Hello everyone! Welcome.
In the process of building this website I’ve come across a lot of me. As a storyteller since age 11, there was a lot to sift through – my thoughts, my feelings, my evolution from boy to man to “what the fuck does it mean to be a man?” to now. It’s been an eye-opener. Time passes and we are gifted with the ability to connect the dots between our experiences. If you’re lucky, you write them all down so you can trace the exact moments your life took on a new direction. (I guess that makes me pretty damn lucky.)

So it seemed only natural to start with this post – a post that details my experiences, which for better or worse, make me the man I am today. Originally written on my travel blog Lessons from a Vagabond, it details the transformative moments that remind me there are no coincidences. Each step builds upon the next.

  1. Moving with my family to Mexico. (1989)
  2. Angry and heartbroken, telling my dying Dad I didn’t care if he died tomorrow. (February 16th, 1994)
  3. My Dad dying and being told he was no longer in pain, thusly setting in motion an undercurrent of ruminations on pain that informed my first documentary, A Chance for Peace. (February 18th, 1994)
  4. Meeting my soon-to-be stepfather at my Dad’s memorial service. (1994)
  5. Moving back to the States and writing my first poem. (1995)
  6. Breaking my leg in Times Square. (2004)
  7. Traveling to Italy on my own and deciding to return to live and study Art and Philosophy there. (2005)
  8. Fulfilling number seven. (2006)
  9. Skydiving in Interlaken, Switzerland. (2006)
  10. Getting my heart broken for the first time. (2007)
  11. Deciding to volunteer in Kenya and campaigning with a Member of Parliament candidate. (2007)
  12. Producing and directing a documentary in Kenya about peace. (2008)
  13. Returning to the States and finally accepting L.A. as my home. (Oct 1st, 2008)
  14. Escaping a burning building and losing my home. (Oct 14th, 2008)
  15. Oct 14th, 2008 – present. (A new beginning)

OK, I just read that through and my life sounds crazy. In fact, even my closest friends have described my life as “unfortunate” or “complicated”, but look at that list! So many once-in-a-lifetime experiences, so many hurdles jumped and lessons learned. A great man once said, “If you’re not growing, you’re dead” and right now I’m at that point where looking back doesn’t matter anymore. I’ve grown and I’ve learned to be grateful. I have been released from the need to know pain; I have learned the power of one’s own words; I am found love all around me and in various forms; I have challenged myself to the brink of exhaustion; and now all I can feel is light.

Pictured above: After experiencing my house fire in 2008, I managed to salvage a few things. Many of the journals were water damaged from the firefighters. Although many of this one’s pages were runny with ink or just straight up blank, this page was left with one word remaining: “Obstacles?” (Originally posted on Digital Storytyler in January, 2015)

 

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