What If I Run Away to Mexico?

I could, you know. I could do it. I could quit my job to go teach English in Mexico City, or get my MBA from Ibero. I wouldn’t be fluent, but I could learn enough Spanish to get by if I studied really hard for a few months. Or I could keep my lame job, and just work from home…in another country.

Or I could stay. And keep working at the job I’m slowly starting to hate and will only grow to hate more. Maybe I could find a different job here, one I’m a little better at, and I’ll just continue to be mediocre and boring and I’ll marry someone boring (probably someone my dad actually likes) and have a nice, tastefully boring wedding and I’ll have kids when I’m 30 and I’ll retire peacefully when those boring kids are in college.

If I go, I might miss some things. But I’ll miss those things if I stay. My grandparents will grow old while I’m gone, but they grow old every day and I’m only a couple of hours away now. I’ll be back before they get too old, I’ll tell myself. I might miss my youngest brother B as he grows up, but he grows up every day without me. He’s 10, and about the enter the awkward phase I’m probably better off missing anyway. I’ll miss my friends, but I miss them anyway. When I tell them I’m leaving, they’ll say “But I’ll never see you!” and I’ll want to say You never see me anyway but I’ll try to bite my tongue the best I can. Because the ones that will say that will be the ones that never try to see me now, and I’m barely an hour away. I’ll still see them once or twice a year when I come home, and that’s about as often as I see them now. Nothing will change. They won’t be jealous of my lifestyle because they couldn’t imagine ever leaving. They might even think I’m crazy or fucking stupid for “disrupting my career.” And all of that is fine, because I think that’s how things are supposed to work. They’ll buy house and get married, and I’ll keep traveling. I will continue to disrupt my career until I’m doing what I love.

But I think I might actually go. I won’t love every second of it, but I would regret not going a lot more than I’ll regret going. If I stay, I’ll regret every second of that boring life.

I want and need good stories to tell. A writer needs to live to have something to write about. Staying in a Midwestern suburb my entire life isn’t going to give me enough to write about.

So what if I really go to Mexico?


As crazy as it sounds

Note of minor importance: I think I wrote this back in February/March and I’m just now posting. Oops!

You keep trying to ask me why. Why I’m still here, why I love you, why…. idk what exactly the rest of that question is, but it’s something to that effect.

At risk of sounding cliché: you make me laugh, I’m way too comfortable around you, and it’s all so easy, still.

But it’s also about the things you’re not: you’re not jealous, or bitter, or untrusting/untrustworthy. I’ve dated those people and none of them are fun.

It’s even simpler than that, though: you get things done, I don’t have to nag. If I need you to do something, you do it. I mentioned before that you’re not a child, you can take care of yourself. You laughed and said my standards must not be that high, but you haven’t met my exes.

Most of all… you actually want me to tell you what I think. You don’t ask out of obligation, you actually want to know. You want to know what I want. My desires matter! You change things or do things because of me! Because you want me to be happy, I guess? That never happens! You know I hate the smell of smoke so you switched to e-cigs. I noticed. I didn’t think it had anything to do with me, but I noticed. I noticed awhile ago, I just didn’t think it was because of me. I almost cried when I found out that was why.

You come across as an asshole. Sometimes you’re actually an asshole. You are shockingly blunt and way too honest at times, but that same characteristic makes you insanely genuine. Nothing you do or say is because you think it’s what I want to hear. All of it is only the truth (for better or worse).

Yet behind all the dickish comments and brutal truths, you care more than anyone else I’ve ever been with.

I don’t mean to compare you to anyone else. I think I’m just trying to say that based on my experience, I didn’t think anyone like you actually existed. The little things mean a lot.

You had this way of catching me off-guard early on. I’d run errands with you and have more fun than I would have ever thought possible in that situation. You’d make some off-hand comment that was EXACTLY what I needed at the time. When I was starting my ‘experiment with hedonism’ and actually trying to be selfish, you made some comment like “just do you. do what you want and fuck everyone else.” I swear to god I almost fell in love with you right then.  Oddly/fittingly enough I think I even wrote this the day I met you: Experimenting with Hedonism.

It all sounds ridiculous, maybe. But I’ve never had anyone change their behavior – no matter how simple of a change it is – just to make me that little ounce happier. I’ve never had someone who would go out of their way – no matter how tiny the inconvenience – just to make something happen for me. I’ve rarely had someone follow through on any/all of their plans or promises. Sometimes people remember I don’t like olives- but they never remember I don’t like olives, pickles, mustard, spinach, and jalapeños. You remember things that I say. I’m always amazed by that.

Each thing by itself isn’t much I suppose. But all of it together? That’s just crazy.


New Year, Same Blog

Ok, some of you may have noticed my absence. I have several TOTALLY LEGITIMATE EXCUSES, but long story short I have a new laptop with a delightful new keyboard and it makes me exceptionally excited to start writing again.

Even though I’ve been gone for months, I’m going to jump right back in. Nothing is going to change though. Random posts about all kinds of random stuff, and I’m pretty excited about a couple of them. My part of the world is cold and miserable this weekend, plus I’m dog sitting a couple of delightful gents, so there’s plenty already written and scheduled and even more to come. Check back soon!

The Day the Dogs Died by Bree Barton

Cease, Cows

We probably deserved it. For years we grabbed them by the scruffs of their necks, snapped at them for scraping chicken bones off the asphalt with their tongues. We hated bathing them, hated their wet-rug stench, hated chasing tumbleweeds of fur from corner to corner of our houses.

Of course there were certain things we liked. The ever-present warmth at our feet, the tick-tick-tick of little nails on hardwood. We admired the surgical efficiency with which they removed the stuffing from a chew toy or made a rawhide blossom on the kitchen floor. We reveled in the pleasure of being needed, puffed ourselves up on the luxury of being loved.

Buddha dog “Buddha dog” (image via Flickr user SuperFantastic)

And oh, the sounds. What sounds they made! Great tectonic symphonies of bays and howls and whimpers, balloons deflating, whales dying, humans making love. So much like hungry infants that we devised a…

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The Casual Whatever.

The Adjacent Girl

It wasn’t until recently that I experienced needing to remain friends with someone after a casual hookup or two. Aside from my ex-boyfriend, every person I have had sex with, I never needed to continue seeing in my day to day life.

This past November, I rekindled a friendship with a classmate of mine from high school during our reunion. A few weeks following the reunion, she invited me to an ugly sweater party, where beforehand she told me she wanted me to hit it off with her roommate. At first, I was against it. I was not really into the whole matchmaking idea. Somehow at the party, we ended up together, and I hooked up with him anyway.

I don’t think either of us realized I was going to become a prevalent part in my friend’s life, and that she and I would hit it off as well as…

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All I Wanna Do Is Have Some Fun

I think about this a lot. I need hobbies. Cheap hobbies, hobbies I can do with people, to meet people. I spent too much time working in college and not enough time figuring out what fun things are. I like drinking (sure, who doesn’t but it can be unhealthy after awhile) and reading (solo activity) and if I was better at other things I would do them more. Or if other people liked the things I liked, like soccer. Idk, I just need a really cool hobby, but cheap, ya know?

Listful Thinking

I’m the lead copyeditor in my office. The other day I overheard my boss telling someone not to get hung up editing text because, she said, she doesn’t know anyone who cares as much about grammar as I do.

Wow, I thought. What a compliment. I do love grammar. I’m so glad it shows in my work!

I'm pretty sure this means I'm the coolest!I’m pretty sure this means I’m the coolest!

Then I kept thinking about it, which has always been my fatal flaw. Soon I was over-thinking it.

Wait a minute, I thought. I don’t want to be the person who loves grammar the most. “There goes Stephanie, Queen of the Anal-Retentives.” That’s what people think when I walk by, I bet. Caring about grammar is for old ladies and William Strunk. Man, I need a hobby.

If you, like me, have taken your passion for grammar or something equally fusty to what others…

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20 Reasons The Great Gatsby Is The Best Novel Ever

And now I want to re-read Gatsby.

101 Books

You guys know I love The Great Gatsby. It’s my favorite novel, and it currently sits #1 out of the 76 novels I’ve read during this project so far.

But I haven’t talked about the novel in a really long time, like two weeks maybe. So I thought I’d break down why Gatsby is so awesome in a fun Friday listicle.

Let’s go! So why is The Great Gatsby the greatest novel ever?

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Nothing Strange Happens To Me

I need to stop buying books and go to the library. I even live near a nice, big library. But having books, collecting them almost is just…a different feeling.

Also I love making notes and dog-eared pages and you shouldn’t do that with library books.

Dysfunctional Literacy

I've found stains and blotches much stranger than this stuck inside of library books. (image via wikimedia) (image via wikimedia)

Sometimes I think looking for books is more fun than actually reading them, but nobody in my family shares my passion for finding books that I might never even finish.  So when I announced my intentions to go to the public library this morning, my wife was silent and my daughters groaned.

“You take too long,” my youngest said.

“Not true,” I proclaimed.  Ever since my daughters put me on a timer a couple years ago, I’ve been able to get in and out of the library in under ten minutes.

“They don’t have any good books,” my oldest daughter said.

“Not true,” I countered.  Our local library has almost as many good books as the book store, but the library atmosphere can’t compete with stores like Brick & Mortar Booksellers.

It was my fault my daughters didn’t want library books.   I’d shown off too many blemishes in…

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