the cooking department, and can whip up a respectable dinner for five on a tight budget, Thanksgiving dinner for 25, or a decent seafood casserole for a special occasion.

I traveled cross-country, in a station wagon, with my husband and oldest daughter, when said daughter was only two. As a result, I’ve seen enough of the country to know that if I ever move to another part of the country by choice, it would probably be around Vail, Colorado.

My brain is crammed full of song lyrics, both old and new, and including old commercial jingles, and I tell myself that’s why I suck at math.

My most interesting (paid) job was two years as a phone sex operator. My least interesting was a cashier at a “discount variety store” (what used to be called “Five and dimes”). My current job is part-time ebay salesperson, full-time mom to a five-year-old and homeschool educator of a 14-year-old (in fairness, she practically educates herself; I’m just around if she needs help)

My interests would be reading (currently, Song of Susannah, the sixth Dark Tower book by Stephen King, and Romancing the Ordinary by Sarah ban Breathnach); scrapbooking; singing (I don’t do it particularly well, but I do it enthusiastically); organizing my home.

Hi, norinew! Good to see you again - we really should start our emails up again, if you’re game…

…anyway, part of what you said reminded me of this:
I probably know about 80% or better of the lyrics and tunes to most of the top-40 country music produced from 1955-1995. I needed to know this since I played a lot of honky-tonks and bars from the time I was 18 until 22 or so.

Also, on a related note - I taught myself to play guitar when I was 13 years old.

I had a close brush with fame when I was offered 80 hours of studio time by George Strait’s executive producer. This was when I was 17 though (1986), and I didn’t know just who it was that had made the offer. I thought it was just a scheyster that was going to charge me for all of that studio time once I got there to make the recordings, so I put his biz card in my desk drawer and forgot about it - then finally recognized the name when I was cleaning out the drawer 3 years later.

Check your inbox, sweetie. :wink:

About that George Strait thing. . .D’oh! :smack:

Hmmm. Well, childhood wasn’t very pleasant for me. I had to learn about death pretty early on due to several close family members dying of cancer. Back then there was no such thing as some special therapist employed by the school system to help kids who’d been through this, so having no-one to talk to I tried to talk about it with my schoolmates. The majority of them had no understanding of this so they thought I was weird discussing death, and chose to physically, emotionally and verbally abuse me through most of my school years (It didn’t help that I was a fat kid from one of the poorer families, and had undiagnosed depression from about age 7 until I finally got help in my mid-teens). After grade 9 I finally met some people who were a lot like me and made some friends.

At 16 I learned that I was part Native on my dad’s side, and became very interested in this aspect of my background. Since then I’ve been researching it and learning as much as I can. After a lot of hard work I’ve learned many of the traditional ways in Native arts and other areas. I can make moccassins, beadwork, dreamcatchers, buckskin dresses, drums, wing fans, leather chopper mitts, bone jewellry, war shields and drums. I’ve preserved bird wings, feet, tails and heads, and I can cook traditional foods such as bannock. I’m slowly learning the language of my respective Nation (Cree). I’m in a Native women’s drum group and want to learn one day to be a competitive pow-wow dancer (women’s Traditional or Jingle Dress).

My husband of one year left me in July due to some major depression problems on his part. This was really hard for me, but in the time that I’ve been alone I’ve learned to take care of myself and actually love myself instead of just tolerating myself.

Right now I work full time at an art store in a University, but hope to find a job within the Aboriginal community in the future.

Decent childhood: art lessons, piano lessons, summer camp, woods on property to play in, treehouses, Fourth of July parades, sledding and ice skating in winter, pumpkin carving, Easter egg hunts, Disney World, Grand Canyon, etc. Only thing that really sucked I guess was school. I hated school. And gym. We had to wear bloomers.

Decent young adulthood: Europe after high school, college (much partying), punk rock scene fun, slacker retail with everyday bong hitting, grad school, modeling, painting and gallery showings, acid tripping with an order of 'shrooms on the side, two years as an audio engineer, public relations psuedo-career after that, one failed engagement, many dates afterward, independent media consulting.

Decent adulthood (so far): nice part-time job (media and public relations stuff with a dab of copywriting), good boyfriend, have finally honed my shopping skills, karaoke now and then, visit friends and parents, travel now and then, collect antiques (actually junk). Trying to get back in the habit of going to church.

Not really exciting, but it’s apparently what I was dealt. (Actually I always thought it would be really cool to have some kind of awesome adventure with pirates and treasure hunting, but no deal so far…!)

My brain is chock-full of song lyrics, too. I will now start telling myself that’s why I’m bad at math. Thanks for explaining that to me. :slight_smile:

As for the OP, let’s see.
At 24, I found myself divorced with a small child and in debt. I pulled myself out of debt, went back to school and am now married to a great guy and have another child.

I’ve hiked in the Rocky Mountains.

I can start a fire in our woodstove, and keep it going all day.
I can use the woodsplitter by myself to split wood for the woodstove.
I can stack wood neatly so it stays stacked and doesn’t fall over.

I’m a pretty good cook (also self-taught - my mom didn’t go much beyond bland chicken casseroles), and can put together a simple dinner party or a big barbeque for a crowd. I can steam crabs and mussels and I can shuck oysters. I can brine a turkey. I can also carve said turkey.

My husband and I have done lots of work ourselves on our house; installing new lights, installing ceiling fans, drywalling, spackling, rewiring, painting, etc. I love the sense of accomplishment that comes from doing it myself.

At the ‘advanced’ age of 40, I became an EMT. Just last week we were called to a serious car accident, and I ended up crawling through the back of the wrecked car to put a collar on the driver, check her vitals, and help get her on the backboard. She was about my age, and asked me not to leave her. I stayed with her and held her hand till we loaded her onto the Medi-Vac helicopter. I thought things like that only happened in movies or on TV.

I had an awesome childhood, and had parents that allowed me room to learn and explore. I was an outdoorsy child, and a science nerd from the time I was four years old.

I started hunting and fishing when I was 8 or 9. Shot my first dove around that time.

I grew up in the same town I was born, attended High School and graduated with a high GPA and top honors. During those four years I fell in love twice, and shattered a couple of hearts. I also worked at a sleazy mexican restaurant. Made a lot of friends, and partied my little heart out.

I started college at a nearby community college. I partied a little too much and got it all out of my system. Let my grades slip and lost a couple of scholarships. Did Meats Judging, which changed my whole outlook on life. Got jobs at two different vet clinics, and decided to change my major. Got a job at Wal-Mart. Still there.

Hey, I’m only 19. I haven’t had time to do a whole lot. Notable exceptions include : visiting Maryland three times, taking a cross country trip up through Montana and Washington State, and going to Colorado twice. Falling in love with a guy who shares my common interests and goals, and who is scarily compatible with me.

Try this thread again next year. We’re going to Ireland and the grand canyon this summer.

25. Irish.
Comic nerd. Sci-fi enthusiast.
Bodybuilder. Archer. Salsa Dancer.
Property investor. Landlord. Actor.
Published playwright. Redhead.
Borderline OCD.
Depending on who you ask, a prick.

When I was young, people said I had brains to burn. No-one thought that I’d burn them all.

My dad never had a true family life, so when I grew up my family was similar to that of the brady bunch. So while I didnt have a smooth childhood, it also wasn’t filled with huge potholes.

Background: I am part german, irish, polish, belarusian, and ukranian.

During 1st grade, my eye doctor found that my optic nerve was rather swollen. An MRI, spinal tap, ultrasound and round of steroids later, it turned out that I was born with drusen (calcium deposits in my eyes). Doesn’t affect my vision, thank god. I later learned that swelling of the optic nerve is a classic sign of a brain tumor, yech!

When I was in 4th grade, my kitchen caught on fire and burned about a quarter of the house to the ground.

Later on in the summer before 7th grade, my house flooded during a bad tropical storm (allison? maybe?). Because of all the money family spent after the fire, I was reduced to spending the rest of the summer and the first six weeks of school sleeping on a friend’s living room couch. To add insult to injury, it was a rather uncomfortable couch.

I graduated from high school a year early, a decision which I dont regret at all.

This is my first year of college and I am having the time of my life.

I have been to almost 40 of the 50 states, not including those flown through.

I had my bat mitzvah when I was 14, and was the first girl in my entire family to have one.

I bought my first car a little over a week ago!

I love horses, and have been trained in english riding, was informally taught how to ride western and bareback, and have taught western riding. I know the basics of jumping, but was never formally trained.

At the ripe old age of 18, I have yet to have a very exciting life. Ive had speed bumps, but nothing major. I havent had had time to make huge and painful decisions!

I’ll go for it, though I do feel dull after you folks.

Twenty-seven, one bachelor’s degree and most of another. Elder of two girls, good childhood though I was always conscious of being unlike my family, who loved me but frankly admitted to never understanding me. No one’s wife or girlfriend, no one’s mother. Prone to avoiding risks and then taking big ones other people would never consider. I have a wonderful laugh, a ready shoulder for people to lean on in times of trouble or happiness, and an optimistic outlook. I’m always looking for new hobbies, hoping to find that one or two things that will hook me for life. So far, only writing has done that. I just started working on what I hope will be the first of several computer game scenarios for a game I love. I’m looking for a job, and seriously considering a move to a place where this will be more productive.

I’ve not done much with my years, certainly not as much as I could have done, but I’m a slacker by nature, often only moving enough to keep from being swept away by the current. However, when I’ve really set my mind to something, I always achieve my goals.

I’ll go for the not-so-amazing.

I’m twenty-four, hitting a Quarter Century of Slack next month. I share birthdays with James Dean ('31 for him, '81 for me). When my husband gets a new bike and I inherit the 750, I’m naming it “Little Bastard”.

I dropped out of high school in the ninth grade. While I don’t regret it, I don’t recommend it, either. I did the community college thing, picking up an A.A. along the way. I’m waiting for letters from universities this spring. I was accepted to UCLA once and I’m pretty confident they’ll let me in again. I’m hoping that the combination of my grades, essay, and James Dean juju will get me another letter. Sending the withdrawal letter to them the first time was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.

I still don’t have a diploma, but I’m taking the GED next month for the helluvit.

I’ve been to Disneyworld twice, Disneyland more times than I can count, been all over the Southwest US, and motorcycled up the Central California Coast over New Year’s – just in time for the torrential downpour.

I’ve been accused (praised?) three times in the past week of having a taste in swanky liquor. That exact word. I never thought the word “swanky” would ever be applied to me.

If the pay wasn’t so horrible, I’d go to culinary school. Cooking is the one thing I excel at and enjoy. My whole family rocks at cooking, though, so I just go to them to learn my chops (bad pun, I’m sorry).

My second favorite thing is Roman history and culture, so I’m a Classics major. No, I don’t know what I’m going to do with it. I’ll work it out; I always do.

I have a few amazing stories I could relate in my life, like riding with the cops in downtown Detroit, rafting the Grand Canyon, endless road trips, or the storm front blowing through South Dakota which I have remembered for twelve years as being the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. But the most amazing experience I’ve had by far is the one I’m currently going through, so I’ll just mention that. I personally don’t care for stories that involve laying out one’s medical history, but it can’t be avoided if there’s to be any context to this.

Background: Around the time I turned 13, my sister started complaining that my snoring was waking her up constantly through the night. This was difficult to believe, as my sister slept in the next room, and we were separated not just by the wall, but by a closet filled with clothes and a dresser. I also remember this was the same time I started having a hard time falling asleep, and an even harder time waking up in the morning. It became normal for me to stay up reading until 2 or 3 am, and go to school after only 4 or 5 hours of sleep.

It should come as no great surprise that I was suffering from severe sleep apnea. I went undiagnosed for the next 18 years, through highschool, college, and several years in the workforce. During this time, I figured that my odd sleep habits were simply part of who I was and learned to work around them. Looking back, I realize I was essentially half asleep for this entire time. I had no energy, I was very sedentary, I avoided most anything that required physical exertion. I wasn’t particularly happy with this state of affairs, and several times got into some serious exercise classes in an effort to build up. It never worked. It was like my body refused to get stronger. It was always quite frustrating.

So at the age of 31, I finally went in for a sleep study. My doctor explained that I would have treatable sleep apnea if I experienced 10 episodes per hour. For those who don’t know about sleep apnea, it’s a condition where you stop breathing while you’re asleep. This occurs because the openingof the throat is shaped slightly wrong - enough in my case so that when I relax, my throat closes down completely and air can’t pass through. When this happens, after a few seconds of not breathing, I wake up, open my throat, start breathing again, and instantly fall back asleep. Since this takes 5 seconds or less, it doesn’t register in memory and I have no recollection the next morning. This is an apnea “episode”, and my doctor was explaining to me that for every hour I had slept for the previous eighteen years, I had woken up ten times.

I let that sink in. Then I asked him if I understood correctly. No, he said, I hadn’t understood - ten episodes meant I had *treatable * sleep apnea. He suspected that the real number was closer to *fifty * episodes per hour.

Then I had the sleep study done and got a definitive number. Over the course of the night I averaged 96 episodes per hour. In my entire adult lifetime, I had never had two minutes of uninterrupted sleep.

And now: The adventure I’m currently experiencing
I started sleeping with a CPAP device immediately, but I didn’t notice any results right away. I think that after all those years, it took my body a while to become adjusted to actually being rested. I did start falling asleep at a reasonable hour, and stopped falling asleep during the day, and that made it cool enough to get me to continue using the CPAP. But two years went by before I realized that everything had changed in a very, very fundamental way.

I started jogging. My body responded like a caged lion suddenly set free. I began building muscle and dropping weight at an amazing rate. Instead of being too exhausted to move after a workout, I find myself energized and roaring throughout the rest of the day. After a lifetime of going to extremes to avoid any kind of physical activity, I now find I’m a workout addict. I’ve dropped over a hundred pounds to date, and last November I ran a half marathon. What really amazed me was how *easy * it was. I actually sprinted the last six blocks, and wish I had pushed myself harder through the rest of the race. I’m going to run a marathon this year.

I can’t stand to go home and watch TV every night anymore, I have to be doing something. I started taking evening classes, Swing dance, boxing, anything that gets me out and active.

I’m smarter than I was. I can think quicker and deal with problems better. I find myself re-examining old puzzles that used to confound me, and now I find I can solve them easily.

I’m experiencing jet lag for the first time in my life. I used to be exempt from it - jet lag was a normal state of affairs for me. After my trip to Munich a couple months ago, I was zonked the next day and couldn’t understand why, until I realized what was happening.

The biggest change of all has been my personality. I used to be very passive and negative, now I find I’m very assertive and upbeat. I used to be easily intimidated and avoid confrontation at all costs, now I’m spending half an hour hitting the punching bag every night and don’t back down when challenged. I came to the realization that I simply am no longer the person I was a few years ago. I used to allow people to walk all over me, now I find I can’t stand that. I’ve discovered, to my great surprise, that I’m an Alpha male.

I used to be passionate about community theater, my favorite thing was to go up on stage and pretend to be someone else. Now I find the thought of it annoying - why would I want to be someone else? I have too much to experience on my own.

I used to cave in to fear. I would avoid anything that made me nervous. Now I’ve kicked fear out of my life. I seek out things that I’m afraid of and confront them. I’m still cautious, and take measured approaches to the risky things I try, but I don’t let my fears own me. I ride a motorcycle. I’m planning to climb Mt. Rainier next summer.

I’ve had several confrontations with family members who don’t understand why I refuse to honor the established pecking order. The dynamic has changed, and they don’t get it. I explained to one of my brothers “None of the old rules apply, and nothing will ever be the same again. You’re dealing with a different person now.” He was shocked, more by my tone than my words, I think. My family is having a real tough time with this.

I’m very lucky to have a close group of friends who have been encouraging and supportive. One of them told me “We all knew this was who you really were. We just couldn’t figure out how to bring it out.” I picked up another friend at the airport who I hadn’t seen in four years. He and I lived together for years, he’s as close to me as any person on this planet, yet when he got off the plane, he walked right by me, not recognizing me. He later said “When I finally spotted you, I thought you must have sent a younger brother or your nephew.”

There is simply no experience I’ve heard of that can describe what I’m going through. I feel like I’ve been granted super powers. I’ve found that nothing’s insurmountable for me anymore, if I put my mind to it.

I look at my old life with a mixture of pride and regret. I regret all the living I missed when I was half asleep, all the times I allowed others to walk over me, the fears that owned me, the bad habits I allowed to take over. At the same time, I’ve very proud of the things I did accomplish. It would have been very easy to flunk out of school, take some dead end job and be a loser the rest of my life, but I obviously have something driving me deep down inside. People who have what I have usually don’t accomplish much in life, but I’m a respected professional with a degree and a good reputation. I’ve also had some amazing experiences which I just didn’t have the energy to participate in, but I forced myself to anyway. I do find myself falling into old habits, and I need to consciously push myself out of them. It takes a certain amount of effort, but I’ve learned I like struggling.

I’m thinking of writing a fictional book about these experiences. The working title will be Upon Awakening. In the meantime, I’m enjoying this adventure beyond any I have ever known.

So that’s my amazing life. Sorry for the long post. You know how it is when you get into a groove. :wink:

I was raised by my grandparents. They had 6 children, my mother, being the oldest. She went off to find a job one day and never came back… well four years later, but that’s another thread.

My grandfather was wonderful. He taught me that I could do anything I put my mind to. He taught me how to respect the world and its people, by simple example. He protected me as much as he could from my crazy grandmother. She would run away from home every spring.

I was the first ever college graduate in my family. My mother graduated high school, and one uncle had a GED, and passed the state test for CPA without formal education.

I went into the Air Force at age 18. That was 1965. I was a medic, but the didn’t send female medics into battle at that time, so I spent my military career in Amarillo TX. :rolleyes: While in medic training outside Montgomery AL, I had the chance to go to Selma, where Dr. King was to scheduled to speak, but I had to do laundry.

I married the first man I ever dated. I met him in the Amarillo. After a year a marriage, we had a son, who, by the time he was 6, could beat me and his father at chess.
When my son was two, I started college, he started preschool at the same college in the Early Childhood Education “lab.” We graduated together when it was time for him to start first grade.

I too have a head full of music, including songs no one has ever heard of from my early childhood. Does anyone know The Man that Comes Around? I thought not.

At 28 I found a woman’s phone number in my husband’s pocket while doing laundry. His family drank, he drank, I didn’t, so much. He said I was too much in his head and he felt diminished by my intelligence. I was astonished. He was a smart and talented man, who couldn’t recognize it. We stayed friends, until he married “The Step Monster.”

Over the next decade I worked with some of the best minds in medicine. Several who went on to be legends in their fields. One even won a Nobel prize for medicine in 1990. We never know when we are standing on the brink of history.

As my Grandfather predicted, I did well in every specialty. In 1976 I started medical school. I hated it and quit after 3 months. I could have done it, but I would have had to give up my heart, and I couldn’t bear that.

So, I went to South America for a month. Bogota, and the island of San Andres. Bogota was amazing, although, dangerous. San Andres was safe and utterly boring.
That’s when I first realized my secret addiction to adrenalin.

I dated a famous singer/guitar player… Jose Feliciano for a short time.

I was on national television every day for almost two years… an AT&T commercial. I made $47,000, and could have joined SAG. I was chosen because of one of the “clip-board people” you see in the mall. I doubt I ever convinced anyone to switch to AT&T, but I know a lot more of my friends stop for the “clip-board people” now.

I’ve lived in 11 cities in 5 states.

I’ve done two police ride-alongs, once just for fun and once for a work project. I’ve had a gun pointed in my face from a few inches away. I’ve had a knife held to my throat. Both incidents involved patients. After, I switched to pediatric ICU. Kids don’t tend to do those things, besides, their poo is much less disgusting.

I’ve been married three times, the second doesn’t really count though. He was bi-polar. He once bought 40 pairs of tennis shoes, all different sizes to resell. They weren’t even on sale. He bought $100 worth of bubble gum because he was sure there was a valuable baseball card in one of the packs.
He was a substitute teacher. He photocopied an entire book of Langston Hughes poetry for every child in an 8th grade math class once. He painted griffitti all over our bathroom in black spray paint. He would talk to his dead parents as though they were in the room. His dad, Blacky, had been the bartender in Lincoln Center when the Tonight Show was still in NY. He always quipped that Johnny Carson put him through college. Blacky died during a cardiac cath. His mom died 3 months later. She set herself on fire in a city park.
When his was normal, he was a sweet soft-spoken Italian, when he was manic, he was a loud black man with a need to spend money. We didn’t stay married.

In April of 2000 I married the love of my life. In June, two days after my birthday, my smart, curious, witty, son committed suicide. In his note, he said I was safe now and didn’t need him to protect me any more.
I am safe, but never will I be the person I was before.

57, native Houstonian.

Had a reasonably miserable childhood because my parents sent me to a private school where the other students were all hellspawn who came to school each day for the sole purpose of making my life as hideous as possible. This made me rather cynical of my fellow man, a shortcoming that I am still working on overcoming to this day. I started teaching myself to play guitar at 15.

Lived in Austin, TX for 12 years after graduating from high school, had a career in law enforcement there, then got into computers. Earned a BBA from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University). Had two marriages fail. Moved back to Houston for a while, doing contract computer work and managed to land two jobs that sent me overseas to Singapore, Indonesia and Australia. Came back, got married again, both of us took an overseas job on Kwajalein, which is where I got involved with Taekwondo. Came back, marriage failed, continued with Taekwondo.

I’m now a 5th Degree Black Belt with my own school. I am a database administrator during the day and teach Taekwondo in the evening. I have a lovely lady in my life and I’m happy.

End of boring biography. :slight_smile:

Woohoo, another classics geek!

So many of these stories are touching and amazing.

I’ll give it a go.

I’ve been both very poor and quite well off and have never regretted either. I’ve lived in a small town and a major city. I got married at 20 and am still very happily married almost 12 years later. I have a degree in business, and I learned to build a computer from the ground up.

I’ve written six books and have one published. I’ve been paid money to play computer games, and I’ve seen my name referenced by total strangers quite a few times on the Internet. I even have a Rotten Tomatoes presence.

I’ve been to the beaches of the Bahama Islands and the rainforests of Costa Rica. I’ve rafted twice and rappelled down a waterfall once, and would do both again in a heartbeat, even though I’m terrified of heights and drowning.

I’ve learned that almost anything I want to do is fully within my power to accomplish, if I really want to do it bad enough.

41, suburban Baltimore area.
I grew up in upstate NY with very demanding, but very fair parents. Education was paramount to them, and I ended up in a lot of AP courses in high school as well as playing a number of sports. I spent some time in the boy scouts as well, which was a terrific experience and has given me a lifelong love of the outdoors. I also started gaming at this time, and had the privilege of meeting and playing with a number of the pioneers of the genre. How I managed to balance all that with some, um… other recreational pastimes I am not sure, but I did, and rather successfully. I ended up with an ROTC scholarship.
Off to college in western Massachusetts where I wasted some opportunities to take school seriously, but ended up graduating on time, got commissioned in the Reserves, and oh yes: I met my wife of 18 years too.
After a few years of aimless career moves, I ended up working in the Washington DC area, buying a house, raising a family, the whole 9 yards. The culture shock of the big city, parenthood and a stressful job led to marriage counseling. Which was a godsend. It took us from the brink of divorce to what is without a doubt a more solid relationship than we’d ever had to that point. My wife is still my best friend and big toe. One of the things this revealed to me was just how miserable I was at my job. My college major was useless, so I went back to school, took some classes and changed careers completely. I worked for a classic dot com startup for a little while, working nights at half my previous pay. Did I mention my wife is incredible? After a few months, something better came along that really allowed me the opportunity to learn, develop and enjoy my new career. Unfortunately that ended when the company folded, leaving me “on the beach”, unemployed for almost a year. This was a miserable time, as I had never been unemployed before. But like the Phoenix, I rose from the ashes, and now have a job I enjoy; a wonderful family and a very happy life.