All We Like Butterflies…

We’ve been raising monarch caterpillars at work for the last month. A woman we affectionately dubbed “The Butterfly Lady” came in with an aquarium full of milkweed and caterpillars the length of your pinky nail — dozens of them. You’d have never noticed them from afar. Most of those poor things died. It wasn’t our fault. Apparently the milkweed had pesticide. The Butterfly Lady apologized profusely. For all the fallen caterpillars, three survived. And once we got them healthy milkweed to eat, they ate to their little […]

Tradition Doesn’t Have to Suck

Before moving to Asheville six months ago, I ventured into an independent bookstore here with a friend. Malaprop’s, the place is called — a play on “malapropism,” a term for a comedic way of misspeaking. Think Michael Scott of The Office. Said the well-meaning Dunder-Mifflin manager: “I am not one to be truffled with.” Anyway, I’d visited Malaprop’s numerous times prior. I once worked a summer at nearby Camp Ridgecrest, and I’ve passed through Asheville in the years since. It’s one of my […]

Why I Share My Story

I launched my first podcast a few weeks ago. I’ve wanted to be an author since first grade show-and-tell, but I never dreamt of being a podcaster — if for no other reason than I hated my voice. Although I suppose not knowing what a “podcast” was until just three years ago is another significant factor. After discovering the world of podcasts, I started wondering: “How cool would it be to have a podcast and develop inside jokes over the course of dozens of episodes and […]

We Are Not Forgotten or Wasted

A man recently approached me at a gas station. This doesn’t happen often; in fact, I only remember one such other occasion, and it wasn’t particularly pleasant. My initial reaction when anyone approaches me while I’m busy doing something goes something like this: I’M UNDER ATTACK. WAIT, NO I’M NOT. AT LEAST, I DON’T THINK. WAIT, WHAT DOES HE WANT? UGH, DO I HAVE TO TALK TO HER? I see the encroaching form from the corner of my eyes, and I tend to […]

Re-Learning How to Take Care of Myself

I’ve been living in Asheville for over two months now, and it’s been a mid-range roller coaster with moderate ups and downs. The new job and the Couchsurfing; the church-searching and the solitude; newfound stability versus my inner nomad. I’ve been attending a local support group twice a week for the last month, and I’m learning how to take care of myself again after a year in Charlotte where I let my life slowly slide away. I’m learning to take care of all of myself. At […]

That Time I Hosted the Same Couchsurfer for Two Weeks

When I first made the switch from Couchsurfing surfer extraordinaire to Couchsurfing hoster, I figured I’d ease into the transition. Host one or two people a month for one or two nights each, and that would tide me over, remind me of the road without having to leave for so long again. I’d cook my occasional surfers breakfast, and I’d go wandering around Asheville and the Blue Ridge with my occasional surfers, if my occasional surfers even wanted an occasional companion, that is. Alas, […]

29.

A couple housekeeping notes to start. First off, you might have noticed I’m starting to write more regularly with my awesome blogging brotherhood, Your Other Brothers. It’s becoming tedious to continue linking my new posts on that blog back to this one, so if you’d like to continue reading my posts over there, go ahead and subscribe to YOB! I’ll continue linking those posts on Twitter and Facebook, if that’s more your jam. Secondly, I want to re-commit to blogging here weekly. Wednesdays feel like […]

Staying Through the Hurt

Last week was among my hardest weeks in many weeks. I’d said goodbye to two fantastic Couchsurfing guests, and I endured yet another week of training and work prep as my new organization continues to pass inspections and certifications and acquire total clearance for student admission. Even then, we will acquire students one at a time until we eventually hit our max capacity of 29. It will take more than a while to get to 29. It was a trying week that reminded […]