I’m a 39 year old autodidact, and very proud to be. I work at a tech company as a senior developer. We’re based in Ballard. I write, I eat, and I enjoy life with all of the gusto I can. I love language and languages. I occasionally slip and use serial commas, and when I do I often leave them as a flag flying in the face of my enemy, Language Prescriptivism. I’m a native English speaker and I’ve studied both Latin and several Romance Languages that are derived from it. I’ve studied law, language, history, sociology, logic, debate, math and various sciences, because those subjects all fascinate me to no end. I’ve managed all that despite being born to the most unfortunate of circumstances and spending the great majority of life with the self esteem of a worm, the rational self-interest of a stone and a horribly broken brain chemistry that causes most chemicals to have the reverse effect on me. Yes, it’s true, at this point in my life I take prescription amphetamine and it allows me to focus, calms my nerves, and keeps me from irritating the living fuck out of everyone in the room with my constant twitching. When I’m given narcotic pain medication I find that I get hyper.
I haven’t always been fortunate enough to be well medicated on prescription medication, and when I was a younger man I had two life ruining bouts with drugs. Both times, I was made so much better initially by my experimentation that I couldn’t accept it when I had gone too far until it was way too late. Luckily for me, after my second attempt to destroy myself, I found an organization in Seattle called Fare Start. Prior to that time I had been a fair computer programmer/sysadmin generalist. Another time I’ll talk about that some more, as that skill set served me well as a small business owner. At Farestart, I was taught cullinary skills and learned that I love food. Before that, I was so fucked up that I literally didn’t know what I enjoyed in life outside of Rock Star Energy Drinks and computers. At Farestart, they have what are called Guest Chef Nights where amazing Chefs come in and the advanced students help them prepare a Prix Fix 3 course meal for real paying guests. At one of those events, I met a man whom I owe a great deal to, Dan Thiessen. I studied as his Chef’s Apprentice for the next few years, until one day I realized that my cognitive skills were back, and they were sharp, perhaps sharper than they were before. I attribute this to the expensive salmon that Chef let me eat every day: Grilled Copper River Salmon on a bed of Spinach, tossed with Balsamic Vinaigrette, warm bacon fat, bacon bits and pine nuts was my lunch every day for at least a month one summer.
I left my Chef, and went back into Computer Programming. This time I was a man possessed of passion, who knew how to enjoy each moment of each day. I owe that in a huge way to Dan and to Farestart for helping me to see all of these things in myself, and helping me develop the self esteem to execute on what I had started to see. Everything went really well for me for a great number of years after that, until the woman I was with at the time left me. I probably deserved it, but, I couldn’t deal with her leaving, and I turned to the medication that I knew would work for me. Bad idea, but, my coping skills are mildly anemic still, and back then they were non-existent. I’m not going to cover that period in any great detail, but I will say that thanks to the great foundation I learned at Fare Start and from Dan Thiessen I lost a single job, not a career and not my life or self respect for the first time in my life. I came out of this episode with a new wife, a great job and an even greater understanding of who I am and what it is that makes me happy. I got an offer recently for more money than I’ve ever been offered before, I am in the position of being a person with a newly started streak away from a nasty drug habit, rather than a dead junkie. I am a new father, and my fiancee and I are planning on getting married soon. My life is a skyrocket straight up, to the stars.
With all of my love,
Nathan C. Tresch