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I never know what to say about myself...

But hey, here goes. I grew up outside of Portland, Maine. Ever since I was young, I was surrounded by immigrants from Africa. Over the years, I acquired a fair number of "adopted" brothers and sisters, and mothers and fathers. As a kid, I heard their stories and wondered "why am I hearing about such atrocities? Why does my mother read such unspeakable things aloud while we eat pizza?" I get it now. It's real. It's life, sort of, or at least the darker side of life. In a weird way, I identify with these stories. At my best, I am drawn to the homeless and find it hard to pass them by without reaching into my pocket or handing them my jacket, even in January. This part of me took me to the slums of Kenya where I spent three months working with the orphans and homeless. From mountains of trash blocking the street to a small child dying from a stomach virus, I experienced much.

My life hasn't been easy. It hasn't been a cake walk. How cake can walk I don't know, but I'm still alive. While I had everything I needed growing up, I had very little to myself, almost as though life had been held away from me. I had everything a child could ask for, but nothing I ever truly sought for myself came to pass. I was always told I was smart, but never held more than a basic job and nearly failed out of college. I was always told I am sweet and charming, but the only girl I ever intended to marry left me for no reason I know. It had nothing to do with her, but every plan I ever made, beyond "hey want to hang out today" fell through. In college, I suffered the most crippling depression after she left me. I was going to school to become a doctor so I could support her and however many kids we would have had. So, when she left me I was like "screw this" and nearly failed out of college. I have long since forgiven her for what happened and never actually blamed her for any of it. As they say, it is what it is. Even now, I battle with what they call schizophrenia. Although I insist I'm healthy, others do not. Doesn't everyone scream at the ceiling in the middle of the night? Psy aye yai... How'd that Pokemon reference get in there? Was that Norman?

When I was a kid I drew and painted a lot. As my emotional state got worse and worse, I drew and painted less and less. Eventually I just stopped pursuing art and just about everything else I loved. I even lost my faith for a while. Now it seems like everything I missed out on is coming back to me. I am actually painting again and selling my work. It seems like I am coming come back to life. I would like to thank my God, my family, and my friends for being with me through it all.

Thanks for reading,