Giving Sorrow Words

For the most part I’m upbeat and content—I have to be! I try to never sweat the small stuff, and I tend to sail through life brushing off any nonsense that comes my way.

The best car I ever had was totaled, and I went broke on rentals while trying to sort out the mess—to no avail. Hey, no problem!

Student loan debt has nearly doubled thanks to that “low” interest rate. Hey, no problem!

I found out my best friend… Read More …

Man in the Mirror

In my head, I’m still that 20-something guy, absorbing all I can and working on that long journey to figure out myself and the world.

If I close my eyes and sing along to some song that means anything to me, it’s still 1993. I’m sitting on the bed in that rented room on Dallas Avenue, wearing tattered jeans and a tie-dyed shirt while lip-syncing Toad the Wet Sprocket.

For a split second, I might even get the urge to hop on the old Schwinn mountain bike and head to… Read More …

Always Changing, Probably

I don’t often write about work, and my family and friends seem so befuddled about it that I rarely even bring it up. It’s not fascinating or earth-shattering, but I do enjoy it.

First, a little background: When I finished my undergraduate work (English and anthropology), I knew I wanted to work in publishing, preferably academic publishing. I was certain I did not want to teach, and really, what else is there for an English major but publishing or writing? So I continued with a master’s degree in publishing. Was it more than I needed? Perhaps. It also… Read More …

Magical Mystery Tour

Anyone who knows me knows that, despite my Southern upbringing, I’m not a religious person. I do have spiritual moments, though, typically about the beauty, magic, and mystery that life sometimes holds. Last month, I had the good fortune of enjoying a good dose of all.

We were down in Worcester, Massachusetts, to attend an intimate wedding of my good friends Carla and Deb. The wedding itself was rife with beauty and wonder, perhaps amplified in the absence of any ostentation or needless formality. The ceremony was everything a wedding should be: two people in love formalizing their commitment to each other in front of a few good friends. The minister was… Read More …

Breaking Comfort

Leave it to a Google+ discussion about American candy imports in the UK to get me thinking about cultural comfort zones, branching out, and embracing the unfamiliar. It seems that his local Tesco now has an endcap dedicated to “quintessential” American imports like peanut butter Snickers, strawberry Fluff, PopTarts, and Butterfinger bars. The prices were quite ridiculous on some items and the selection was, well, strange. He couldn’t understand why such common and random items were imported at all, especially at those prices. I decided it must be because people like to seek out something familiar when in an unfamiliar place, and Americans make… Read More …

Life in a Northern Town

I’ve been in Vermont for just over two months now, and it feels like I’ve been here my whole life. It’s comfortable. It’s peaceful. It’s home.

What’s it like for the outsider though? First off, I’ve yet to meet a cranky person. People here are relaxed, friendly, and welcoming. Even the tourists here are happy and easygoing, a far cry from the chain-smoking screech-owls common at most tourist destinations I know.

What’s it like for me? Well, I walk the half-mile to work each day. I pass by a coffee shop, useful when I’m running late, and a supermarket or drug store if I need something on the way home. I can … Read More …

Recalculating Route

Most people think of me as fairly laid back and tolerant. For the most part, I am. But what they often don’t see is that I’ve spent my entire life fighting, and what appears as calm is more often mental exhaustion.

Over the years, I fought for love and affection. I fought for respect. I fought for opportunities that weren’t really meant for me. I fought for a better life than the one I knew in adolescence. I fought to stay afloat financially. I fought for truth, when people didn’t want to hear it. I fought for everything I have and everything I am. Nothing I have was handed to me.

Imagine running a mental marathon for 40 years. That’s what it’s been like, and I was exhausted. Need for escape from the fight had reached urgency.

Read More …

Glimmers

Sometimes life just gets to be routine. I think we all experience such periods, where time passes but nothing seems to be happening. Hell, some people like it that way, but I don’t. I need change. I need substance. I need life! Typically, I have those things—but not always.

Lately I’ve had one of these periods, almost since the time I finished my master’s degree in 2009. Sure, I stay busy, learning all I can about the things that I hope will be helpful in my career or at least in my hobbies. I’ve designed and helped edit two books. I’ve also been applying for jobs off and on, but believe me, there is nothing in that process that feels like life other than the slight hope of landing that perfect job. And that hope isn’t always there. Sometimes it’s just… Read More …

Let’s Try This Again.

I posted on this very topic before. To list the cliches: Something’s gotta give. I’m stuck in a rut. I’m at the end of my rope. I’m a man on the edge!

All of it is true. I’m sick of the same old shit—the same old places, same old people, same activities, even the same foods. No offense to anyone, of course. I just can’t take much more. I need to move on, one way or another.

The job hunt has been a heap of suck, frankly. Because of work, driving to work, preparing for work, trying to cook for pennies, then cleaning, etc., I just don’t have a whole lot of time to apply for jobs. Add in a bit of exercise or some out-of-the-ordinary drama/responsibilities, and well, no applications go out. Read More …

When I Ruled the World

I pride myself on having no regrets or resentments in life. Every single thing that has ever happened to each of us makes us who we are today. If you’re truly happy with that person, then every struggle and every joy was well worth it. And I am mostly happy with who I am.

But this doesn’t mean I don’t miss a few opportunities I once had.

When I was a kid, I pretty much ruled my world. Everything was there for me to see, and there seemed to be few limits! I’m not saying… Read More …