My father grew up around boats on the Jersey shore, and became a kind of fusion of a Hemingway adventurer, Erroll Flynn, and Hunter S. Thompson. He crossed tens of thousands of miles of ocean and a hundred ports of call in his lifetime, and knew the brilliant heights and black depths of human experience.
My mother was a southerner who became an early wave Haight-Ashbury hippie and a professional dancer. She could live on almost nothing, and she could make any living thing, anywhere, regardless of adversity, grow up healthy and strong.
By a fairly wild sequence of events, I was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, but spent my early childhood, sequentially, on my father’s sailboat, an island in the territorial waters of Costa Rica, a schoolbus refurbished as a home, and a ramshackle house near the Ft. Lauderdale shore with a leaky roof and a sand yard.
Something in all that made me decide to join the military at 18, then get a degree in History, a diploma in Accounting, and an MBA; and all the while pursue a career in finance and management. In a family of bohemian writers and performers, I suppose inevitably there would be a black sheep.
I was known for the games, the worlds, I invented for my sister, my cousins, and my friends. I had a sometimes overly creative approach to essays and school papers, and I even did a bit of writing for fun, including some deliberately awful poetry. However, I never really considered myself a writer, or rather, as someone who had that inner drive, need, compulsion to WRITE.
In retrospect, I think I simply ignored it.
For team projects college and in graduate school, I was often the leader, but even more often the editor and in many cases de facto writer of our project papers. Something like this role carried on into projects in my professional career. I did a great deal of analysis and wrote a great many reports for employers and for clients. I enjoyed the creation as much as the analysis itself, but still I didn’t listen to the roar of that inner fire, didn’t let its warmth touch me or its heat singe me.
I do now.