Allow me to paint a portrait of my past...

Born under the vibrant skyline of New York City, I was raised amidst the pulsating heartbeat of Brooklyn. You'll detect the cadence of the city in my voice the moment I utter my first syllable.

Now, let's journey back to a time when my friends would jest, "Mickey, your photographic skills are an absolute disaster!" And indeed, they were correct. I was lost in a foggy existence, my heart sealed and my spirit stifled. I was perpetually vigilant, my trust was a rare commodity - even my own heart could not claim it.

But oh, the transformation when I dared to unlock my heart, to let my spirit breathe freely! It altered my perception, not only of people, which was a revelation in itself, but also of the ordinary. Suddenly, the everyday sights and places I'd taken for granted came alive with unseen beauty and meaning.

The catalyst for this awakening? Ah, that's a tale for another time. But, I assure you, it was a watershed moment. It ushered in a wave of new relationships, friendships with people I never imagined I'd connect with. It lifted the veil from my eyes, revealing a world I had been merely skimming the surface of, only partially experiencing. I was no longer just surviving; I was truly living.