This is one of a series of stories we are sharing to show what's inside CubeSmart. You not only get a peek inside our customer's storage unit, but also a peek inside what is important to them. Thank you to Juan, customer of our CubeSmart store in Long Island City, for sharing his story with us.
Juan Carlos Alzate uses his Long Island City storage space to stow away the clothes, shoes, records and other goods he buys and sells around the New York area, visiting daily to pick up and drop off items as needed. But he wasn't always in the business of buying and selling. In fact, in his native Colombia, he envisioned a very different career path and trained in the field of parapsychology as an undergraduate.
He had always been interested in ghosts, growing up in a country where there's a lot of "energy." "It all has to do with energy. I can tune into it. It's not a natural gift but I've learned how to sense things. In Colombia, there are many conflicts, drug dealers, people getting killed so you encounter those energies all of the time," he says.
In school, he studied Gnosticism and paranormal topics. He learned more about reincarnation, karma and dharma and the nature of spiritual energy. He never finished his degree, but he continues to be interested in these subjects.
He notices that Americans especially seem to be very skeptical when he talks about ghosts or other paranormal matters. He wishes there was more willingness to believe.
"People tend to have their eyes closed to what's going on below the surface. They should be more open to these ideas."
Though he likes living in New York, he probably would have stayed in his native country, which he calls the "best place in the world" if circumstances hadn't prompted him to move 19 years ago.
"I came to America because I was leaving my wife and there was more opportunity here," he says. He also has two adult daughters in Colombia who he tries to visit on an annual basis.
In the U.S., he married a second time and divorced—"we were not compatible"—and built his business.
However, he definitely doesn't encounter much beyond the tangible world during his day-to-day life here in the United States.
We’d love to hear how self storage has positively impacted your life. Share your #HumansofSelfStorage story in the comments.