We didn't have heat in our house when I was a kid, and that's not one of those "we walked 200 miles uphill to school both ways in a snowstorm" jokes. We simply didn't have a furnace, so my old man put a 50 gallon steel drum in our kitchen and we burned wood in it for heat. We scorched our pajamas lining up in front of it to get warm on cold mornings. Lo and behold I decided at 5 years old that when I had a family of my own, things would be better for them. A fire inside me developed(no pun intended), and I spent the better part of 18 years struggling in a small town to overcome my personal demons and succeed with crude tools and no guidance. At the age of 19 I moved to Manhattan where I attended Hunter College and dated the daughter of a fashion designer. I was introduced to the city at an elite level and for the first time in my life I was able to see an endless world of possibilities. The desire for a better life consumed me.

I've reached milestones for which I am truly grateful, the most important one; creating a family that I cherish. I will never forget my humble beginnings. At the end of the day your ability to connect with readers comes down to how you make them feel.

-Benjamin J. Carey
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