I’m author J.M. DeBord, aka RadOwl the reddit.com dream expert, or just Jason, and I don’t know about you but I feel weird talking about myself like this. I’m supposed to sound interesting and all that. After all those most interesting man in the world commercials, shit, who can live up to those expectations?
Life’s been interesting so far, for sure. Not so much for the high adventures and conquests but for the interests I’ve pursued, people I’ve met and experiences I’ve had.
I’m fortunate to have survived long enough to see my dreams come true. Most of the people I used to run with are dead or lost in life. And I almost joined them, but was fortunate to find helpers to guide me out of the weeds, and to get divine intervention when needed. According to actuary tables, I really should not be on this earth. I burned through nine lives and then some.
Something good was waiting for me, so maybe that’s why I was spared. In the immortal words of the Blues Brothers, I’m on a mission from God.
You think I kid, but no, someone like me is only here because a higher power wants me to be. I’m not alive in body to pay off karma or anything like that. I’m here to teach people about the unconscious mind, and the best route to that is to teach them about their dreams.
But first I had to held up by my ankles and repeatedly dunked head-first into those waters of the deep unknown. Anyone who has explored the unconscious mind knows what I mean. You either do it willingly or most unwillingly, and I wanted nothing to do with any of that. I had other priorities, namely, a raging need to be recognized and a deep love of physical pleasure.
Sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll!
I thought I deserved a life as a high-flyer. I was physically gifted and school came easy. Adults labelled me as “gifted” and the test scores proved it. I was put into a program for brainiacs. Boy was that a bad idea!
Then again, that’s where I got my first taste of dream interpretation, in the early 1980s. Our teacher had free reign to expose us to ideas and knowledge. It planted a seed that would sprout a dozen years later when I was at the end of my rope and sought the help of an incredible teacher and mentor, Larry Pesavento. Another amazing man, Rick Garcia, led me to him. But first, let’s step back.
As a young teen I had a few ideas about what I wanted to be in life: baseball star, rock star, baseball star, rock star. My answer to the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” varied depending on the day. Then at age 15 it hit me: I want to be an author! I’d fallen in love with the writings of Tolkien, Herbert, Le Guin, Donaldson and other luminaries in the fantasy and sci-fi genres, and started playing Dungeons & Dragons. Man, did I have a vivid imagination, and man did I say one of the most sincere prayers of my life. “God, I want to be an author. Please, please, please!”
But, as most authors find out, it’s easier said than done. Took another 24 years to publish my first book.
In the meantime I started a journey. Yes, God answered my prayer, but I wasn’t ready to be an author. I was a terrible writer, slept through English classes, never did my homework, almost flunked out of high school, skipped too many classes in college. Just based on aptitude scores, I picked one of the worst professions for me. Ask my former English teachers:
Jason, an author — are you kidding me?
Stranger things have happened. Donald Trump became president, an idea that was laughable till it actually happened.
Interesting authors live interesting lives so they have interesting things to say. Those lives can be like the guy in the commercials who travels the world. Or they can be lives of thought and introspection. We see life differently. We’re driven by curiosity and restlessness. We see humor where others don’t. I don’t know a single successful author that can be fairly described as average. Yes, some follow a formula and are about as interesting as soybeans, but they are the exception. Most successful authors are really interesting people.
No one I know from any the creative writing classes I took over the years is working as an author. Yet I am the one you’d pick out of that bunch and say, yeah, he has great ideas but his execution suuuucks. He’ll never make it as a professional.
But the cart that goes before the horse is an interesting life and being an interesting person who has interesting things to say. Writing is storytelling, whether writing fiction or nonfiction, and I can spin a tale. You can always learn the mechanics of writing along the way. I know people with perfect writing and nothing interesting to say.
Since 2009, I’ve been helping people understand their dreams and injecting my thoughts into the stream of conversation about all sorts of subjects. If you hang around Reddit Dreams, the forum I moderate, you’ll run across a lot of people who will say, “yeah, that RadOwl guy is pretty cool. He helps people understand their dreams.”
I am a radical thinker. I am the Radical Owl.
Between my books, media appearances and online presence, I think it’s fair to claim that my work has reached millions of people. Seriously. Seven digits to the left of the decimal. So when you look at it that way, who needs Oprah? Haha. (Just kidding, O. Call me.)
I wasn’t born an author and dreamworker. Took years of effort to find my way. If jobs were like countries visited, I’d be a world traveller. Here’s the condensed list:
- Fitness trainer at a national fitness chain.
- Food grunt at a country club.
- Fitness coordinator at Chinatown YMCA.
- Pilates and yoga instructor.
- Freelance writer and web designer for small businesses.
- Healthcare recruiter.
- Music promoter.
- Marketing Director.
- Cybercafe attendant.
- Sports Editor.
- Newspaper reporter.
- Television news writer.
- Radio jockey.
Dreamwork and writing are my thing. It’s really what I’m meant to do, it just took me a long time to figure that out.
So yeah, I’m not the most interesting man in the world, but I might get an honorable mention for “most unusual life lived for someone born in Dayton, Ohio.” Most of the people I grew up with are still in Dayton, still basically doing the same thing they did when we grew up together. I left and travelled the country, living in places like Madison, Wisconsin and Raleigh, NC and San Francisco. Presently, I live in Tucson, in the shadow of the beautiful mountains here, and love it. The desert is not what I pictured it would be. It’s much more alive than you might imagine.
If you really want to know me, get to know my writing.
And on a final note, I truly hope that your dreams come true.