It's fascinating to me how we choose to describe ourselves, and how doing so changes throughout our lives. We see ourselves differently. We allow different events to highlight the important parts of who we are, and who we were, and who we want to be.
I have, at different times, defined myself commonly by the places that I've lived and the jobs that I have kept, because in some conversations they are noteworthy, or, at the very least, interesting. Many of us apply those experiences that few people can relate to as those highlights that define us, while others apply whatever interests appeal to us, intrigue and excite us, at that time in our lives. It's interesting because regardless of how we define ourselves, and of the effort we'll go to-to imprint, it is only as affecting--imprinting--as the experiences that whomever we are communicating with can relate to, anyway.
Essentially, however, we are only, and everything we choose to believe that we are. We are not the events that we explain, the timeline that we develop, or the traumas that we carry, we are how we describe ourselves, and by that I mean, quite literally, the way in which we communicate to others who we are.
I was thirty when I moved back to Boerne, Texas. I know a number of people here, now, that I did not know before leaving more than ten years ago. The experiences that I have had over the last ten years are lost on people, they make for great stories, if I open myself up for long enough to tell them, however those people only know me as they know me, and my experiences, for them, remain only stories.
I was nine when I first moved to Boerne. My father was in the Air Force so, understandably, we moved around a great deal. I was born in Sacramento, California, but before moving to Texas I had already lived in: Little Rock, Arkansas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Fussa, Tokyo, Japan; and then, again, California. We lived in Abilene, Texas, even, before moving to Boerne, Texas. I graduated from Boerne High School almost ten years later and continued on at the University of Texas at San Antonio while living at home--I majored in Psychology. I grew tired of the education system, as well as an underlining truth that people did not want to engage in a discussion about their concerns, their fears, their issues, their desires, they wanted, only, to be medicated--I do not agree with medicated psychological disorders. So, in my early twenties, I packed my green 99' Honda Civic and began driving West, down I-10 at the later end of December. In New Mexico I started North, and I drove for a small handful of nights and days before stopping in sleepy Idaho town and stayed for the night at an Econo Lodge. One night turned to two, and two to three, and before long I was living in Pocatello, Idaho. A Few months later I moved to Idaho Falls, Idaho. Eventually I moved to Salt Lake City, Utah; then to New York City, New York; and finally Santa Fe, New Mexico before returning to Boerne, Texas.
Over the years I have worked at: Taco Bell, Baskin-Robbins, The Hungry Horse Restaurant, Borders Books Music & Cafe, Hastings Entertainment, Op. Cit. Books, Sprouts Farmers Market, MegaPlex Theatres @ Jordan Commons; I helped to open the Starbucks in Boerne, Texas, and worked there as a Barista. I worked the graveyard shift as a machinist (8:00PM - 8:00AM, 7 days a week) at ConAgra Lamb Weston, a potato processing plant in American Falls, Idaho. I worked at Barnes&Noble Booksellers as a bookseller in Murray, Utah, and helped open the Barnes&Noble Booksellers flagship store at 86th and Lexington in New York City, working as a Front-end Manager. I worked as the Marketing Manager at Adobe Gallery, an art gallery on Canyon Road in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I worked as the Floor Manager at Double Take, a consignment store in Santa Fe. I worked as a host and tour guide on The Santa Fe Southern Railroad, and excursion train, in conjunction with X-Train, between Santa Fe and Lamy. I've worked as a freelance writer and author beginning in 2007 when I wrote a travelogue about The Villa Coffeehouse in Idaho Falls, Idaho for Idaho Falls Magazine, and I've published a novel--Between Transitions.
I had lived each of those lives before I was 32, and in most cases before coming back to Boerne at 30. Perhaps that's why I often find myself turning to those experiences when describing who I am. However, of course, I have stories that outnumber the highlights: when I was living in Idaho Falls I had both met, and married a woman within five months of exchanging our names. We met while we were both working at Hastings Entertainment in Idaho. After we married we moved to Salt Lake City together. She went to school to be an Esthetician, a skin care specialist, and Massage Therapist. We separated and divorced when we realized that we were, both, too young, and that we had rushed into the marriage. I was 21 (or 22). A few years after our divorce we met in Missoula, Montana to see Ray Lamontagne in concert at Big Sky Brewing Co. I had another marriage ceremony several years later while living in Santa Fe, a woman nine years my senior. She has three kids, two of which lived with us, and the time was the darkest of my life. When I moved to New York City I had a room waiting for me off of Unionport Road, across the street from the Bronx Zoo. I had the wherewithal to book a few nights in hostel so that I might get my affairs in order, but regardless of my many attempts I was never able to get through to my landlords, as a result I stayed in a handful of hostels over the next couple of weeks, but, ultimately, forewent housing so that I might save money, and get my own place. I spent most nights on a subway bench at the 86th and Lexington subway station, and a few in Grand Central Station. One night I slept, for a few hours, before being woken by a pair of New York City Cops, and forced to leave, a large plastic hand--an art installation in the center of Times Square. While living in Santa Fe, New Mexico I ran into Willem Defoe, literally. He was in town filming Odd Thomas with Anton Yelchin. I was walking fairly quickly along San Francisco Ave. towards The Plaza and was rounding a corner in front of Ortega's On the Plaza, and so was Willem Defoe. And that was when Willem Defoe and I collided. Also in Santa Fe, sitting on the patio at Cowgirl BBQwith a pair of friends, facing the sunset, I saw a man walking up the stairs towards us, playfully, and somewhat as a joke, I said "That looks like Ed Harris!" seconds later Ed Harris walked by the three of us and sat in a booth a few yards away. Across the street form where Op. Cit. Books used to be, in the Sanbusco Center, off of Montezuma St. in Santa Fe, New Mexico there is a single screen movie theatre, The Jean Cocteau. I spent a great deal of time there partly because: they had decent coffee, a full bar, free wifi, and a comfortable sitting area, but also because writer George R. R. Martin had bought and renovated it, and was very often sitting there. I was 'lucky' enough to have shared several drinks over many months talking with Song of Ice and Fire author (The Game of Thrones) GRRM.
When people ask me about myself I generally lead with, "I'm a writer, and an author." If the conversation persists I slip into stories of my past, but ultimately who I am, or who whomever I'm sitting across from me perceives me to be is the passion in which I share, the willingness I have to listen, and my openness when I engage. I have a wide variety of interests that bleed into one another, and some that have developed over the years, I enjoy being around people: whether we engage, I'm eavesdropping, people-watching, or sitting quietly alleviating some out-sourced depression. I love listening to, and playing music, I love art: painting, drawing, photography, writing, etc., I love: philosophizing, bouldering, reading, dancing, tea, camping, wines, conversation, kayaking, sailing, animals, trying new restaurants, traveling, bookstores, running, learning, smoking hookah, craft beer, etc., I'm also very particular about who I care to spend time with. I prefer real people, honest people, open people, "...the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are made to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!"
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