For middle school, I went to Aki Kurose in the Rainier beach neighborhood of Seattle, where I was one of only 8 or 9 white students out of 800 in the entire school. It was a profoundly different cultural experience that allowed me early on to see how big of an impact the environment had on how we thought of ourselves and our futures.
It was here that I tried out for the basketball team and this was my first time playing basketball in my life. I picked it up pretty quickly and moved from the JV to the varsity team after one year. This is where I fell in love with basketball, not only for the fun of the game, but the bonding and friendship that came along with it. I also loved competition, and our team was at the top of the league.
When I was 16 years old, the summer after 10th grade, my parents let me sign up and go to a school in Oaxaca, Mexico for a summer-long immersive program. This was a transformative experience for me. I became close friends with 2 of the women I met through classes in the program.
I had never had so much fun, excitement, and deep friendship before. In fact, we bonded so much that a month into the experience we decided to skip out on school altogether and take a 10 hour bus to the beach at Playa Escondido. We got to go out to eat, party every single night, mingle with international travelers from all over the world.
During freshman year, I lived in a dorm room with 300 other boys and girls, and there was partying and drinking almost every night.
I was getting A’s and B’s in all my classes, but was bored out of my mind. I'd often skip class to hang out with friends. I felt a huge amount of pressure to get straight A’s because the only real reason I was going to college was to get into vet school.
A week before I had to go back to Los Angeles for college, I walked into a Seattle smoke shop and felt an immediate connection with the person behind the counter. His name was Ben. I came back every day for the next four days to try and catch him again at work but each of the times he wasn’t there. On the fourth time his manager who also happens to be his roommate noticed that I was asking for Ben and maybe had a crush on him, so he invited me over to their house the next night for a small house party.
I showed up to the house party, the night before my plane was going to leave back to Occidental College, and ended up spending the entire night talking with Ben before realizing I had to quickly leave and go catch my flight that was at 5 AM.
When I got back to college, Ben and I started texting and calling each other every day. I still went to my classes but really lost interest now that I had a new found interest both in Ben and also my freelance writing.
I found a roommate to move into the upper portion of the rental house so that our rent was even less and started to save up some money. We were at that rental house for more than a year, and during that time I started doing an immense amount of bartering through craigslist. I was REALLY good at it. I would trade graphic design, logos, and websites for physical items.
There were so many trades, I could not describe them all but here’s an example of one that paid off really well for us. I design the website in trade for a minibike from one person, and made a website for a pontoon boat from another. We traded both the minibike and the pontoon boat for a 6 carat diamond bracelet. We traded the diamond bracelet for a jeep wrangler. We traded the Jeep Wrangler for a souped up racing ATV plus a Chevy blazer. We sold the ATV for $3,000 and traded the Chevy for another much older Jeep. We traded the Jeep for a Pontiac grand am. We traded the Pontiac for a lifted Chevy Truck.
We loved that Chevy truck, and it was a huge trade up from what we started with. We saved up and bought a rooftop tent and with that set up we decided to go on another adventure. We build a storage system for the back of the truck for all of our diffuser beads and work and drove off to a bunch of different state parks all over Washington state and Oregon.
Starting a Glassblowing Business
Growing the Glassblowing Business
Copyright © 2020 Maayan Gordon Media All rights reserved.