Early Years

August 16, 2014
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Education was not a priority

Let me start my story by saying I believe we choose some paths and others are created for us. I believe this, because my life has been a combination of both good and not so good choices, and beautifully wonderful mistakes. I was born in California one year after my brother and we lived in a one-bedroom apartment with our mother and father. We were poor, but loved. My father’s less than ideal experiences’ in school determined how we would be educated. We were sheltered from school and ‘other people’s’ children for fear that they would break precious cargo. The decision for my father to home school his children came on what I believe to be a whim…an idealistic romantic dream that was poorly executed by a broken hearted child in a man’s body. We were in fact not home schooled but rather kept at home. The most formative years of our lives my brother and me would play in our bedroom closet with blocks and Barbie dolls, color in books, and tell each other stories.  We were each other’s teachers and each other’s students.


            When it came time that we were obviously growing out of our home and growing tired of a life inside my parents made the best decision they had ever made and moved us to Georgia in the springtime. Through my mother, my aunt, and mine and my brother’s insistence we would go to elementary school that fall. I should have begun my twelfth year of life in the sixth grade, but was placed in fifth grade for fear that I would be so far behind I wouldn’t know where to begin. The truth of the matter was that I read at a second grade level and reading comprehension did not exist for me. I did not know how to construct a sentence or answer questions. Multiplying and dividing made no sense to me because I could not add or subtract, and science was not even on my radar. I was lost, confused, and too obliviously to be embarrassed about my knowledge deficit. Needless to say education was not important in my household. Studying did not matter and what I knew and learned was irrelevant to our daily life. I skated through school on good behavior and decent interpersonal skills that I used to get my math and science teachers to feel sorry for me and give me a passing grade. I graduated high school and decided after a botched attempt at a community college degree that I needed a break…bad. So I took that break, traveled the states, and got a job at a cute little breakfast spot in the city of Decatur, just outside of Atlanta, GA. I loved the social part of this work and taking care of the patrons.


            One day I was that twenty year old tired and I was talking to a woman who was that forty year old tired. We were talking about life and the things we had to do that week. As we talked I watched her balance her checkbook. I will never forget the starting number of $437.21, and as she wrote check after check, the number got smaller and smaller. This was a defining moment in my life, because my twenty year old, uneducated brain realized in this moment that her checkbook looked a lot like mine. A light bulb went off in my brain. People don’t just get older and make more money, they can make decisions when they are younger to be better off financially when they are older, or not. This day set in motion a series of events and conversations that would lead me to massage school the autumn of 2003.


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