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I have been stuck for a while in limbo trying to decide on a direction for my blog.  At first, I had planned to write a travel blog.   (Is planned the right word?  As I look back on that short clip of my life, my actions don’t exactly resemble planning, counting the cost, or anything remotely close. “Jumped into heedlessly” might be a better fit.)

At first, I had “jumped into heedlessly” travel blogging.  It would cure the need I felt for more adventure in my life.  I had stayed too long in one place and had begun to sink into the muck up to my knees like a homely cypress tree.  It was time to get moving before I became completely one with Mother Earth, so I said, “goodbye darling,” and began traipsing away.  It felt immature to leave, but it also felt immature to stay.

If you ever see a random cypress tree hiking down the road, driving a car, camping in a tent, or kayaking down a river, I imagine it might look a bit more graceful than I did doing those same things, but never mind about that – I had unearthed myself.  I set out to try something different.  It turned out to be more than I’d bargained for.

One of my “travel and adventure” articles began nicely enough:

How to put up a tent…

How to put up a tent in the dark…

How to put up a tent in the dark and it’s raining…

How to put up a tent in the dark during a lightning storm when your car battery has just died leaving your automatic windows stuck down and you’ve just heard a bear growl.

For those of you who are, like me, married to Mr. Fecking Murphy Law:

Step One: Turn off your headlights.  Cover the windows with tarp, tin-foil, plastic wrap, or garbage bags.  When your car battery has recharged itself, roll up the windows.

Step Two: Forget the tent! Leave it to be blown off the mountain by the hurricane like winds- we DO NOT care about the freaking tent anymore!

Step Three: Run like HELL towards the closest bathroom, or covered picnic area where you will huddle until dawn praying to God and swearing by all that is holy to never, ever, ever go camping again. 

There, now you know…

Folks might think I’d give up on travel or adventure after an experience like that, but I didn’t.  This means I’m either an optimist, or really stubborn.  Either way, I can now tell you that it is mathematically, scientifically, philosophically, theologically possible to remain upright and unharmed in your kayak during a 7 hour trip down a dark river with unfathomable depths which must be filled with crocodiles the size of Cadillacs (the car, not the music group), and then tip your boat in 6 inches of crystal clear shallows – losing lunch, car keys, and phone; gaining skinned knees, busted lip, and a bruise the size and shape of Africa.

I can also tell you how not to act when you are standing in Peru’s airport after checking in your luggage and have just found your knife in the bottom  pocket of your grubby Amazon rain forest shorts.

Do not:

1.) Take it out, hold it up, or run back towards the check out counter shouting, “Wait, I forgot my knife!”

Because:

a.) That’s what terrorists do.

b.) Airport officials might shoot you.

c.) You could get arrested.

e.) No one will believe you when you tell them you thought you could fend off an anaconda with a pocket knife.

I survived, though.  Peruvians are used to seeing folks with knives…big knives…machete knives.  Either that, or I am covered by an enormous amount of grace.  Or I might be immortal.  Yep, let’s go with immortal.

So, I’m probably not the person from whom you should take travel advice.  In fact, there might need to be rules against allowing folks like me to write travel blogs.  Problem is, I now own “adventurebyollie.com” which sounds like a travel blog but, if I continued, would read more like a worst case scenario blog.  Plus, travel isn’t something I’m able to do often enough.  In the end I decided travel blogging wasn’t a good fit for me – at least not at this time.

I began a new purpose for my blog.  For a while, I wrote about my attempts to accomplish other goals.  This started out okay, until I started back to school.  My time is so focused now on accomplishing this one task of finishing school that I haven’t even thought about other goals.  My Post-It Monster waves sadly, rejected and ignored.

Maybe I could rant about all the things I hate in the world, like Jelly Beans.  I HATE Jelly Beans.

Here are my top 10 reasons to hate Jelly Beans:

1. They stick to my teeth.

2. The shellac on jelly beans is made from the excrement of beetles.  When you eat jelly beans you are eating sweetened, dyed, poop.

3. I’m 99.99% confident they contribute to the formation of kidney stones, although this has not been proven.

4 – 10. I just don’t like them

Perhaps, I could fill the world with random, but useful knowledge, and expound on useful ways of dealing with mean people:

“Dear Rude Person,

Congratulations! You have been selected for a one way trip to Mars.  

Sincerely,

Ollie Olliester”

I could share the stories behind some of my nicknames (Spittles, Slippers, Bulldog, Mala Aqua, Pompooshka), and despair over my minimum wage paycheck with the same inner angst as a MVP denied a multimillion dollar contract.  But mostly, I’ve just waxed eloquent over personal dilemmas with the bleeding pen of one denied the privilege of using drugs and alcohol to numb her pain.

Last night, as I sauteed peppers and chicken in garlic and olive oil, I remembered that I still hadn’t found a new purpose for my blog.  The only constant I’d found in all of my interests was the joy I felt when writing about them.

I am thankful to be able to share this joy with you.  Thanks so much for reading.