Photo credit: David Lisak, Bristlecone Project
My full name is Eric Benvenue-Jennings. I was born Eric Jennings but I romantically decided to add Benvenue when I got married. My wife, Pam, did not change her name, which was a wiser choice. My hyphenated name has created a lot of minor hassles so I usually just go by the simpler version.
I’ve always worked but the only time I had anything resembling a career was from 2002 to 2017 during which time I owned, managed and taught at a hot yoga studio. I have three yoga certifications: Bikram Yoga, Tony Sanchez Yoga and Ghosh Yoga Calcutta. Prior to that I had been employed as: a gas station attendant, landscaper, roofer, carpenter, retail manager, theatrical lighting designer, technical director, actor, computer graphic artist, print production technician, Macintosh systems administrator and web site designer.
Besides my yoga training I have almost no education. Grades 1-10 were at schools that apparently didn’t think it was important to teach literature, economics, history, civics or anything else beyond rote memorization of basic math. During 10th grade I was on track to drop out of high school but instead got transferred to an alternative program in Woods Hole, MA, called Omnibus, that was taught by a bunch of progressive graduate students. I graduated from Omnibus in 1977.
I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse but I lived with that as a secret for most of my life. Which was exhausting and came with a host of emotional difficulties that I didn’t become free of until I discovered some amazing therapists and an organization called Men Healing for whom I currently serve as a Social Media Co-Coordinator.
I live in Oakland, CA near my kids and grandchildren and life is pretty sweet.