Meet the Humans of the Keys

Meet the Humans of the Keys

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Jim Horan, Key Largo

“I really enjoy people. I know many say this, but I really do. I enjoy learning about them, finding out where they are from, hearing different perspectives (even the not nice ones).

I grew up in Philadelphia. My dad was in the Navy for 20 years. I went to Catholic High School. I attended 16 different elementary schools; not overseas, we just shuttled around the mid-atlantic area. My parents were divorced when I was around 9 but it was friendly so there was no custody battle; I was able to live with who I wanted. I have 2 sisters and a brother and we choose who to live with based on what was best for us at the time; I ended up in Philadelphia for High School. I went to college there too.

I was a party boy. I was engaged 3 times and married once. At 37 I was afraid I was going to be the drunk Irish uncle, so I got married. We gave it a hard try with counseling and all, but I was a party guy.

Things weren’t going as I expected, as I thought they would.

She asked me for a separation. She thought I would move across town. I had a friend in Key Largo, who was a part time writer and bartender, and he had a sailboat at Pilot House Marina. I needed to get out of dodge. I felt like a failure, but also a sense of relief. I came to Key Largo in 2007 and expected to stay for a couple of months; I thought I was going to move to New York, but I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t know what I was going to do.

I was drinking a lot. When you’re in the depths, you’re not growing, you’re not maturing. After 4 months in the Keys I got sober. That was 9 years ago. I went to AA. I was completely sober from 2007 to 2014. I drink moderately now, I don’t drink like I formerly did.

Once I came to the Keys and decided to get sober, my life started changing. I realized I wasn’t the person I want to be and I needed to do something about that. I was ashamed of the person I was.
I always had my heroes when I was younger, but I never lived up to those things; I was way off.

Those years of sobriety allowed me to come back, to like a medium, where I could think; what were my goals? What did I want to do?

So, I was sober and working out. I joined the gym. I saw this beautiful, tall, blonde, European woman at the gym and I thought she worked at the Sandal Factory. I decided I was going to figure out a way to talk to her. I was talking to my buddy and he told me there wasn’t just one beauty, there were twins. I thought he was pulling my leg; that was a story!

The woman and I talked a few times, and one night I went out with my buddy, the friend I came and lived with on his sailboat. I told him I was going to find a way to ask her out. We were driving home when I found a note on my windshield: ‘Call me. Abby”. The note had been there for 4 days before I found it! She thought I wasn’t calling.

We went out on a few wonderful dates when I asked her if she was still working at the Sandal Factory. She said that wasn’t her that was her sister. She isn’t a twin, but her she and her sister look just alike! I am so lucky Abby left me that note and I didn’t ask her sister out. I just couldn’t have made that switch. I value that note she left, I still have it; it’s in my wallet and it’s always with me. We are now engaged!

My life continues to get better. Abby and I have been together 7 years this year. She has an amazing daughter, Skye, that I get to help raise now and be a role model to. These wonderful ladies made life serious. These two gave life shape and a meaning. These two inspire me; I have goals now. They accept me for all my quirks and love me for just who I am.

I have a job I enjoy bartending, so I get to meet and talk to different people all the time. I keep my eyes and ears open for service opportunities. I have started a business that offers many services to Keys residents and guests.

Once I came to the Keys and decided to get sober, my life started changing. I have so much to live for and I am so happy.”

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