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Meet #MAPYouth Javert!

I was born in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1998. At the time, my parents were still part of the Air Force, and that was the case until 2000, when I was 3 years old. My family moved a lot, travelling from Vegas to Guam to Abilene, Texas to Albany, New York, to Oswego to Cheektowaga to Niagara Falls and finally to Buffalo. As a result, my life was never really settled or normal. Our constant movement made house life stressful and friends (the real, dependable type) scarce. It didn’t strike me as odd until later. When you grow up in perpetual solitude, and spend your childhood being taught how to be a grown up, it’s really the most comfortable thing you know. I found out it was weird in Niagara Falls when my friends would talk about things like games or T.V. shows and I would be completely ignorant of what they were talking about. It had never mattered socially before.  A few years later, shortly before moving to Buffalo, I learned that I didn’t really have any friends. To them I was a pitiful loser they hung out with because I had cool toys. So I returned to solitude and, as you may imagine, paranoia settled in.

Next year, 7th grade, I met some of the best friends I’ve ever had, and still do. But the paranoia of last year prevented me from getting too close. I got into fights, and by 8th grade returned to solitude again. It wasn’t until 9th grade I began to get over my paranoia and socialize again.
My solitude allowed me time inside my own head, and I was able to think and learn and stretch my imagination. I built and destroyed religions; discovered new forms of spiritual energy and how to use them. This eventually led me to become interested in the way other people think, and begin pursuing psychology and theology.

In the summer of 2013, I joined MAP, at first for the money, but later as a way to meet new people and expand ideas. After a while, I began gravitating towards specific people and jobs. MAP’s schedule clashed wildly with my own, preventing me from working more than 6 hours a week, but it was worth it. The fun and experience I’ve gained was worth it.

In the summer of 2014, I met Claire. We attended a Jazz Camp in Rochester, and meeting her caused a reaction stronger than love. She wasn’t my “true love” or “soul sister” or any of that nonsense. It was like meeting my other half. My mind became clearer, any and all depression lifted. Around her, my brain seemed faster. We could talk together for hours about nothing more than philosophical drivel, but I could be myself. No one is 100% honest with their friends or family, everyone has secrets, but Claire seemed to instantly know all of mine. She was like a beacon in the dark cave of solitude, paranoia, and subconscious rage at the world around me, and I latched onto her mentally with the desperation of a drowning man clutching a life saver.

Everyone needs that one friend they can depend upon to help them no matter what. Every one needs their own Healing Light. Claire was mine.

Thank you for checking out The Revolution Will Be Cultivated! To support #MAPYouth for The United Way of Buffalo & Erie County's Spring It On campaign, visit out our fundraiser page here: www.springiton.org/MAP

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