First were the swim trunk years. I grew up in San Diego a few blocks from the beach. Depending on the wind I could be found either surfing, fishing or sailing. In high school I spent more than my fair share of evenings in Tijuana testing out fake id’s, drinking dollar cervezas, and working up the courage to try one of those bacon wrapped hot dogs sold on the street corners of Avenida Revolución.
I smoked my fair share of cigarettes, exorcised my angst at all-age shows and saw more than one tequila sun rise.
My vivid memories of teenage debauchery might, however, just be a product of my florid imagination because I left high school with a pretty good GPA, admission to the college of my choice and a definite plan of what I wanted to be when I grew up. I hung up my wetsuit and set out for Spokane Washington to learn philosophy from Jesuit scholars in the hopes of one day becoming a Professor.
Next, were the smoking jacket years. Tequila gave way to single malt. Cigarettes were exchanged for a pipe and punk shows yielded to philosophical conversations over games of chess. I came out of Gonzaga in three years with two majors, two minors and absolutely no idea what I wanted to do.
Then came the epicurean years. I traded snow for San Francisco Fog and my silk smoking jacket for a black wool coat. Wine replaced single malt and my Sherlock Holmes’s pipe developed a thick layer of dust while I cut the tips off of hand rolled Macanudos. Existential treatises were shelved in favor of viticultural essays hidden in the back pages obscure regional cookbooks. During this time, I was an international wine buyer by day, a budding chef by night and a rampant day trader when no one was looking.
Like many dot-com refugees, I went back to school when the bubble burst.
So… I moved back to San Diego, hung up my wool coat, donned a bohemian leather jacket, untied my shoes, and slipped on some flip flops.
I boxed up my books on cellar management to make space for my new textbooks on financial analysis. Instead of well-aged wine, I drank fresh brewed coffee. Cigars gave way to the rare puff on a hookah pipe when I met up with old friends trying to prove their youth.
During my flip flop years, I learned a fair amount of finance, studied a good bit of marketing and gained tremendous insight into myself.
Today I live in North San Diego. I surf when I can, wear flip flops more than I should, and cook for anyone who is willing to eat my food. Now if I could only find that smoking jacket…
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