My mother always said I lived a charmed life.
I grew up as an only child in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I attended small private schools with eclectic student populations and engaged teachers. My summers were spent outdoors with little supervision as my friends and I explored the neighborhood, limited only by our imaginations. Each day was fresh and lazy; each night was cool and magical. We fell asleep most nights in our backyards under the stars. My parents were mild, supportive, and non-meddling. Life was unencumbered.
Even with these blessings and my parents’ support, I managed to flunk out of college. Twice. This was hardly a setback as I seemed to fall into one good job after another. I made a lucrative career as a massage therapist – the only occupation where absolutely everyone is delighted to see you. This effortlessly lead to spa management. In hindsight, my career has been an meandering expedition driven by a craving for variety. Pizza delivery driver, ranch hand – the pattern has been the lack of any.
I experienced a divorce, but unlike so many other divorces, it was not something I suffered from. My ex-wife has always inspired high self-esteem and creativity in our twins, and they, the twins, have never given me a single moment of anguish – which both then and now seemed to be an impossibility.
I was indulged by a life that seemed to operate flawlessly to my benefit, yet my life seemed peppered with a sense of emptiness. My identity seemed vague, as though I had no definition or location, and I had the eerie, gnawing sensation of being nebulous. Strangely enough I finally found that location and solidity with those who would otherwise seem to lack both. It was my interaction with homeless individuals and those who serve them that helped me to finally be at home.