Don’t get me wrong; I love me some blogging. I mean, where else can I blather on endlessly about pants and cookies and kitten videos and not have anyone look at me like I’m crazy? (Granted it’s entirely possible that you’re all looking at me like I’m crazy through your computer screens right now, but I can’t see you. It’s like that whole “tree falling in a forest” thing. If everyone is looking at you like you’re crazy but you can’t see them, does that make you crazy? I think not, people. I think not.)
But as much as I love blogging, I’m worried that I won’t be able to juggle writing both my blog and my book.
You see, this writing thing is a lot of hard work, people. First you have to think up lots of awesome stuff to write about. And, then, you have to actually write about it. And, after that, you have to spend lots of time reading and editing all that awesome stuff because nobody’s going to take your awesome stuff seriously if it’s full of spelling and grammar errors. (Mind you, people probably won’t take you too seriously if you just write about cookies and kitten videos either, so it’s important to touch on a few hard-hitting issues now and again. Like pants.)
And then you have to keep on getting up off your couch to replenish your supply of potato chips.
See? Hard work.
Which brings me to this great idea I had to make this whole blogging thing a lot easier on me this summer….
Are you ready for my big idea?
Here goes:This summer all of my posts will be in the form of top ten lists!
Why top ten lists?
a. Top ten lists are fun and easy to write! All you have to do is fill them with lots of pictures and numbers and headings. Nobody will ever notice that you didn’t really say anything!
b. Top ten lists are fun and easy to read! All you have to do is skim through the pictures and numbers and headings and leave a nice comment at the end. Nobody will ever notice that you didn’t really read anything!
c. Everyone loves top ten lists! Even if you claim to hate top ten lists, you must secretly love them or you wouldn’t be reading this post right now because it clearly says in the title that this is a top ten list. (You are so busted, right now, by the way.)
d. I’m pretty sure I can think up ten things to say each week… but, uhh, don’t hold me to it.
e. It’s my blog. So there.
f. All of the above.
Notice, this was not a top ten list. This was just a multiple-choice test. (The correct answer was F, in case you were wondering.) But it was still pretty fun and easy to read, huh?
Also notice, all that stuff about top ten lists being easy to write and read does not apply to this post. This post will be long and blathery and will probably take at least a few more cans of Pringles for me to complete. (You might want to stock up on a few yourself – you have a long night of reading ahead of you.)
So, are you ready for a summer of top ten awesomeness?
You better be because my first top ten list of the summer is coming right up, and it’s all about me. (Now that’s going to be really fun to read, don’t you think?)
Can I get a drumroll, please?
Top Ten Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me
1. Cleaning is my therapy. Which is a good thing because I can’t really afford therapy. Or a housekeeper.I guess you could say I’m an emotional cleaner. If I’m sad or homesick or angry, I will clean. If I’m worried about the future and I’m not sure what I’m doing with my life, I will clean. If I have a million things to do and am super stressed out about it, I will clean.
As soon as I’m done cleaning I feel calmer and more in control and ready to tackle my mile-long to-do list… you know, right after I finish scrubbing down all the kitchen cabinets… and the bathroom tiles… and, possibly, the light fixtures.
As much as I love traveling, I don’t think I could do it long-term as it would mean not having a place of my own, which would mean not having a place to clean, which would mean I’d go crazy. (Like crazier than I already am, and nobody wants to see that kind of crazy, trust me.)
2. I would never change my naturally curly hair.Like most women, there are plenty of things about my body that I’d love to change. (Umm, ankles, for example. I’d really love some ankles.)
But my hair is not one of them.
My hair didn’t become really curly until my teenage years – before that it was just kind of poofy. And unlike high school gym class or, say, games of spin the bottle, this is one thing that happened to me during adolescence that worked in my favor.
My hair is big and uncontrollable and stands out in the crowd — especially in Asia.
It’s kind of like me.
I’ve never straightened my hair (not even temporarily) because I feel that straightening it would be like repressing a part of my personality.
And because, well, I’m kind of scared of flat irons. (You could burn your scalp off with those things!)
3. Out of all the places I’ve visited, Portugal is my favorite. (Not to make all the other countries feel bad or anything.)
I went to Portugal about twelve years ago after finishing up a two-month backpacking trip through Spain and Morocco with a friend whose traveling style was very incompatible with mine. (This is my nice way of saying she was crazy. I, on the other hand, was a total dream to travel with. I was. Really.)
I’m not sure what it was about Portugal that made me fall in love with it. Maybe it was the crumbling buildings and sprawling city squares. Maybe it was the strong coffee and egg cream tarts. Maybe it was the fado music which I bought in Lisbon and didn’t stop blaring from my Walkman the entire month I was there. Maybe it was the fact that I was no longer traveling around with a woman who made me want to scream a lot.
But I loved it.
And I’ve been kind of afraid to go back for fear that it won’t be as awesome as I remember it.
But I do take every chance I can get to eat an egg cream tart because those are every bit as awesome as I remember them.
4. I’ve never had a broken bone.
See? There are some advantages to being big fat scaredy cat. Like, you don’t climb trees or jump off of buildings or do other things that might result in your cracking your leg open.
I did break my front tooth once, though, in the third grade. It was during a very uncharacteristic attempt to impress my friends by hanging off the side of the merry-go-round at school. My friends were unimpressed, and I was stuck with a jagged chomper that made me look like a hillbilly street-fighter. (Mind you, this was before looking like a hillbilly street-fighter was cool.) To make matters worse, it happened on Halloween Day, so I couldn’t eat any of the candy I got that night.
Hence, I learned early on that daredevilry does not pay off, and safety leads to candy.
5. I’m not so into tropical countries. Mostly because they don’t have Fall.I’ve lived in Brazil and Southeast Asia, and, yeah, I enjoyed my time there, but I don’t think I could live in tropical country for the rest of my life.
I need me some Fall.
The weather is beautiful. The trees are pretty. The stores are all stocked with new school supplies. (I’m a dork. I buy new school supplies even when I’m not in school or teaching school. There is something so wonderfully hopeful about a fresh, new notebook. Am I right or am I right?)
And I look pretty awesome in a turtleneck, if I do say so myself.
6. I’m a better online person than I am an in-person person.In real life, I gossip a lot, make snap judgments about people and have a tendency to roll my eyes at anyone who annoys me. (And I don’t even have the decency to hide behind a wall or pretend I’m having an eye spasm.)
I also use bad words more than I should and in situations where I probably shouldn’t.
But, online, I’m totally the girl you’d bring home to mom – that is, if you brought home online girls to your mom. (Which would be kind of awkward. Not that I’m judging your relationship with your mom or anything.)
On the Internet, the only gossip I dish is about myself.
The only snap judgments I make are about people who use the term “LOL” when stuff isn’t funny. (But, I think we can all agree that those people are bad.)
Plus, I hardly ever roll my eyes at people over the Interwebs. (Okay, so maybe I do, but they can’t see me doing it. So, again, it’s like that whole “tree falling in a forest” thing.)
And I try not to swear on here because my mom reads this shit.
7. Picky eaters annoy me.If I have to visit twenty different restaurants before you find a menu you like or put up with you whining and picking stuff off your salad for the entire meal, I’m going to be annoyed.
I’m sure you’re a great person. Really.
And I do wish I could be more tolerant about this.
But I’m not. (See “snap judgments” above.)
Just so you know, you’re welcome to be annoyed with me when I roll my eyes at you.
8. Regrets, I have a few – like, I wish I had known about sarongs earlier.Prior to my year in Southeast Asia, I had associated sarongs with unsavory things – like beach vacations. (Yes, yes, I realize most people enjoy beach vacations. But most people are crazy. I mean, there’s stuff in that ocean that could kill you to death.)
Since purchasing a sarong last year in Malaysia, I’ve learned that sarongs have multiple, fantastic uses. And, I’m happy to report, very few of these uses have involved a beach or my pending death!
I’ve used my sarong as a blanket or scarf on chilly bus rides, as a towel in hotel rooms where there were none, as an eye mask on international flights, as a makeshift bathrobe and as a tasteful alternative to pants while lounging around in my apartment.
I don’t even want to imagine what life would be like without my sarong – I’d probably have to wear pants all the time.
Oh God, the horror!
9. There are a few things I don’t blog about.But very few.
Which made this list really hard to come up with.
10. I am a cheesy romantic, but I chose travel over love. And would do it again.I grew up believing that you only fall in love once. I come from one of those weird families where almost everyone gets married to the first person they fall in love with… and then stays married… like, forever.
When I fell in love at nineteen, I figured that’s what would happen to me. I was a geeky English major with a penchant for turtlenecks. He was a geeky dental student from Toronto. We met in London on my first trip abroad.
I wrote him bad poems. He knitted me mittens. (Seriously. He did. You would have fallen in love with him, too. Even if you’re not really into men or mittens or anything.)
We dated long distance for a while. I figured we’d get married after I graduated from college and have lots of geeky kids together.
But then we broke up.
I wanted to move to Dublin. He didn’t. I knew that by going to Dublin, it would mean the end of our relationship.
But I went anyway.
And even though that was ages ago and I’ve met some really great guys since then and even dated a few of them, I haven’t fallen in love again.Maybe I am one of those people who will only fall in love once.
Or maybe I’m not.
(Either way, you’re probably off the hook as far as buying me a wedding present is concerned.)
But I still don’t regret choosing travel over love.
After all, travel has made me into the person I am today, and I really kind of like the person I am today.
Even if that person is just the teensiest bit crazy.
(Hey, I’ve seen the looks you’ve been shooting me through the computer screen. What? You didn’t think I could see that?)