I grew up in the greater Washington DC area in the Maryland suburbs. In hindsight, it was wonderful place to be raised. My Takoma Park and Silver Spring neighborhoods were the typical middle class dwellings and prototype of post-World War II family life. Like the prim and proper front yard I played in, my family of six looked similar – no noise, commotion, troubles – at least that neighbors could detect. But such tranquility was just too good to be true. Effects from our repressed home life wouldn’t really appear on me until adulthood. As I entered my young adult years, I was not only shy and fearful, but cautious about college being such a slow learner from the start.
Tentative to engage with anything or anybody during the ten years after leaving home, I watched my peers succeed in professional and personal standing while I stood still. It wasn’t until I was thirty that I decided to get a real job and try teaching.
I taught high school in McLean, Virginia, for thirteen years. The profession was the right one for me at the time. But teacher burnout torched me so hard in 1996 I decided to leave teaching and the Washington area for good. I relocated to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and enrolled in undergraduate film school (as if all the sweat getting two undergraduate teaching degrees hadn’t been enough punishment already.)
Getting the third degree. How prophetic. I graduated, but discovered I had little aptitude for most disciplines in film, if not all of them. The ensuing disappointment about film school layered over previous decades of suffering from depression and Lyme disease (although I was unaware I had Lyme at the time). Despite being a sheltered individual, I knew my cross-country trek of upheaval for film school and life relocation was quite a commendable thing to do, but in the end I was left lost, single, alone, and without direction.
However, in Santa Fe, I found my soul mate home. And film school hadn’t turned out to be such a washout after all. From taking so many screenwriting courses, I realized how much I liked to write. And from that discovery, a new life path began.
I still live in Santa Fe, the place I’ve spent the last five years writing my memoir, Maybe Boomer.