Everyone has a story. This is mine.
Unfortunately, my story is about loving stories, which makes it super boring. But for the sake of a good yarn let's spin it as a cautionary tale about a dangerous obsession that's led to lies, delusions, and poor eyesight.
The addiction started early. At eleven months, I took my first steps while my enabler parents held out a book like a carrot on a stick. (Also, look how awesome my dad is - he saved me from falling on my own sock even while he lured me in with pictures of farm animals.)
As my steps grew surer, I tottered down the slippery slope from pictures to words to chapters to series. I kept roving and reading, always seeking that next fix. Those black squiggles on the pages made my heart stutter and my mind hallucinate.
Then the lies began. All through elementary school, I pretended I was afraid of the dark so I could have a nightlight to read by. I under-reported my minutes for mandatory school reading challenges. When my own books were taken away for wrongdoings, I stole new ones from my parents' shelves.
My imagination also spiraled out of control. At the age of eight, I became convinced that I could communicate telepathically with animals. (Coincidentally, I had just discovered the Redwall series.) I wandered the wetlands in my Northern California hometown, keeping a field journal on the thoughts and personalities of ducks and dragonflies.
These Thoreau-like tendencies of writing and hanging out in nature live on to this day. So does a certain unhingedness that I hope comes off as more amusing than cringeworthy.
What happened when books were no longer enough...
Over time, my tolerance to books increased and it became harder to find content that gave me the same highs. I made the startling discovery that people also have stories, and not just that weird breed of people who call themselves authors. And places have their own tales to tell, too! Fantasy world-building is great and all, but there was a whole world I hadn’t yet explored.
It also seemed that many stories would no longer be told on dead trees but on screens. I'd read enough sci-fi to make me want to push toward that so-called singularity and see where it takes us.
So I searched for novelty through travel and technology, though always with a book within arm's reach. I wanted the real world and my fantasy worlds to combine in an augmented reality of my own making.
At age twenty-one, after years cementing my role as a socially-inept nerd, I graduated early with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley. I took the time I otherwise would have spent in school to bounce around the globe and blow the rest of my babysitting/internship money, like the rash and spoiled child I
In 2012, I moved to Seattle to work as a firmware engineer on Xbox accessories and a line of fitness wearables, still sparing time for nearby adventures. In the process, I developed a passion for using geeky stories to motivate my fitness and taking long walks to find the world's best reading spots.
Shortly after becoming a senior software engineer at age 26, my project was canceled and I realized the time had come to start a new chapter of my life. I hit the road again, and this time I have no idea where it will take me.
Now I tell my own stories.
I started my blog, TheRovingReader, as an attempt to uncover/invent meaning in my life by turning my experiences into shareable stories.
Or at least that's my highbrow justification for writing stuff down and taking pictures so I don't forget everything. After cramming so many books in my head, my brain is like a sponge that has been wrung out too many times. It's no longer absorbent and is teeming with useless-fact-bacteria.
I’m super excited to participate in the Steemit community. (I never thought I'd see a cryptocurrency based on a social network!) I’ll be re-posting some of my travel tales and sharing new content. But above all, I want to discover your story.