This fall, while I was in L.A. to be interviewed for the program Ancient Aliens, I took some time to visit a place that I have always wanted to see —The Getty Villa.
Although I had lived in L.A. some years ago, my life's circumstances prevented me from visiting. It was a beautiful experience in so many ways. It may come as no surprise that someone who has studied antiquity would enjoy this museum. However, I felt it meant something even more personal to me.
When I was a child, I went to a private school where most of the other children came from wealthier families. I was often bullied for being too quiet and bookish. It also didn't help that my teeth were rather large. I became a real target when I was seen carrying my favorite book, Bulfinch's Mythology. This book was huge! It contained quite readable versions of various myths, especially, Greek myths. I loved this book so much that I would carry it everywhere, even on the playground.
One day, some children stole my book and pushed me off playground equipment, cracking a small chip from my front tooth that can still be seen today. Still, I carried my huge volume of Bulfinch's Mythology, in protest.
It's a little silly, but it's time like these that make us into the people we are. My love of classical antiquity and mythology has endured since childhood. As I perused the beautiful halls of the Getty Villa in solitude, carefully examining each artifact, I felt a sense of 'being me', of coming full circle in so many ways.
I will not "fix" my front tooth, as it serves as a constant reminder. In every one of my smiles, the world will always be able to see my deep love of history, learning, and perseverance.
Take a look, at some of my favorite pictures from the museum below.