As mentioned previously, I went to a different elementary school every year, as me and my mother moved from Grand Junction to Kansas City, then to Denver. Halfway through 5th grade my mother got in a bad car accident due to drinking and driving, and because of it, she could not take care of me day to day. After the accident I moved in with my father back in Grand Junction, for the school year, and would spend summers with my mom. This move meant much more stability. I no longer had to try and constantly impress people to make new friends, I would see the same teachers walking the halls, and I would be able to have a stable routine. I also went from being an only child to being in a family with a step-brother Brett who was 4 years older than me, a step-sister Eryn who was a year younger than me, and a new born half-sister, Kelsie (From here on out I drop the step and half since I consider them not step or half, but full sisters and brother). I was never able to go to school with my older brother, but we spent a lot of time hanging out, getting in trouble, growing up, and being close friends. My sister Eryn on the other hand was a year younger than me, so we went to the same middle school together, but then decided to go to different high schools. The shift from being an only child to one in a big family, there were many differences. When it was just me, I could do just about anything I wanted, which led me to lying, stealing, and cheating, but in a larger family it got me no where. I would often watch how my brother and sister would get in trouble, and then go around those limits, as I'm fairly certain I did way more bad things growing up then both of them.
The one time I got caught doing something bad was when I got caught shoplifting from JC Penny during my freshman year of high school. While at the Mesa Mall I saw a Michael Jordan jersey I liked, told my buddy and then with a pile of other things, he snagged them and walked out the door. When we were outside he threw it to me, but as we rounded the corner the security guard was waiting for us. My dad was mad, I was grounded for a couple weeks, and ended up having to walk the 5 miles home from the mall. But that was pretty much the only trouble I ever got caught for. I had done much worse: vandalism, theft, drinking, drugs, etc. But I also think that is just par for the course as a kid growing up in Grand Junction, CO.
I went to Mt. Garfield Middle School for 3 years, played football, was one of the leads in the school musical (Wagon Wheels West), and was in the choir. Similarly, when I was in high school at Central High, I played football, swam, track, choir, and theater. I was pretty much the only "jock" in our school who was also in the arts. So needless to say I was a social butterfly that had friends in every social circle, I was fairly chameleon like. As for school, well my grades were not that good, I was a high C, low B student, my favorite class was weights with Coach Mac.
Growing up, like many children, my dreams of what I wanted to be when I grew up changed a lot. For a while I wanted to go to the Air Force Academy to be a pilot, then I wanted to be a cop, then a firefighter, being in the arts I always wanted to act and sing, and I always loved politics so I wanted to be a politician, another one that I kept running into was a teacher, which is what I would eventually become (though I never would have guessed that I would teach at the college level).
The last few months of high school were like something out of a coming of age high school film, very much like a mix between Varsity Blues, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and Dazed and Confused. A lot of goofing off, a lot of drinking, and a ton of fun. I probably should have died of alcohol poisoning at our senior class camping trip, as I drank around 15 beers, a full bottle of Southern Comfort, and half a bottle of Jägermeister. I puked most of the night, and was sick for a week.
By the time I was about to graduate, I had settled on going to Mesa State to play football, but because of a fight with my father, I decided to move out of the house and ended up back with my mom in Greeley, working for my aunt and uncle. But I wouldn’t last long in Greeley since I had no one my age to hangout with, so I moved back to Grand Junction. But that's a whole different era of my life, which will be the basis of a different blog…