I was just getting my day going this morning and I thought, I miss my blogging days. So I didn’t think too long about it, I decided to resume my daily blogging today with you! So what do you say, why don’t we take a walk down memory lane and delve into the fascinating world of my high school years?! It’s incredible how the wheels of fate and my passion for cars have shaped the stylish man and self confident man you see before you today 😉. Buckle up, because this is going to be one thrilling ride!
As a wide-eyed youngster, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the allure of automobiles. Those long night trips back from Cleveland to Maryland or more often back from our weekend cabin in the woods in West Virginia, I’d be with my family, staring out into the darkness, and even though it was pitch black on the roads, I could identify any passing car by the shape of it’s lights. My love affair with these four-wheeled wonders had begun.
My automotive adventures began early on, thanks to my father. On our large commercial property, where we kept all of our construction equipment, he introduced me to the art of driving at the tender age of 7. Picture this: a little ole me, maneuvering a gigantic stick shift Heavy Duty Truck with a flatbed, zooming back and forth across our gravel land-fill. Who needs playgrounds when you have a roaring truck as your playmate?
And summers, oh summers were extra special, courtesy of my hippy Aunt Flora. At the mere age of 8, she allowed me to test out my skills driving her sunny yellow Volkswagen Bug, a classic beauty with a 4-speed manual transmission, from the park where I’d play and she’d lay out in the sun, back to Grandma’s house. Oh, the joy of feeling the wind tousle my hair as I conquered the city streets of Cleveland (yes I was 8 years old)!
And then, at the ripe age of 13, my father’s trust in me grew. He handed me the keys to his Audi 5000S, as I embarked on my first year of high school. I’d park in the visitor’s area, arriving bright and early to avoid detection. Of course, a part of me secretly hoped my classmates would catch a glimpse of me behind the wheel, effortlessly cruising into the school grounds. Ah, those were the days when secrets were kept like prized treasures.
But the defining moment of automotive destiny awaited me at sweet sixteen. Earlier on in my childhood, maybe from as early as 5 or 6 years old, my eyes were often glued to the TV screen, I fell in love with a television show called “The Equalizer.” Robert McCall, the suave hero, not only captivated me with his charm but also with his incredible ride—a Series III Jaguar XJ6. I yearned for a Jaguar just like the one driven by this amazing TV tough guy. When I turned 16, each Sunday, my ritual involved poring over the pages of The Washington Post, searching for that perfect model. And there it was, a Series III Jaguar XJ6, resplendent in British Racing Green, beckoning me with its elegance and power. I knew I had found my automotive soulmate.
Owning that magnificent beast, my Jaguar, became a pivotal point in my life. Each morning, as I smelled the remnants of my Dad’s freshly ground and brewed coffee, I lovingly polished my beloved car, relishing the anticipation of the day ahead. With the sunroof open and a sense of pride enveloping me, I gracefully glided my way to school, radiating confidence and style as I tried not to burn up all of the gas from both of my tanks (my Jag had 2 gas tanks).
Remember my friend Jee Kim? Well, I’d pick her up for school in my magnificent Jaguar. The parents of my classmates were dumbfounded, their jaws hitting the floor at the sight of a 16-year-old me cruising to school in total luxury with the house music song “The Perculator” blasting. Little did they know that my Jaguar served as more than just a means of transportation; it was my gateway to self-assurance.
You see, my jovial nature and perpetual smile attracted both friends and foes. The bullies at school saw me as an easy target, but I refused to let their negativity dampen my spirit. I embraced my happy-go-lucky demeanor, sporting casual skater outfits that exuded freshness and vitality. With a few hard-earned bucks, I splurged on Versace attire, experimenting with different styles and crafting the image I wanted to project to the world. It was a journey of self-discovery, of finding my own unique path.
As senior year continued on, it was time for those iconic Senior Pictures. I wanted my portrait to stand out, to be a true reflection of my individuality. That’s when my dear friend Cynthia Wilson, who owned a modeling agency I had worked with as a child, suggested an extraordinary photographer named “James.” Intrigued by the prospect of creating something extraordinary that would make sense for me later in life, I seized the opportunity and scheduled a special photo shoot for my yearbook pictures.
Take a glance at my snapshot, and you’ll see how mine was no ordinary senior picture. My hair perfectly highlighted, a radiance emanating from within me. I was looking and feeling like a million bucks. Drawing inspiration from my child modeling days, I struck a pose that was uniquely mine, defying the conventions of the ordinary. My yearbook picture became a masterpiece, a testament to my boldness and refusal to conform.
Now, when the yearbook editors approached me, seeking my senior yearbook quote, I knew I couldn’t settle for anything that didn’t feel authentic. I felt it was my change to close out my years of standing strong and sometimes crying in private from being bullied about. I wanted to leave my mark, to make a statement that resonated with my free-spirited essence. In a moment of inspiration, I pulled out a piece of paper and penned down those unforgettable words: “Bad Hair Days Should Be an Excused Absence from School.” Little did I know how much that quote would shape my journey and contribute to my success.
You see, my friends, it’s not just about the hair. It’s about embracing who you are, flaws and all. It’s about the power of self-confidence, of being unapologetically yourself. When I took the time to put myself together, to polish my exterior and cultivate my inner strength, I found myself ready for anything that came my way. And that’s the secret, my darlings—”You Never Have To Get Ready If You Stay Ready.”
Looking back, it’s truly remarkable to realize how much of who I am today was already taking shape during those high school years. The passion for cars, the love for style and individuality, the courage to challenge norms—all of it was simmering within me, waiting for the perfect moment to bloom.
So, my fabulous virtual friends, never underestimate the power of those formative years. Embrace your passions, explore your interests, and dare to be different. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll look back and discover that the road to your most fulfilled, enlighten and alive self began long before you even realized it. Keep driving towards your dreams, and always remember—life is one exhilarating journey meant to be lived with panache and flair. Stay fabulous, my darlings!
I hope you all enjoyed my little walk down memory lane! What was your high school years whip?! And your yearbook quote? Does it make sense for the person you’ve become?
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