What If I Went to My Grave?

As somebody increasingly drawn to living an epic story, I often catch myself living in the fantastical “what if.” What if I lived in Seattle? What if I did another, longer version of my #RunningTo road trip? What if I owned a rustic VW bus? What if I backpacked around Europe or South America or New Zealand? Can I go to my grave never having turned all these ambitious what-ifs into reality? It’s a haunting question. I don’t want to leave anything on […]

I Don’t Want to Do This

I don’t want to do this. But here I am. Blogging. Tonight. Late. After 10pm. Hardly an hour or two to spare until midnight. Just in time for Day 20. Today’s a great example of doing something I don’t want to do after an entire day of doing what I live for. This morning, I ventured out to the Smokies, a two-hour jaunt from her close cousin, the Blue Ridge. There I reunited with a Californian friend I’d not seen […]

When I Hate the Cross

I’ve been a Christian for as long as I can remember. My Christianness predates my Phillies fandom, my Survivor-mania, even my innate wandering spirit. Seems I’ve always known about God and Jesus and the cross and how I’d be nothing without Him, nothing without those two coarse beams of wood. And yet something about the cross irks me. I see people with gold chains and a dangling cross around their necks, and I don’t see them saying and doing what I’d expect […]

Hello, Mr. Moose Head with the Hookah: or, Escaping the Staleness

Tonight I hopped on my bike not knowing where I’d be riding it. The further away I rode from my house, the more the pieces fell into place. A street here. An uphill climb there. A brand new coffee shop where I’d yet to sit and sip and ruminate. This place I found downtown is part-bookstore, part-bar, part-coffee shop: a two-story mixed breed of the coffee shop species. Turquoise pipes line the ceiling, and a man plays guitar down below. […]

A Decade Without Annie

The vortex of my loathing for November stems from this date a decade ago. The day I lost my dog, Annie, to a freak accident. An accident I was convinced was connected to my first bout with pornography and God’s judgment. A decade later, I’ve laxed on the whole God punishing me thing; a decade later, I still miss that dog dearly. I hug and cuddle all these other dogs in Asheville, daily at my job and dog-sitting at people’s […]

You and I Will Be Okay

Earlier this year, I lost my beloved Mitsy to old age and a fuming engine on I-81S. I cried over her (wept, really), I memorialized her, and I spent the next two months of my life walking around Asheville until my sister’s old car became my new car — Des. She’s a 1998 Toyota Corolla, and her full name is Desdemona — a name I wasn’t wild about. Rather than christen her with a new name and inflict her with […]

Will the Words Still Come?

Today I’m halfway through my 30-day blogging challenge. It was fun and novel at first, blogging every day. Like I’d put on skinny jeans or a trendy scarf for the first time or decided to “go vegan.” 15 days later, it’s still fun. It’s become automatic that after work every day I come to a coffee shop to blog. Or on the weekend I go out and I know I can’t come home until a blog is posted. I’ve especially […]

Why I Do What I Do

A year ago, I knew nothing about recovery. Phrases like “twelve steps” and “Alcoholics Anonymous” may as well have been as foreign to me as “World Champion Chicago Cubs.” But then I started working with teens in recovery, both in the woods and in a beautiful building, and I’ve learned I’m not that different from them. “You’re a flawed individual,” an instructor told one of our students this morning. He didn’t mean it in a derogative way. He also called […]