I started Kindergarten when I was four years old.

Either the rules were different back then or my parents didn’t care much for rules, but I didn’t turn five until late October of my Kindergarten year. My parents say the reason was something along the lines of me being too smart to stay at home another year. Guess I was really acing those pre-K standardized tests. Looking back, I’m not sure if it was the me-being-super-smart thing or if my mom just wanted me out of the house for seven hours a day, at the earliest possible time (I couldn’t blame her for that). But I started Kindergarten at four and it set me on a path I would be on for a long, long time.

I graduated high school when I was seventeen.

I didn’t turn eighteen until, you guessed it, October of my freshman year of college. I didn’t venture outside of my dorm room much the first semester. I had a younger girlfriend back home I was pining away for plus it took me a long time to adjust to the new world I was living in. It seemed everyone was able to transition much smoother than I was.

Growing up, I was the quintessential late bloomer. The last of my peers to start puberty, the last to get my driver’s license, the last to figure things out, the last to fully understand. I always felt a little out of place with my age group. It seemed everyone knew something I didn’t know, like I was the only one not mature enough to handle the stage of life I was in. At the time, I could not have articulated what I was experiencing or the insecurity and regular feelings of inadequacy I felt, but it was there just the same.

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The forgotten treasure


“We didn’t see what we wanted to see from the ultrasound. We’re going to need to schedule an MRI.”

Those were the words on the other end of a phone call from my doctor’s office this past December. They were examining a vital organ and now the cause for concern was elevated even higher than it already was.

It was a few days before I could get an MRI on the calendar. And then another few days before I got the results. In contrast to most of the rest of life at my age, those days crept by. Like I was watching a sundial instead of a clock. Am I going to be okay? Is it cancer? Will I require a transplant? All kinds of terrible (and probably unnecessary) things go through your mind when you’re waiting on the results of a test.

Most of us take our health for granted. It’s the most priceless thing we have in our lives, yet we never think about it until we’re forced to. Health is the forgotten treasure we all possess, the gift we almost never say “thank you” for.

Finally, on a Friday just after Christmas, I received a call. It was an assistant from my doctor’s office. [Read more…]

Winter. Time.


“Why in childhood and youth do we wish time to pass so quickly – we want to grow up so fast – yet as adults we wish just the opposite?” – My Dog Skip

For me, winter in Georgia has always been hard time.

I’m not a fan of cold weather season.

I grew up in sunny south Florida. We only had one season: hot and humid, all the time. I remember vividly one Christmas day in my teens, tanning by the lake in my grandparents’ backyard. It was a bright Christmas. It was always a bright Christmas. I didn’t have to experience winter weather on a regular basis until I was nearly an adult.

So when it gets below 40 degrees I can’t hang.

Once, sitting (and shivering) outside by a fire in cold weather, a neighbor’s father told me it was because I didn’t have enough “brown fat” stored up in my body. At the time, I thought he was mocking me. But it turns out his science was absolutely correct.

And so, because of my upbringing in South Florida (and my subsequent lack of brown fat) I have always dreaded the cold winter months. I hate being cold. I would rather sweat any day than shiver. I’ve heard all of the cold-weather-preference arguments (“You can layer in winter, but you can’t do anything about the heat” blah blah blah) and I don’t care. Summer rules. Winter drools. That’s how I feel about it. [Read more…]