Growing up I had a lot of time to myself. We moved so often that it was almost a way of life. The first move came at 4 years old and the typical things, like sports teams, weren’t there to help me make new friends right away.
I often found myself lost in stories.
Stories about the time I saved my whole class from danger by using only my wits and good looks.
Stories about seeing a girl I thought attractive and winning her heart with my words.
Stories about being friends with the boys who were good at sports..
When other kids were talking about the popular songs and getting their new Adidas sandals, I was imagining the building catching on fire and being the one who leads everyone to safety. Some times I even forgot about my disconnect from reality and started smiling about the life I had in my head. It seemed like the whole world wanted to be part of my stories when I imagined national emergencies that needed my blend of super hero abilities and open availability.
For a couple years I invited two boys in my grade to enter this world and we played as a team of Three Musketeer style, high tech super heros. This went on for a couple years until my real story took over and I left Virginia for Connecticut with my family. When I arrived in the ghetto of Bridgeport, CT my stories took on a distinctly darker shade. Crime went from high tech cartoon style to real bullets and real blood. Bridgeport is also when and where I discovered endless porn on the web.
A girl from the boarding school in New Hampshire I attended was the first female I let read my writing. She gave me a four page “Writers Creed” because my story had too much explicit content. The story? A hired gun assassin traveling by air ruins a disguise so he drugs and drags a woman to the airplane bathroom where he uses her outfit as his new disguise. All without the flight attendants knowing.
Stories like that one have been part of my dreams for years.
All the time I added characters from my real life. Girls I wanted to woo and the guys too cool to even notice me, all became part of these action adventure movies in my mind.
There were many moments of emotion as well: conversations with my dad about his work or befriending a classmate between crazy running and jumping. My mind would take me on these wild adventures during forced study hall or even while snowboarding (just add guns and national secrets) but always as a way to connect to the greater reality of my life. My stories were strangely real. As I got older my stories stopped working out so easily and I stopped always being the hero. In fact I often find myself as the villain or the broken protagonist who needs help.
The stories always put me in the place of living out my emotions instead of holding them tight. And when I met Lee Anne I slowly began to share these stories, she let me know I couldn’t say or do anything to make her love me any less.
That is the story of life worth living: feeling out loud, letting others see your pain and inviting them to join you for an adventure in vulnerable connection.