Given that you will be telling me about your life,it's only fair I share a little about myself. Granted, your Mimoir won’t be posted on the internet. (You can read more about your Privacy here.)
Born and raised in two quite distinct parts of Canada, The West (Edmonton, Alberta) and The Centre of the Universe (Toronto, Ontario), I topped off my Canadian chapter with a decade in The Best Place on Earth (Vancouver, BC) before moving to Tokyo.
A childhood spent in the "City of Champions" during the twin sports dynasties of the Oilers and Eskimos, my formative years and beyond were also home to the Back-to-Back Blue Jays. I’m not saying I'm Forest Gump, but I’ve had my brushes with history, albeit from the sidelines (or the stands… or down the street). I’ve bumped elbows with sports icons, movie stars, rock stars, politicians and Canada’s most prolific serial killer. But who hasn’t? We are all part of history in the making.
I survived a fairly harmless childhood, maintaining a fine balance between mischief and innocence, and emerged from adolescence scarred but unscathed. Of course, there was that time I broke both my ankles and spent half the school year in a wheelchair before moving onto crutches. Learning to walk again gave me some perspective, and was much more memorable than the first time I learned to walk.
After many years of university and graduate school, sustained by waitering, tending bar and freelance web design, I spent 18 months in Japan playing with kids while speaking my native tongue. I returned to Canada for three years as a Technical Writer before landing back in the land of the rising sun, where I spent 8 years, 4 months, and 6 days as a corporate recruiter in Tokyo.
During those 3,048 days in recruitment, I interviewed thousands of people — with abounding personalities and innumerable stories. And if there was one piece of advice I gave to all of them, it was this: Do not quit your job until you’ve got a new one lined up. So a few years ago, when my girlfriend told me she intended to quit her job at a top Japanese company to become a freelance illustrator, I was less than supportive. I’d been freelance in the past and knew how tough it could be.
But she wanted to follow her dream. She wanted to be an illustrator, not work for a big corporation. So she rejected my advice and she quit her job. And she moved out. And into a bigger, much nicer apartment, in fact. But thankfully, I moved with her. And a couple years later I married her. Then I quit my job and went freelance to get healthy, spend time with my family and do what I love.
But let's back up a bit. I skipped a chapter and jumped over something big. Between the time we moved into our new apartment and getting married, I was in a near-fatal accident just up the street from our new home. I spent two weeks in a coma, six months in the hospital and a year off work. I had broken three top vertebrae in my neck, damaged my spinal cord, had temporary paralysis, severe muscle atrophy, eight broken ribs, my left arm snapped in half, a broken pelvis, one punctured lung and a shattered left leg that required amputation just below my knee. Fortunately, I was well-versed in learning to walk and was quick to get on the road to recovery.
It has been an experience to say the least. It has also been cathartic in unimaginable ways. The support I have received (and continue to receive) from my family, friends, medical professionals, and even strangers has been incredible. A lot of people said I should write about it. And I have, to an extent. And I will again. But as I’ve stated elsewhere, everyone’s got stories. And those are the ones I want to help tell for now.
Consider this a micro-mimoir, for it's only 700 words. Your Mimoir will be about 10 times this length, with 10 times as many photos. All bound in a glossy, hardcover book that will outlast this website by decades, perhaps even longer.