Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Quick Run Through of My Life

For those who don't know me

When people ask, “What made you become the person you are today?” you never know what to expect. You may hear a story about overcoming great odds or how losing weight at 45 opened the door to infinite possibilities. The foundation of who we are can be inspiring and dauntless. Too bad the prodigious contributions that shaped my life are based from a bunch of trivial mistakes, bad films and the hope of being the next Lisa Bonet.

My father named me Victor, because his middle name was King. I guess he wanted me to be some ruler or conqueror. So far, I’ve conquered some of my credit card debt, the California driver’s test, and my fear of cats.

I am a 39 year-old African-American guy with hint of a Napoleon complex.  I spell my name with a ‘k’, but in reality, it’s spelled with a ‘c’. I thought it would make me above average. I’m the youngest kid on my father’s side and the oldest kid on my mother’s. As a baby, I had to have surgery to live. So, I was considered a miracle child and I milked for what it was worth for most of my pre-teen life. Till this day, some of my cousins still have issues with me.

I was born and raised in Tennessee; Union City, Tennessee to be exact. It was the home of the American spirit: family values, unwed pregnancies, and football. My town was a safe haven to say the least; the only thing that would attack you in an alley was a stray dog. I was partly raised by my grandmother who hated white people; however her favorite celebrity was Kenny Rogers.

I was the oddball that gained popularity through obscurity. I didn’t fall into the generic category of a Black teenaged kid. I loved all types of music; my style was loosely based from The Cosby Show and re-runs of Laugh-In, and my vernacular came from V.C. Andrews’ books and X-Men comics.

I had a good home life, but I was bored and deeply confused about my sexuality. I knew I liked boys, but I had no idea that anyone like me existed, so I kept my secret life hidden in endless journal entries and poorly drawn comic strips.

Like many high school kids, I applied to college, but unlike many high school kids, I did it because I was in love with my best friend. The thought of us being roommates and possible lovers was all I needed to fill out the college application. Sadly, that dream died once he learned that a one-night stand made him a life-time father. By the time the first semester was done, he moved back home and I stayed, making the best of my love sick decision.

After college in Kentucky, two of my good friends and I moved to New York City. We thought we had nothing lose, and with our newly minted degrees the sky was the limit. But my credit card reached its limit, forcing me to join a temp agency. I was working for a Turkish watchmaker, answering phones and checking his email. It was far from glamorous life, but it kept me from going broke in the city.

A month later, I got a job as a Resident Hall Director at Cornell University. I didn't want to leave my friends or the city, however I needed to get my life in order. So, I packed up the U-Haul headed to the lost universe known as Ithaca, New York. I call it the lost universe because where else are you going to find the resting home of old hippies and the staunch Bush supporters living in the most Libertarian town in the American. Believe it or not, it was great little place to call home for five years.

My time at Cornell kicked off my accidental career in Student Affairs in Higher Education.  I’ve worked at Arizona, Georgia and now, here at USC as the Assistant Director of Student Development and Leadership for Residential Education. I work with many students and to be honest, I do worry about our future.  These students want to take over the world, and yet they still need their parents to hold their hands. It's never a dull day in my office with  irate parents, mental health issues, manic peers, manic administrators and a office computer  that still uses Word '98. I do my best to keep the students out of rehab or jail.  I guess in the big scheme of things I’m saving our future one ADD millennial at a time.

So that's me, just a small town guy who tripped over many potholes to get into a decent place in his life.


Bob said...

It's been quite a road from where you were to where you are, in every sense of the word.

K. Clark said...

Loved this post. Can so relate to growing up in small town/not fitting into the generic black kid category in junior high/high school. Though I quoted Daria instead of X-Men.

behrmark said...

Now THAT is blogging. Lovely piece V; I enjoyed it.

R.J. said...

I loved this post! I can imagine you were like me. I was told I was popular with the kids not in the in crowd, and I don't remember doing anything special other than being myself. Or what I thought I was at the time.

Mechadude2001 said...

This was a great, honest, open entry. You are so courageous and Real. And the plans you had for your best friend in college... OMG you are pulling my heart strings.

Kyle Leach said...

A beautiful post V. Sharing isn't always easy, but I find it helps move through things. You should be really proud of yourself. The troubles make us stronger and wiser, as long as we survive them. All of us that follow you know you are a great guy. Posts like these help everyone see how they could get to where you are and that it wasn't east. It doesn't happen overnight. Perspective

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Viktor is a small town southern boy living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Twitter, writing about pop culture, politics, and comics. He’s the creator of the graphic novel StrangeLore and currently getting back into screenwriting.