Why are we here?
No, I don't mean in the grand scheme of things (though I guess the picture may be a little misleading). But I do mean right here, sharing this time and space-- how did we both find ourselves here talking?
I thought it would be helpful to us both to answer this question. You're probably here because I've successfully managed to distract you from one of your daily activities. (One point for Arianna.) I hope you return because you find value in my voice-- either from my experience in travel or my (frequently humorous) interpretation of life. I'm here to keep myself focused. To remember. And most importantly, to define purpose and provide myself (and maybe ya'll by extension) with direction.
But those ideas are all pretty nebulose. It may be easier to understand like this.
Reason One: Travel
Though originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, my love for adventures and new beginnings have taken me across the United States and Europe. When I turned eighteen I moved to the Big Easy, and gorged myself on music and art. At twenty I found myself stepping off the plane in Ireland and backpacking (and doggy paddling) all the way to Austria. A few months later I returned home and was happy to find myself surrounded, once again, by some amazing Austrians. After two years of 60-hour work weeks a full0time school schedule, and enormous encouragement from my family and friends at home and abroad I renewed my passport. Realizing my love of beer, brats, and beautiful men, I spent a semester, at twenty-three in Berlin, Germany. One of the lovely ladies I met there is in the picture below (Shannon).
As a college student I learned to travel cheaply, and as a female I learned to travel intelligently. When I got home I was confused when questioned how I did it. "Wasn't it scary being alone?" To be honest, I had never really thought about it before then, and when I heard of so many young women's reservations to travel... it sort of broke my heart. As much as I like sharing stories of travel, it doesn't satisfy me as much as sharing my story with other young women that want to get out there and are too scared.
So it's a combination of wanting to share and not wanting to forget. I've been so many places and met so many people that it would be a disservice and injustice not to pass along the knowledge before it 's replaced by something undoubtedly much less important (or interesting).
Reason Two: Story
I'm a storyteller at heart. I think this surprises people close to me-- those that know of my inability to tell a joke (yes, even knock knock's).
My earliest memory of writing was this: I was in grade school and heels clicked as I walked down the long laminate hallway, lined with the artistic and scholarly accomplishments of my elementary colleagues. To this day, I don't know where I got the idea, but I had a goal: to get an audience. My sweaty hands clutched a single piece of copy paper, folded in half "hamburger style" as my teacher had said in class earlier that day. On the front were color pencil-lined stick figures, but inside...
my first story... ever.
I don't know what it was about, or why I had decided to give it to my principal instead of my parents. I'm not even sure if I've ever asked my parents about this. But nonetheless, I approached Mrs. Pam, the secretary, and she directed me into the office of Mrs. Gladys.
And after that? Nothing. I can't remember anything but my occasional visit to her office to drop off the newest subscription every now and again.
So here I am, twenty or so years later. With a larger, somewhat more willing audience.
I hope you find as much value in this as I do, and we meet each other frequently.