“Things separate from their stories have no meaning.” — Cormac McCarthy
How would you describe your life so far? Has it followed a clean narrative, with dramatic arcs at appropriate milestones like your first love, the start of your career or a death in the family? Or has it felt more like a series of random events that have piled upon one another forming your present self, holding no more meaning than a pile of dirty snow or an episode of the Real World?
As a journalist by trade, I thrive on stories. I make sense of the world by connecting the dots into the clean narratives that you read or hear about in the daily news cycle. But I have to admit that when I lost my job at a daily newspaper several months ago, I felt like I was caught up in some horrible shitwave that swept over and laid waste to the story I had crafted for myself — the one about the intrepid young journalist who makes his way into the majors through raw drive and determination. I moved back in with my parents and faced the crippling question of what to do next. I started watching a lot of tv. I gained 20 pounds. I stared into a deep abyss of frozen pizza and Jersey Shore reruns, and it looked back into a confused young man who felt like he’d been bitterly cheated out of the life he was painstakingly building.
So was it random chance that I found a job in Peru while idly browsing international job listings, or was it the grand narrative arc that would bring me from rock bottom into something amounting to self-actualization? I don’t know yet, but in two months, I’ll be moving from northern Wisconsin into a new life in Lima, a giant metropolis perched upon the Pacific’s Ring of Fire. I’ll use this blog to document the journey, from brushing up on Spanish at home to (hopefully) hiking the Inca Trail on my way to Machu Pichu. Expect tons of pictures, stories of people and places, and lots of lengthy descriptions of food.
Until next time, this is me signing off.