My life began in 1982, when I graduated from Faulkner College in Wisconsin. It was a great experience – I met a lot of people, learned a lot about journalism and telecommunications (my majors) and overall, it was a good 5, 6 years of my life that I would never forget. But I did! Apparently, I can remember that college was a great experience, but since my life began in ’82, when I graduated, I can’t actually remember what made it so great. What a shame, ’cause it looks like something I’d want to remember.
I stayed in Wisconsin for about a year or so after graduating, simultaneously taking a break from college and at the same time, looking for promising opportunities in journalism. It was summer at the time, but the weather was rarely spring-like – windy, but not too windy, cold but not cold – fresh!
In the early months of ’84, though, I received a letter from the Miami Herald saying they were looking for talented journalists to participate in their New Voices program. Why they sent me a letter, I don’t know. Why would the Herald randomly send me – anyone – a letter, especially someone out of Miami? At first, I thought it was a scam, but I took my chances and, keeping vacation and family as a Plan B, I traveled back to Miami (where my family lived, and, apparently I’d lived my entire pre-college life in Miami, but as aforementioned, I have no recollections of it due to my life starting in the ’82).
Indeed, it was real! I stepped into their office in Miami Downtown, and immediately, they somehow recognized my name! Something was up, but all their offers were legit, and by ’86, I was a featured columnist, writing for their Entertainment section. I did that until ’89, when someone came up to my desk on a Friday. I think I was actually slacking off that day, playing Pong on an Atari I’d found in the basement (yes, this means that I had a power tap, a controller, and most noteworthy, a TV – all in addition to my typewriter – at my desk).
The someone who came up to my desk was actually Rick (the editor-in-chief at the time; the former in which we would call Johnny Boy) who told me that he wanted me to do international reports for the year. It was July, I think, when he told me – good thing, ’cause I had to find a report to do for the coming year! I decided to do it on the psychology of happiness (now called positive psychology, after Seligman’s presidential campaign for the APA) that I’d been reading about in a bunch of psychology books that this girlfriend of mine gave me. I told Rick about it a few months later, and he loved it! I would go around to lots of different countries and formalize a world wide investigation on how people would respond to the idea of a psychology, not about crazy people, and not in the image of Freud – a classic one to this day – but instead about happiness!
But I asked Rick something – we’re a local newspaper, and we’re going to do an international investigation? And I’m doing it? I’ve only been here for a few years! Rick replied that someone, somewhere must favor me a lot.
Well, that must’ve been it – from ’89 to ’90, I traveled worldwide and I was met with positive reception regarding my investigation. In the summer of ’81, my report was published and I couldn’t have been happier reading it in the Miami Herald – a whole section devoted to it had been made. I was full of glee, but I kept my humility intact. By December of ’91, I told Rick that it’d been a great ride, but that I wanted to travel a little bit. Rick said on that day – December 17, 1991- “Hey, I’m leaving too. Take me with ya.”
Apparently, Rick was also resigning as editor-in-chief, confident with the idea that he’d done lots for the newspaper, and that he’d left his mark on its history.
Well, indeed, we traveled to New Zealand together, as well as Australia, for a few months. In Australia though, walking through the woods one day, nervous poachers accidentally shot Rick. It was tough to deal with death right before you, but I got over it, and eventually I moved back to Miami, where I visited my family for two months. After that, I decided that, like Rick had done for the Herald, I too had to leave my mark on this Earth somehow. Isn’t that the point of life?
I traveled to Cincinatti – no joke, because I liked the spelling – and upon arriving and living there for about half-a-year, I saw that it was missing an honest publication that related to the people. So, I decided to team up with a few journalist friends I’d met there, and together, we started the Cincinatti Tribune, which runs to this day. The people loved it, but when it became obvious that it was going to be quite the renowned publication – by the end of ’92 was when we all realized the gold mine we’d struck – I told my compadres that I would leave the rest of the newspaper’s time to them. They somehow understood – once again, this didn’t make sense. They accepted my choice without asking why or without doubting my motives. How did this all make sense?
Well, it did – shortly thereafter. I stayed for another month in Cincinatti, before I headed off on an adventure through Europe. At the airport, as I was loading my briefcases on that little scanner machine that’s still way too annoying, a beautiful, light-haired, fair-skinned, green-eyed girl of about 28 comes up to me and says – “Hey, can I come along?”
Looking into her eyes from across the other side of that constantly beeping machine – it was another moment that made no sense. What, besides yes, could I have responded to such a question! It was an odd, nonsensical event that yielded the human being that would become the love of my life.
She and I toured Europe together. She was looking for journalistic inspiration, and I was seeking blissful retreat from life.
She also told me, walking through the streets of Paris one day, that the letter from the Herald from after college, and my promotion to its international reports in 1990, had all been instigated by her.
“So you pulled all the strings? Why? I didn’t even know who you were!”
“Someone’s gotta help you!”
“Well, I’m sure I could’ve managed by yourself.”
“Of course you would’ve! But see, I’ve learned that things change from one life to the next, and I personally know that in your next life, you’re going to understand the value of working hard by yourself and not depending on others.”
“Next life? And how do you know that?”
“Well, I helped you in this life, so in the next one, you’ll know to trust your own help! Think of it as a ‘I’ll teach you what’s wrong, so you do the opposite’ lesson.”
“Right, but how do you know this? What are you talking about?”
I never did understand what she was talking about, but I have learned that value that she talked about.
In late 1993, she asked me if we could consider ourselves a couple.
“Well, of course, I consider that already!”, I said.
“Well, see, because I’ve decided I need to stay here, but I know you wanted to head back to Argentina.”, she replied.
“I can stay here, baby; Argentina can wait. It’s not going anywhere.”
But in May of ’94, I had to leave – to be born, apparently. I saw her waving goodbye at the airport – as if knowing my departure would come regardless of what I wanted to do – and I saw the confidence in her eyes that told me that whatever I had to leave for, it would be an adventure worth embarking upon.
And to this day, her words have remained true. Life’s been many things, but most importantly – it’s been an adventure.