Born and raised in a loving two-parent, one sister, one dog household in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with garden-variety disfunction and a typical cache of "it was a different time" childhood anecdotes. I was and still remain close with my family, but geographically, that pocket of the world never felt like home to me. I experienced a Catholic upbringing, but IT never felt like home, either. Public high school found me rebelling in all the typical ways, including but not limited to sex, drugs, and rock n' roll. Tragedy struck my high school a multitude of times during my time there (although this was thankfully before the age of dime-a-dozen high school shootings,) and I learned big lessons about mortality and mourning and violence and the different kinds of war our society drags itself through. I didn't care for high school, couldn't WAIT to be done with that period of my life, and I was right on target to believe that the world held so many other places where I would feel more myself.
College was better, but my sheltered childhood had some harsh adult realizations attached to it, and this is where I explored some dark and twisted corners of the human experience. Even then, I operated from a place of understanding that everything was an experiment, that getting stuff "out of my system" was expected to a degree, and I took advantage of that. I had come to equate organized religion with any sense of a moral code, and I shrugged both off with the righteous arrogance that saturated my late teens and early 20's. Conflict and tragedy became personal, as I experienced the death of a high school classmate, the death of a close college friend, and a host of medical issues ,
After graduation, I entertained two job offers in my chosen field in my home state, but the INSTANT I got wind of a better idea, one that involved moving 1,000 miles away, I JUMPED at it. Literally hung up from the phone call proposing the idea, and announced my new Plan of Action. I'd never been to Boulder, Colorado, before but that didn't stop me from moving there three months later, setting quite a precedent for things to come.