Time To Shine by Travis DesLaurier by Travis DesLaurier - Read Online

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Time To Shine - Travis DesLaurier

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travbeachboy

Part I

Who the Heck is Travis DesLaurier?

Who the heck is Travis DesLaurier? Well, in order for you to know who I am, I first must tell you about where I’m from. I was born in Edmonton, Alberta Canada on June 16, 1985. Yes, I know I’m older than you imagined, but I age at half the rate of a normal human!

My parents were very young when they had me. My biological dad wasn’t the most responsible parent. He was on a fast track to becoming an alcoholic so needless to say, my mom and dad were not married long before she left him.

I have two siblings - a brother two years younger and a sister who is four years younger than I am. Her father is my stepdad, who raised me and my brother from a very young age. He would be considered my true father since my biological dad was never really in the picture.

My biological dad was an alcoholic who valued partying with friends more than seeing his son. I remember many times growing up where he would show up drunk five hours late on his chopper motorbike to pick me up, only to then go on to yet another party. I would wait at the door for hours some weekends just to be disappointed by him not showing.

When I was with him, we were usually at parties with his friends. I would be the only little kid wandering around watching people get drunk and high. My childhood memories of my father were all like that. I never saw him as a parental figure. Throughout my life, I’ve been let down by him. Needless to say, life goes on. I’ve used it as motivation to move forward by being the complete opposite of him as much as I can be!

We certainly didn’t have a lot of money in our family when I was growing up. Food always managed to make it to the table though, and things slowly got better as time went on. My mom and stepdad worked really hard to take care of us.

I have fond memories of our 1976 Camaro, an old, rusted muscle car, with all of us stuffed inside to drive around. It certainly wasn’t meant to be a family van. My siblings and I had some epic fights in that car! Room was very limited and we liked to play the ‘he/she touched me’ hitting game. We always fought like cats and dogs and blamed everything that went wrong on each other. You know…normal sibling behavior.

I had way too much energy as a kid and would sporadically do stupid things. I remember one time in sixth grade when my friend and I were fighting over a pizza pop. I grabbed his head and accidentally smashed it into a fish tank. The worst thing was that I killed my teacher’s fish and destroyed all the year’s papers that were laid out on the counter. Don’t ask me what was going through my head when I pulled that little number. Needless to say I received detention for the rest of the year and a swift punishment at home.

Throughout my life, I’ve always worked hard. I started working part time at the age of twelve helping my grandfather build fences for the condo association where he lived. It was physical work, like most of the jobs I had when I was growing up.

My first official job was in the meat department at a local supermarket. I worked the weekend 6am-2pm shift where I ground raw meat into hamburger. It was physically demanding - working in freezers, carrying heavy meat all day, packing meat into trays, and having butchers yelling at me constantly to hurry up.

I worked nights after school, pulling apart and cleaning all of the equipment, spraying down the rooms with a pressure washer, then sanitizing and rebuilding the machines. I was a very ambitious and hard worker, which helped me become a highly valued employee in a short period of time.

Like most teenagers, I didn’t like living under strict rules so one night when I was fifteen, my stepfather and I got into a huge fight. I decided it would be best if I left, so I called up my grandparents to see if they would take me in. They didn’t have much room but were able to accommodate me in a small spare bedroom.

I grabbed as much of my personal stuff as I could and moved out overnight, leaving everything else behind. I knew it wasn’t going to be an ideal living situation, but I didn’t want to cause any more tension at home. I felt that going out on my own would help to prove myself as a man and make things better.

My grandparents were willing to help but didn’t have much for me to use. They helped me construct a water bed. Along with the other things I grabbed from home, I had more than enough to make it work. I lived with my grandparents throughout the rest of my junior high and high school days. Most of the time I stayed by myself in one room, utilizing the kitchen and bathroom when needed.

My grandmother could be hard to live with at times. She wanted me to pay rent every month, which of course put pressure on me to work more hours while I was going to school. I made it fine though until winter came and my grandparents left. Like most snowbirds, they lived in the South six months of the year in an RV retirement community. When they were gone, they had no idea what was happening back at home.

It was peaceful when I was there by myself, but those days were few and far between. My biological dad had a key and would show up unexpectedly to party or station out when he wasn’t getting along with his girlfriend. He was still an irresponsible, misguided alcoholic who had no regard for me. When my grandparents came home, he would disappear. My living situation was always an unpredictable and scary atmosphere.

Some days I would come home to find him there drinking with his buddies and the house in a complete mess. The longer he stayed, the more the house looked like an episode of Hoarders, which is why I chose to stay in my room. They would party at all hours of the night. I would lock myself in my room trying to sleep so I could function properly at school and work the next day. I remember sneaking downstairs to find people doing drugs and having drunken, disgusting orgies without caring that I was there.

I couldn’t leave my food out or it would be eaten by who knows who since I had no control on who came in and