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Can we start all over? (or, a few things I’ve never told you)

This week I read a terrific post by Corbett Barr over at Free Pursuits about being more authentic online. Actually, he said “kick your watered-down self in the ass.” Ouch.

You see, he struggles with the same thing I do – being authentic without turning people off. I mean, I’m trying to build an audience here, so I worry how my words come across to you. I want you to listen to the message of lifestyle design, and I’m afraid the way I tell it, or the way I live my life, or my random musings on something totally unrelated might turn you off and keep you from hearing it.

I worry if I let a curse word fly I’ll alienate more conservative readers, and if I make an anti-kids stance I’ll send parents scurrying, and oh my god we haven’t even talked about religion, drinking, family or why I don’t watch romantic comedies (see #2 below). I don’t want these things to get in the way of the message. But should I? Maybe that’s part of the message.

If I really let it all hang out, I could lose some of you.  This is where I have to admit I’m either over-analyzing things, a complete narcissist, or you are all connecting with the construct of me, not the real me (see #3).

Corbett made a really good point when he said you don’t have to be transparent to be fully self-expressed, meaning you don’t have to share all your stories. He’s right. But you know what? We’ve been far more transparent on this blog about our stories and less so about who we really are as people – our opinions, idiosyncrasies, and some of the events that have shaped our thinking. And that’s part of the message.

Following Corbett’s theme, here are a few things you may not know about me. I hope you still like me when you’re done, but if you don’t that’s okay, too. Using my favorite breakup line ever, “It’s not you, it’s me.” (see #12)

  1. I never graduated from college (yeah, I know, big shocker there). The thing that is surprising is that it haunts me to this day and is one of the biggest regrets of my life. In fact, maybe one of the only regrets of my life. You miss out on a lot of social education at a pivotal moment in life when you opt out of college, and you can never reclaim that time.
  2. I love love but hate romantic comedies. Maybe it is because they are so obvious, or that the man is always so much older than the woman, or that she is considered a plain-Jane with her glasses and bun but when she takes them off she’s a centerfold. I dunno. I just don’t get them and have to be dragged to see one.
  3. My favorite movie is The Matrix. I’ve probably seen it 20 times, and I love what it says about life, the way you see the world around you, and the question of taking the red or the blue pill. Oh, and there’s Trinity in her black leather kicking ass, and that’s pretty cool, too. Follow the white rabbit…
  4. I am childless by choice. It’s not that I don’t like kids, but I really don’t like being around kids. They ooze and sneeze and carry a lot of germs.
  5. My favorite way to fall asleep is with a book in my hands on the couch. This is not conducive to a good night’s sleep or a healthy sex life. I still “camp out” at least once a week, and more if Warren is traveling.
  6. I like to be alone a lot more than most people. This is weird to say for a fairly social person, but I need downtime after I’ve been around people for an extended period of time. It may be part of the reason I read so much because it keeps other people from engaging when I want to be by myself.
  7. I love gay men. Seriously. Totally love being with them, and they usually love being with me. I think I secretly want to be one. Or maybe not so secretly.
  8. I’m a feminist and believe that wherever there is bigotry there is also misogyny. Cure the world of homophobia, racism, religious and political tyranny, and you’ll make the world a better place for women, too.
  9. I was married before for 9 years. I don’t think 20 is a good age for anyone to get married because there is so much individual change between the age of 20 and 30. Warren and I joke that it takes a first marriage to figure out how to have a successful second marriage, and there is a grain of truth in that if you get married really young.
  10. When I was 29 I left my small hometown in New Mexico to live by myself in Washington, DC. This was during my divorce, and I rented my apartment online before I even got there. It was a scary, liberating and educational experience. When people ask how I can just pick up and travel the world with Warren, I tell them that nothing will ever be as scary as leaving everything I knew back then for a completely new life 2000 miles away. I can’t imagine ever doing anything harder.
  11. I am terrible with directions, and the fact that Warren wants to travel full-time with me is a huge shocker. I mean, I really cannot find my way home sometimes. For whatever reason, I cannot translate what I see on a map to my environment. Oh, and I’ve been known to use McDonald’s as a landmark. Do you know how many of those there are?
  12. I have commitment issues (see numbers 1, 4, 6 and 9). It is pretty easy to become my friend, a lot harder to become a good friend. And kudos to Warren for all he went through to date and then marry me. In fact, maybe one day he’ll tell you the story of how I broke up with him before our first date. Yes, it is that bad.
  13. I’ve lived in New Mexico, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Washington. While I would love to see the entire world, I can’t imagine ever living too far from a coast or a big city. One of my favorite things is to be with people but by myself, and being in a city allows you to do that. Reach out when you want; retreat when you want.
  14. I have done some private investigation work. It isn’t nearly as glamorous as they make it sound in the movies, and I didn’t feel good about it. These are not the kind of people you have over for dinner (the client or the subject).
  15. I love red wine, a pint of Guinness, or a well-made old-fashioned. Combine this with a cool location, some good friends, and a few appetizers and I’m good for the night. Seriously, I love a good drink and fun conversation with interesting people more than just about anything. Which is why we kept happy hours in the budget and gave up things like cable.
  16. I can keep a secret. Big, juicy secrets, little secrets, and secrets that people really wish I would let slip. I’m not sure why, but people often tell me things they would never tell other people. Maybe it is because I’m fairly nonjudgemental, or maybe I’m a good listener. Maybe I’m just in the right place at the right time. Either way, my mind is a vault. And it is brimming with good shit, trust me (remember, I love hanging out with interesting people).
  17. I am a fabulous connector. Doesn’t matter what you need, I can find the connection to make it happen. I love putting the right people together, especially when it comes to business. Sometimes I actually go overboard in this and connect people together for projects they don’t really want (actually, I prefer to think they haven’t warmed to the idea yet, but I know they’ll come around).
  18. I met my biological father just a few years ago after I tracked him down online (see #14). I grew up 90 miles away from him. This is still really weird for me to talk about.
  19. I am pretty open about my life on the blog, but I guard the privacy of my friends and family fiercely. There are many stories I’d love to tell, but when they are shared experiences I can’t. (see #16 and #18)
  20. My IQ was tested as a kid and I was put in “gifted” classes in school. Frankly, the bar was low. I’m a smart person, but I’m not gifted. I’ve known several gifted people, believe me. I think attaching labels to kids is not always a good idea. It made me lazy. After all, I was gifted, how hard did I have to try? Better to be in with the masses and make those distinctions on your own merit than be placed in a separate category and be told you’re above it all. Life Lesson: You’re Not.
  21. I am a crazy fast reader. I can read 2-3 books a week, and I worry that on the road I won’t have enough to read. Or the budget to read that much.
  22. I love Perez Hilton. He’s a smart businessman, gets to act out with a fun persona, and he’s into self-improvement (did you see he lost over 60 pounds?). Love him or hate him,  you have to respect the business he’s built and that he’s living life on his own terms. (see #7)
  23. I am endlessly curious about what other people believe and why they believe it. I’m more interested in how you came to believe something than what you actually believe. That says a lot about a person and is usually much more interesting than the latest political argument or religious debate.
  24. I think I’m more introspective than most people. And that bugs me.
  25. I write this blog because I want people to wake up before it is too late. Life is short, and there are no do-overs. If you aren’t consciously living the life you want right now, chances are you never will. And that breaks my heart. A half-life is a waste of bountiful resources and opportunity.

So that’s my personality in a nutshell. It feels a little bit like writing a match.com ad for your boyfriend of 6 months. But I wanted you to know I’m going to be flashing a little more personality and opinion on the blog. The message will still be the same, but the filter it comes through will be, well, less filtered. :)

(Oh yeah, and I want to hate emoticons. I really do. But if I can’t smile to your face I want to smile on your screen. So forgive me for writing like a 14-year-old.)

Tell me something about you that I don’t already know and how it impacts your personality. C’mon. You already know I can keep a secret. (see #16)

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About Betsy

Betsy Talbot can't live without a Moleskine notebook, her passport, and happy hour. She sold everything she owned to travel the world with her husband Warren in 2010, and she's been enjoying her midlife crisis ever since. Betsy writes about creating the life you want from the life you already have in her books and on the Married with Luggage website. Drop her an email at btalbot (at) marriedwithluggage (dot) com and check out her Google+ page.

Comments

  1. Debb Whitlock says:

    I love watching you grow through this process Betsy and can relate to you on so many levels. As someone who has a superhero day job in a very buttoned down – all about the image – industry – I struggle a bit with my blog posts – they are nothing about my work -and yet they have everything to do with MY work. I worry that a potential client will read about my human experiences and ….gasp…. not want to work with me. I really need to get over myself. As the intention was to give people a peek into who I am when I am not buttoned down.

    Couldn’t agree more with you and Tony above about life being short -attended the funeral of a friend on Monday, he was 45. He was the kind of guy who lived life on his terms – and the 400 people at his wake sure loved those terms. You always knew where you stood – he told you what he thought – even when he knew you wouldn’t like it – didn’t judge you for having your own opinion – just wanted to make sure you knew there was another one out there – and once he decided he liked you, well he loved you.

    I think you know you did it right when your bromance toasts you after the service with your beer of choice (Bud-Light)and says, “You could sure be a prick ol’ boy – and we loved you because of it.”

    Here’s to moving through transparency and being real.

    Cheers. :P

    • Wow, we can all hope for people to know us that well and love us anyway, can’t we? Someone once told me that we love people because of their faults and idiosyncrasies, not in spite of them.

      I like what you said about just getting over ourselves. We probably spend WAY more time worrying about this ourselves than the combined attention of those dozens or hundreds or even thousands of people we think are judging us. Narcissists with self-esteem problems – is there such a thing? And do they have a support group? :)

  2. Incredible post – I thought I knew you pretty well and there were a few items that were news even to me!

    You are a fantastic writer, with such humor and insight – can’t wait to see you bask in the glow when you become “famous” someday for all this…although you are already famous in our eyes! :)

    • Hmmm, I didn’t think I could surprise you anymore, Karen! When I talk about interesting people in my life, you are definitely on the list.

  3. Betsy – great post! I read Corbett’s post from your recommendation and felt the same way. You and Warren have been a great inspiration to us.

    • Thanks, Amy. You guys inspire us, too. I keep reading emails and comments from people who are trying new things and going after their dreams, and it just makes me all warm and gooey inside. Probably how I’m supposed to feel after watching a romantic comedy. :)

    • Hi Betsy – Love your blog more than ever! So enjoy following you and Warren on your adventures and self-discovery….too bad you’re leaving soon! I think we’d be great in-person friends. About me….My goal in life is to remain curious and joyful, despite all the obstacles and challenges life throws our way (it’s been way too damn many this year, btw, God..knock it off). I related with you on most of your points…don’t most of us, even if we don’t admit it? I think you are my doppelganger (except I’ve become profoundly lazy in my 40s, following college, grad school, and an illustrious social worker career..whew..I’m so fucking tired)! I’ve lived in San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond, Sausalito,Bainbridge Island, and Omaha (high school and college – i was in my car headed back to the west coast on graduation day, arriving on xmas day for the family celebration). My goal is to get back to the Bay Area again…I’m too young to die in Washington state, of depression brought on by Vitamin D deficiency. Lots of love (and support and encouragement), Alisa

      • Ha! I do think we would be very good friends, Alisa. And you must get thee to a pharmacy to buy some high-dose vitamin D. I’m taking 5000 units a day and it keeps me sane when the sun hides out for weeks at a time.

        Your life sounds so full, and I think you deserve a little bit of laziness after all that activity. Best of luck in your mission to get back to the Bay area. San Francisco remains one of my favorite cities (one of our favorite trips was in Chinatown to attend the Kung Pao Kosher comedy festival with Chinese food and Jewish comedians on Christmas Day – definitely one for the books!)

    • PS…I love my kid and I hate all others. Annoying little turds.

  4. I’m an expat Aussie living and working in the USA. I read your blog through a feed (fyi) and on the whole political spectrum, I’m probably your exact opposite.

    But… I love to travel, and that’s why I like your blog! So, I’d rather read open and honest stories about travel and life from a unique perspective than read watered-down drivel that comes from so many other blogs.

    So, thank you! (For not being of the watered-down drivel type of blog.)

    PS. re: #4. I have children and I love and adore them, but I’m the first to admit that I’m the least maternal person in the world. I’d do anything for my kids, but I don’t like being around other people’s kids. So, your child-free decision is actually fine in my book. :)

    • Hi, Fuzz. I think we’re getting along just fine. What part of the US are you in? What made you decide to go there?

      Your PS makes me laugh – my mom always told me that I’d feel differently about kids if they were my own, and my argument back to her was that I’d have to have them to figure that out, and then it would be too late! I think she was trying to trick me with that one.

  5. JLouise says:

    I’ve been reading your blog since your posting over at miss minimalist and just wanted to let you know how enjoyable and inspirational your posts can be. Thank you!

    • Hi, JLouise. I LOVE Miss Minimalist. We’ll be reviewing her new book on the blog very soon. Did you see the story about having her apartment broken into and the police commenting that the thieves had nearly wiped her out? And then she said that only 3 things had been taken? The pictures alone are priceless. I love that story and strive to be the kind of person who can live like that. Thank you for joining our little tribe – I love having you here!

  6. WTF!!?? How can anyone not be kept on the edge of their seat by “You’ve Got Mail”, or be blown away by the transformation in “Miss Congeniality”? “Sleepless in Seattle” – hellooo? Need I continue? ;)

    By the way, number 25, very important. Just returned from my Auntie’s funeral, she was in her early 60s. Her husband died when he was 47 (one year younger than I am now). Life is short indeed.

    • Hi, Tony. Life is far too short to watch the guy get the girl after a series of mishaps and misunderstandings (oh, and don’t forget the irreverent but endearing best friend). I’d much rather watch a mystery or thriller where I have to guess at the ending. Or stab my eyes out with a dull spork.

      On a more serious note, my condolences to you on the loss of your aunt. 60 is far too young to die, especially if you are waiting for retirement to really start living.

  7. #1 – shocker. I never would have guessed (and this is from an over-educated person). Let that go or get a degree – whichever would soothe that insecurity. There is nothing about you that says UNDER-EDUCATED.

    I’m totally with you on #7, 11, 12, 23, and 24.

    Good work on being more transparent. Another leap off the cliff of a rock ‘n’ roll life!

    • See Margit, it is not the “undereducated” part that bugs me. It is the rite of passage, the social lessons, and the first taste of independence that I regret missing. I’ve had some fantastic career experience that gives me an edge in the corporate world, and my curiosity means I’m always learning, so I feel pretty confident about that. But I can’t help but wonder how different I would be if I had gone to college and had those other life experiences that don’t come from a book.

      • ohhhhhhhhhhhh. okay, well GOOD!

        can I say that it seems to me (watching your life) that you’re having a social college experience now, without the puking and STD’s!!!

      • Pretty funny, Margit. I can trade the possibility of STDs and puking with traveler’s diarrhea and malaria. :)

  8. Michelle Goerdel says:

    Thanks for the insightful post Betsy! I have a lot of the same characteristics (I’d say about half!) and it was surprising to see that we’re more alike than probably either of us knew. It raises some interesting questions for me about how I show myself to people versus who I really am- thanks for something to think about!

    • The purpose of a post like this is to really draw in the people who are part of your tribe. It doesn’t mean other people can’t or won’t join in – they might – but the people who really speak your language will stick around. And who doesn’t want to be surrounded by people who understand them?

      It’s fascinating that we’re too scared to open up when doing so brings us a stronger connection. Humans are complex creatures.

  9. Great post! I think many people over-scrutinize what they say in fear of offending or alienating others (I know I do!). I think it’s wonderful that you’ve decided to filter less – I don’t stop reading regardless of your opinions, etc :)

    I can identify with so many of the things you mentioned, especially being childfree by choice (I know I wouldn’t like kids more if they were my own, and I’m definitely not chancing it – my mother tried that tactic also – haha!) and being bad with directions (I’ve lost my car so many times it’s not funny – on streets because I forget how to get back to it and in parking lots or garages – once I was sure it had to have been stolen!).

    In my opinion college educations are often overrated, even though it’s probably the thing I’ve done that I’m most proud of. Not simply getting the education, but what I had to go through to get it. In my tiny town of 3000, not very many people attended college anyway, and the subject was never even broached in my family since no one else had ever attended. However one day about a year after I graduated from high school I came to the realization that the only way of having another kind of life outside the small town was to go to college. I called up a college in my state (it wasn’t even a question to go out of state due to higher tuition) and got an application (didn’t even tell my parents). I was somehow accepted, but mind you, I had NO IDEA how I was going to pay for it or even how to get there (yes, coming from a small town I was pretty naive!). I had however worked all during high school, so paid for my own car and decided, well, I’ll just drive there and find a place to live. This was over 20 years ago before the real internet age, so there was no way to just google everything – haha. So I set out, drove 5 hours to the town and went to a bulletin board on campus where I found 3 people wanting one more roommate for an apartment. Fall came around and I loaded up my car and off I went. I then figured out how to apply for loans, got a job and managed to graduate (after transferring to another college later due to deciding on a major the first didn’t have). Looking back, I honestly don’t know how I managed to graduate, but I did and have since gotten a doctorate degree. I was a lot less naive after all of that and much like you moving from NM to DC, it taught me that I can definitely take care of myself!

    So, with that being said, if it’s really important to you, you can always go back to college – there are so many distance programs now also (I did a distance program through Creighton University for my doctorate) that you can easily do it anywhere. But if it’s something that you simply think matters to others, who cares – don’t even worry about it! :) Like I said, college degrees are often overrated and I think many are pushed into going for the wrong reasons.

    Anyway, you probably didn’t expect to get a LONG story like mine! You may reconsider asking people to tell you something about themselves in the future – LOL!

    • Traci, you are a woman after my own heart. I love every sentence in this story, and it makes me want to pour you a glass of wine and urge you to keep talking. You have a fascinating story, and I can’t believe how brave and resourceful you were at such a young age. You must really feel like you can do anything. Wow!

      • Looking back I think it’s probably a good thing that I was so naive going into the entire experience or I never would have had the courage to try – haha!

        Who knows – maybe we’ll meet up somewhere during your travels and we can have that glass of wine and chat :)

    • Debb Whitlock says:

      Traci – I don’t know you and love you! So great you shared!

  10. Joe Benik says:

    Nice post, Betsy. I’ve known you for quite a few years, but I didn’t know many of the things you’ve mentioned, including your affection for Perez Hilton. Very interesting stuff. I have a list of 25 Random things about me as a note in the Boxes section of my Facebook profile. You are welcome to check it out.

    • Joe, I wish everyone could read your list. I’m already married to the perfect man for me, but I’m pretty damn sure you are the perfect man in general. Thanks for sharing your list – I’m not sure how I missed it before.

  11. I think I want to talk with you even more after seeing this list. Maybe our paths will cross during your journey.

    Although this may sound like a sacrilege to a book buff, maybe you should consider getting a device so you can read books with a kindle app. We were pushed in this direction because of how awful the book exchange options were in Latin America. Several expats in Buenos Aires convinced us that they read much more now with the kindle app than when they had to rely on finding English language books.

    • Hi, Audrey. I would love to meet you guys on the road. You have really inspired us over the last couple of years. We’re even going to Antarctica after reading about your experience there.

      Speaking of books, I did make the jump to Kindle last year. It was tough to do because I am such a fan of paper books and independent bookstores, but I know this is the practical step for our trip. One of the things I’m most looking forward to is the ability to read deeply into certain subjects, and this will make it possible.

      • I’ve been seriously debating the Kindle completely for that reason also. It would make traveling so much easier since I always want to take too many books. At lease last time we traveled I limited myself to taking books that I knew I wouldn’t want to keep, so left them in various places along the way. But it’s a hard decision because I love the look of books on shelves and the feel of them – you just can’t get that from an eReader!

    • Hey Audrey,
      Great to hear from you and thank you for your comments. We would LOVE to see you and Dan on the road.

      We actually have 2 Kindles specifically for the trip. Given the amount of reading we knew that carrying books would be too hard so we got these over the last year (1 was actually a gift…even better). We debated the iPad for a long time and finally decided it was simply too much “bling” for us so we have the Kindle and have already started loading them up with tons of books. Glad to know we are all on the same page!

      Warren

  12. I love it!

    I’m pretty open about myself, you kind of have to be when you don’t wear pants….FLING!

  13. You are my new best friend!!

  14. Nancy Juetten says:

    That comment you make about kids makes them sound like science experiments. That is one very polarizing statement if ever I read one.

    • I guess it would be polarizing if I were making a judgement, but I’m just stating personal preference. If it makes you feel any better, kids don’t usually like hanging out with me, either. :)

      • Michelle Goerdel says:

        Funny you should say that Betsy- I’m not particularly keen on kids but they seem to gravitate towards me. Not sure why? I totally agree about the kid thing- and I had one : ) I found that my one was okay but those other ones- no thank you, and more than one was not my preferred option! I let other people keep the species going, TYVM.

  15. Gay men love you too Betsy! AT least this one does for sure! I love your posts and how inspiring they are. And thought provoking. You’ve got a talent for getting people to relate your posts to their own lives. Good way for some introspective thinking.

    It’s crazy how many of your points I can pretty much say “Yup, me too. Uh huh. . . . wait. She’s in my head!!!” Well, except for Perez Hilton. I can’t stand that man.

    • You know I love you especially, Corey. Or I’m sure I would if we ever met in person. I get your thing with Perez. I actually like Michael K on DListed better in terms of a fun gossip site, but I think Perez is a much better businessman. As a blogger, that inspires me. He’s built an empire around his blog and his own interests – gotta love that.

      I just checked out your site and see you are leaving not too long after us. Smart of you to miss the Canadian winter! And since you are starting in South America we might just run into each other – keep us posted when you leave.

      • Leslie Irish Evans says:

        Figured I’d hop on here:

        Reading along…loving it…proud of myself for knowing several of them already (thinking: “Wow, I know a lot of these! Does that qualify me as CLOSE friend?”) and then WHAMMO! Perez Hilton? I died a little.

        Good thing you’re so darn cute. ;-)

  16. Naked Girl in a Dress says:

    I saw your comment at Think Traffic and decided to check you out. I am so glad I did! Your site is fantastic. So fantastic that I subscribed.

    Thanks for making your list like Corbett because now I feel like I know you as I start to follow your site.

    I will be back again soon!

    • Hi, Naked Girl. You have a fantastic blog! Love your writing style and the humor with which you talk about divorce and reinventing yourself in your 40s. Humor can get you through some really tough spots, can’t it?

      Are you going to do a similar post on your blog? I’d love to know more about the person behind those witty posts.

  17. I don’t know about other readers, but what I look for in lifestyle blogs such as yours is authenticity. If you aren’t authentic, I’m almost positive the readers will catch you, so it’s probably best to just be yourself. You might lose a few if you curse a little, but you might not have wanted them anyway.

    So, for me, I enjoy the posts about riding naked on a bike, or the pic above where you guys attended a Gay Pride parade. Those are things that just aren’t going to happen for me (no chance I go for a naked bike ride, and I live in Mississippi, making it doubtful a Pride parade is held here anytime soon). But I sure like reading about those experiences as you have them!

    I really like this post as well. You totally gave a bunch of people that you don’t know or hardly know a way to connect with who you are as a person. That is pretty freaking cool!

    All that to say (I can’t believe this is so long), that I really like your blog as it is, and I like that you guys try and show your true selves. I want to do as you are doing some day and plan a travel lifestyle, but until my wife and I see eye-to-eye on that idea, I will just have to watch you through this blog to see how it’s done.

    • Hi, Brian. My dad is from Pontotoc, Mississippi. ‘Nuff said.

      Thank you for your comment. It really warms my heart and makes me remember what it was like living in my small town in New Mexico. The Internet saved me because I could see life outside my town and find other people online like me. It made me feel like less of a black sheep than before, and that changed my life.

      Keep pursuing what interests you and connecting with people. Your world is as big as you allow it to be, no matter where you live.

    • Brian, I escaped from a tiny town in rural AL and now can’t imagine how I ever lived there, so I know what you mean about not riding bikes naked and the low possibility of ever having a Pride parade. In fact, my entire family (and extended family) still lives in AL or MS. Good luck convincing your wife of the joys of a travel lifestyle – I’d bet that she would love it once she tried it :)

  18. Can I just say that I love love love it when you guys interact with each other here in the comments? Please feel free to more of that. We’re all part of the same tribe, you know.

  19. I love it! Fantastic post, Betsy. How did it feel? It came across so naturally. I really feel like I know you now. And you’re right, life is short and there are no do-overs. Some cliches are worth repeating. Or living by. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Corbett. Your post was a great inspiration, and I love how you brought the subject over to the Think Traffic blog, too. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and I feel like it brought our tribe front and center. Maybe because I was speaking directly to them instead of trying not to offend anyone else.

      Thanks again for the inspiration – this is a great new direction for our blog.

  20. Wow…me too…#1, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #20, #21, #23, #24, #25

  21. Thanks for sharing so much of yourself on here, I’ve always thought you were authentic but to open up so much, that is great! I’m a mother of 2 and I definitely don’t consider myself to be maternal, but I’d do anything for my own two, so I’m not sure if that makes me maternal or not (I guess it depends on your definition of maternal). I can remember one day when a guy popped into our office and he had his little daughter with him, I was talking to her and gooing and gaaing, after he’d left someone said to me that they thought I didn’t like kids. My response – I don’t but I’m not rude about it!
    Oh and I can live with the emoticons, just don’t get me started on LOL!!!!!
    Cheers
    Judy

  22. I like you even more now!
    We tend to feel closer to those we can be our authentic selves with,
    like with good friends, marriage and family.
    I can relate to everything on your list including just meeting my birth father a few years ago…he lived 40 minutes from where I lived here in Hawaii and I didn’t even know it.
    Thanks for being you!

    • Hi, Kate. I’ve noticed over the last several comments that we have a lot in common. It feels good to open up and share, even if it doesn’t always go the way you hope it will, doesn’t it? Sometimes that allows you to clarify things that would have stayed unmended.

  23. hestden says:

    I like you more than ever! Your list makes me want to create one of my own. Keep going strong! LIve your truth!

  24. This is intersting. Keep going strong!

  25. Hey Betsy – great post. I share #1 with you – if it helps, refer to yourself as an autodidact. I think you fill the bill – I know I do. I’m also pretty much the same on 6, 16, 20, 21, and 23. And my wife broke up with *me* after our first (blind) date. But that was 1984 and we’re still making it work (oozy kids & all).

    Thanks for putting it out there (and if people can’t take f’ing and blanking, then f them, right?)

    • jerry ridling says:

      item # 18, i can understand, reference back to item # 14, what kind
      of person do you consider me to be? Or should item # 19 be the rule here, not a subject to discuss. Perhaps i am confused, but am i like those you would consider “not the kind of folks you would
      invite over to dinner? Explain if you will…… thanks,

      jerry

    • Dwayne, you always crack me up. I’ll be saying “f’ing and blanking” as my new curse words from now on. :) And I’m always thrilled to be put in the same category as a curious sort like you. Autodidact it is!

  26. The PI stuff was mostly insurance fraud-related, and it feels just as icky to work for an insurance company intent on preventing the payment of a claim as it does to investigate people who are trying to scam the insurance companies. Again, neither side makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. But the cool thing is that I learned a lot about internet research and going around the regular routes to find out things, which is a handy skill to have in life. This helped me in my later personal research.

    It sounds like you are drawing conclusions from my feelings about PI work and transferring them to the fact I used that PI training in my personal life, which is not related at all. Two distinct things, which it looks like I didn’t make very clear.

    Definitely okay hanging out with people I seek out, not so much with people I was hired to investigate or the people who paid me to do it.

    • jerry ridling says:

      that explanation makes it understandable. thanks for filling in the
      blanks. no more questions……

  27. mercedes says:

    Don’t care about what people can tell about you !! From Spain let me say that your blog is really inspiring, I would like to do many things like you but….for many I don’t dare…. !!! and about you and the things you’ve never told us..my feeling is that you are GREAT !!!

    • Thanks, Mercedes. Nice to know our message is reaching so far! We spent a very fun week in Barcelona a few years ago and can’t wait to return to explore more of Spain on our trip.

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