I am married to my best friend, who also happens to be smart and beautiful, have 5 kids (4 girls and 1 boy), have my bachelors and masters degree, work for a non-profit as a Director of Asset Management helping people get affordable housing, have very loving and supportive parents that are still married after 48 years, go to a local non-denominational Christian church, live in Southern California, and from the outset, it looks like I have the perfect middle class family, and I do. I proposed to my wife in Disney World, we got married at a beautiful country club thanks to my great in-laws, and our honeymoon was 4 days in Disney World followed up with 4 days on Disney Cruise. When I was younger many would have thought I was a conservative Christian, and as I have aged some have thought I was a social liberal when the fact is I am somewhere in the middle like most people in this world. I enjoy reading about the automotive industry, though for different reasons than most, am a proud Teamster in good standing, enjoy going to Disneyland and Disney World with our children, still dream of being a truck drive but mostly only on bad work days, believe in buying local for environmental and social reasons, as a Dad of 4 girls I look forward to more women in leading roles throughout the world, as often as can I like to have music in the back ground, and while not the best at it, continually look for ways to grow my walk with Christ. Since birth my Mom has said I have been a happy person with more energy than any 2 other people put together and no matter what has been thrown at me in life, I would like to think I have stayed the same.
At first glance, it might look like I have lived the perfect, yet boring life, with the perfect wife. This is not an accurate perception as I have raced a police officer on city streets, traveled 5000 plus miles with 2 infants twice, traveled around the world with a start up business that failed, gotten divorced from someone that did not work well with my kids or myself though she had a very high IQ and was always fun to have political, philosophical or other debate with, was a single parent with no job, two mortgages and no money in the bank, been to a Crip party, driven stolen cars, was a car salesperson, worked more than 3 jobs for a sustained period, put myself through college getting a 3.95 GPA while being a single parent, volunteering more than ever and working, was on the front of multiple newspapers for a web-page I made with a friend, been in a car commercial as the spokesperson, had heart surgery, foot surgery, knee surgery, eye surgery, and appendix removed, had 2 points in my life when the discussion with my doctors was the possibility that I could soon meet God, owned over 50 vehicles, owned 4 homes, drove thousands of miles over 100 mph while traveling from state to state, lived in Oregon, Arkansas and California, did mission work in Mexico with my daughters, been to the TaJ Mahal and Statue of Liberty in the same year, had tea with the ambassador of India, bailed hay, re-roofed homes, got drunk for the first time when I was on a business trip in Guinea, was on the construction crew to build a new Mercedes dealership, worked on the factory line building Class A Motorhomes and tools, been an audience member on the Ellen show, been an audience member on the Price is Right, read the Bible front to back more times than I can remember, walked through skid row multiple times, helped on multiple political campaigns at both the local and national level, have been on my City’s Budget committee, drove for Lyft, wrote a report about alternative fuel to help save a farm that was given to former Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, been so poor I qualified for food stamps and housing aid but was to proud to take it, help start a monthly dinner program for those in need both fiscally and emotionally, tried surfing, did downhill skiing, wore my cowboy boots that I used when working on a farm, with my Burberry suit to a party in Hollywood, was caught in an airport while a war was happening outside of it, was treated like royalty when visiting Guinea in Africa, had more women, and a few men, than I can count try to get me to have an affair, owned a Property Management business, plus much, much more. During all of this I never once did any sort of drugs, only had sexual relations with the women I was married too and I did not drink alcohol until I was in my 30’s.
On their own, most of my stories seem unreal and most people do not believe all of them could have happen to one person in a lifetime, let alone before turning 40.
I have grown substantially through all of my experiences and in doing so I have learned that I like hearing other stories of adventures, struggles and wins. Maybe by me sharing these stories it will encourage others to do the same, which I believe is the firsts step in moving past human kinds hatred, prejudices, and distrust in one another.