Saturday, April 5, 2008

In which I give you the background

Several years ago, during my junior year of college, I had a crisis of confidence. In my circle of friends, three (including my now-fiance) went abroad for a semester, one did an internship in Washington, DC, and the last was finishing up his last semester before med school. Meanwhile, I was pretty much left alone in the city where I grew up. I had even gotten accepted into the study-abroad program, but due to some financial difficulties, I just couldn't go. I tried getting in with another group, but it was late in the game, so while they were welcoming, I didn't fit in as well. In-jokes will do that. I tried becoming closer friends with a few acquaintances. For the most part, that didn't work -- there was a reason they were just acquaintances, after all.

I was getting worried. After all, everyone knows that study-abroad is a life-changing experience, right? While the only interesting thing going on back home was that our school's basketball team was doing very well. Now, there are two small problems with this: first, I simply do not care about basketball on any level. I hate playing it, and watching it doesn't entertain me, whether it's kids, high school, college, or pro. Second, my friends actually told me that they'd give up this experience - they'd actually put down the money to come home - just so they could see their team go all the way. Let me repeat that. They would put down money (that I didn't have) to leave an experience (that I would never get) in order to watch a sporting event (that I can't stand). It must be nice.

So that was my life versus theirs. What would happen, I worried, when they got back? Would their lives be changed? Would they have outgrown me? What could I possibly bring to the table anymore?

I'm still close to some of these friends, but I'm also still worried. I met up with some of them recently, and can you guess what the conversation was about? College basketball, and the beers they've had in other countries. Also work, but my job just isn't interesting compared to foiling bank robberies and assisting the developmentally disabled. And, at one or two points, weddings, which was a topic I could speak to... but the one person in the group who isn't planning a wedding managed to hijack those conversations. Usually to college basketball or international beers. Thanks, guys.

So I was heading home and thinking about how boring my life is. I work at a job no one really cares to hear about. I spend my commute either sleeping or reading books no one cares about. I go home, eat, maybe blog about one of those books no one cares about, and go to bed way too late to get a good night's sleep. In between, I may do some wedding planning, but let's face it: the only people who care about wedding plans are the people who have something at stake inthe wedding. The conversation hijack I mentioned above just proves that.

So I decided to do something like what I did back in junior year. I am going to write about my experiences. I'm a writer, after all; if I can't make stories sound interesting, then I'm doing something wrong. Also, maybe by making my experiences sound interesting, I'll attract more interesting experiences. I don't know, but it's sure worth a try.

I mean, just because I don't save a ton of money or eliminate plastic from my daily life or create board games or read the comics for you doesn't mean I don't have a right to tell my stories.

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