Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda– BUT.

Posted: February 26, 2013 in Self-Deprecation
Tags: , , , , ,

One trait of mine that I truly value is my ability to yank myself out of any situation and dissect it from a third person’s point of view.  No, I’m not about to confess to hiding some form of schizophrenia– but seeing how I fancy myself a writer, I’ll at least give you credit for attempting to Sherlock Holmes my ass.  Digression aside, I was watching Anthony Bourdain while doing the laundry and stamping wedding invitations, and I realized that he does pretty much exactly what I want to do.

Ladies and gentlemen– ruling the world would be great (and I’d make a grand dictator on an awesomeness scale of Peter the Great, complete with my own Drunken Synod), but I know what I want to do every time I watch Bourdain. I want to travel the world, experience it without a tourist-y crusting, generally be awesome on a global scale, and write about it.  Judging from my adventurous nature, amiable personality, warped sense of humor, and chameleon-esque social skills, I’d have a winning show too.

Now we go back to the first paragraph… the gigantic “However…” rears its fugly head.

Same difference...

… you get the idea.

I look back at my last decades and realize that I couldn’t take it back if I wanted to (and yes, it hurts to put that in the plural because more than one decade mentioned is considered functional).  I glanced at Cortana while I typed this, and realized that if shit hadn’t hit the fan the way it did, the spray pattern wasn’t exactly right, or the chips hadn’t fallen as they did– she wouldn’t be here.  So, in that respect, I win.

Suck it, multiverse counterparts.

That said, let’s play in hypotheticals.  I was born and raised in Jamestown, NY— a now dying city in the puckered asshole of the Rust Belt.  Since I was born, the city’s lost a humongous chunk of industry– and at least 7,000 in population.  I guess this is what happens when your major employers pack up and leave, and your governing officials decide to base your economy off of HUD residents (but that’s another rant entirely).  Seriously, look at the demographics in the link, it’s no wonder why a town of now 31,000 has–  count ’em– five rent-to-own companies.  However, the area is beautiful; it’s where my great grandparents ended up after they took a boat from bella Italia.  It’s always going to be “back home.”

One advantage to having been raised in a smaller community is that you generally learn responsibility for your own actions– whether you like it or not.  If you get caught doing something stupid, illegal, or you’re a general-purpose douchebucket: everyone eventually knows about it.  This isn’t the eerily personal type of rumor mill like you get in a small town, this is the kind of personal responsibility that fades as the population grows.  I wouldn’t trade my sense of self respect, or I should say social accountability, for the world– or would I?

The answer is no.  Cortana reads this.

Don't judge me.

You get the point.

Word from the wise– if you were born and raised outside of major metropolitan areas, and have aspirations that are above the norm, it would do you well to not attend college in a tiny ass college town that’s less than an hour away.  Sure, everything’s familiar, but Jesus Highsticking Christ– everything‘s familiar when you do that.  Naturally, you pick up a few local colloquialisms and some sundry stupid shit.  As a bonus, you’re within striking distance of home should you really find yourself up shit creek without a paddle.  Other side of the coin: your cultural/entertainment/networking opportunities are just as limited there as the first 18-20 years of life.

I’ve essentially been stuck in the same corner of the country for my entire life, not including some pretty epic road trips, vacations, etc.  Erie wasn’t much of an upgrade, but hey–  it served its purpose in forging the amalgamation of misanthropy and awesome that is me.   Realizing this– I have also put a cap on what I can do (and where I can go) with my talents because my social network is comprised largely of people in similar boats to mine.  That’s not meant as a slight, it was never about the boats, because we keep each other afloat on a sea of booze and shenanigans.  Again, refer back to the amalgamation of misanthropy and awesome– my partners in liver abuse are part and parcel to having made me… well… me.

Patience, asshole!

Yeah, yeah, I know.

I never would have discovered my love of writing if I’d gone to Rutgers straight out of high school, with or without a major (I didn’t have one).  My covetous admiration of the Food TV and Travel Channel guys wouldn’t be as poignant as it is now, had I stayed within my shell– and solely pursued academia.  Shut up, liver, you don’t get to judge me.

Come to think of it, I have a feeling that I’d kick alternate-reality me’s ass.
But that’s another rant entirely.

So seriously, kids, go outside your comfort zone– not just figuratively– and I mean geographically.  Social networking and the glories of digital reach can only go so far on their own, and nothing can substitute for slapping skin.  There’s a fap joke in there somewhere, but I’ll let you have it.

Coulda, woulda, shoulda– still glad I didn’t.

Now someone give me a travel show, because my layman’s approach to not being a tourist while totally being a tourist would be freaking awesome to watch.  Not to mention, who doesn’t want to see me get shitfaced on every continent– then narrate it?

Unplug.

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