When I was 16 years old, the summer after 10th grade ended my parents let me sign up and paid for me to go to a school in Oaxaca Mexico for a month and a half long immersive program. This was an incredible experience and adventure.
I had a host family that I stayed with in their upper apartment and they cooked most of my meals for me in the beginning, but as I grew to make friends through the classes that I took at the school where I was learning Spanish, cooking, and had an inter-cambio with a local student who is learning English I became much more adventurous.
The class I took on a daily basis was very smart and there were only two other women so we bonded very quickly and started enjoying meals together.
They were both over 20, and invited me to start going out drinking and dancing on Tuesday and Wednesday nights which were the main club nights in Oaxaca.
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, and enjoy the beach to the fullest. We would meet new strangers every night and it was truly the adventure I had read about in sought after and all of the books I read growing up.
This is also the first time that I ever tried smoking cannabis. I quickly fell in love with how the drug made me feel in the escapism it allowed me to experience. And when I went back to Seattle it was relatively easy for me to find more so I started smoking on a very regular basis.
I learned a lot about discipline and also felt less lonely having this loving dog by my side at all times but I was still missing the deep human connection I always craved for. No one ever invited me over to their house during high school, except for a handful of times. Even though I had friends at school and was able to get along with almost everyone, no one wanted me to be their close friend.
This started to especially effect me late in my junior year as classes became increasingly difficult, we had to start preparing for college applications, and I started slipping in basketball. The culmination of all these things let me to self harm for a very short period where I cut myself in an effort to relieve myself of the emotional pain I was facing on a constant basis.
A counselor at school who was taking the same Spanish class as me noticed and informed my parents and I was forced to go to dialectical behavioral therapy. At the time I hated going to therapy but really did learn a lot about how the brain works and how we can start to manage and control our negative emotions through physical or cognitive exercises.
During my junior year I would often smoke after school and get lost in YouTube videos. I was a great student so it was something no one really ever noticed, until one day my parents ended up finding all of my homemade smoking paraphernalia that I had hidden under my bed and it was a disaster. They were incredibly disappointed in me and thought I needed some serious help.
During the summer of my junior year, Garth had completed his training with me and I gave him up to go on to “Guide Dog College” where he learned further skills on how to operate in his harness it was matched with a blind person. I quickly got a new puppy named Shep to love and train.
Things started to slip further in my senior year as I had more freedom with my schedule, fewer classes, and even less of a desire to pursue my education. I started smoking and getting high before classes
and dueing my free periods with skip school to go to different stores and steal small items.
After returning from an amazing experience in Mexico I felt quite bored and was driven by the lack of adventure, and theft was definitely more exciting and some thing that gave me a bit of an adrenaline rush. I kept doing this until one day I was caught when I stole several items of high-end clothing from REI, which has its own theft department.
Because I was 17 and not 18 years old yet they decided to call my parents instead of calling the police even though I was technically under arrest. Again my parents were incredibly disappointed. I felt an incredible amount of shame and started to distance myself from anyone who really cared about me.
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.