Monday, May 20, 2013

international dating is for suckers

This is the third time I've returned home and told my friends about some new guy I've met in some crazy place and fallen in love with. And it's the third time they've scoffed it off, no one caring enough to ask about it because they "knew" it wouldn't last. Some said it out loud, which drove me crazy.

We all want to believe it is going to work out, no matter what country or what circumstances. Love conquers all, right?

Well, it doesn't work. If I were more rational or less masochistic, I would stop trying. But, unfortunately, there is nothing better than those moments when it is working. Everything Roy Orbison ever said was right.

So here I am, eating one of a million meals alone, letting Chuck Berry and Joni Mitchell try to convince me that it's all worth it. Well, I'm not listening today, Joni. What the hell do you know anyway?

If there is one thing I can say about dating while globetrotting, it's this – you're still alone. And you're going to wind up feeling more alone.

With that, here are the songs I'm listening to today. Call it a "wallow mix."

Can't You See - Marshall Tucker Band

Rye Whiskey - As sung by Pete Seeger

Save Me - Amy Mann

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

When I'm feeling sad, I just have to remember this quote

I was down in the hen house on my knees
I thought I heard a chicken sneeze

Only a rooster sayin' his prayers
Thankin' his God for the hens upstairs


~Woody Guthrie

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

She’s leaving home

I’m in Rome running on my eighth day without a full night of sleep. So my rose-colored glasses are on while I am writing this blog summing up my last weeks in Omaha. I didn’t post for awhile because I replaced all of my self-reflection time with socializing and living what was the last of my Omaha life for the next several months.

Walking the streets of Rome with my only friend in the city, he asked me if I could ever move back to Omaha. Of course, I said. He was surprised, as many ex-pats are. Most left home and could never foresee themselves returning. You change, the longer you’re gone. And you start to feel like an outsider more when you return. People want to hear less and less about your life abroad–who you’re dating, what you saw, how you felt. And eventually, you are leading two separate lives and you have to choose to live one fully, rather than living both fragmented.

I try not to let this happen. I want to keep the people I love in my life. I want to maintain my Omaha identity. But I also want to travel the world and meet new people. So don’t wonder why I post 200 photos on Facebook of Omaha. Don’t wonder why, in some manor house in England, you’ll find me telling people about Warren Buffet and the Dust Bowl and Saddle Creek Records. It’s because I am trying to take you all with me, trying to take home with me.

My last night in Omaha, a small dive bar in South O was filled with love. I can’t remember the last time I had so many friends in one place. My brother Kyle got to meet my best friend Ricky; Fr Doll got to discuss theology with Duffy; I got to dance with nearly everyone to the Pulp Fiction soundtrack in the jukebox.

I stayed up all night, and then had to say my goodbyes again, walk through the revolving doors of the Omaha Eppley Airport again, and hug my dad again, always trying not to cry until I’m alone. I had to find my gate again and capture the skyline in my mind again.

And I have to burn all this into my brain. That I am saying “bon voyage” not “goodbye”. I have to remember that no matter how long I leave, that this is my home. Because without all of you guys, who am I? Travel is only so meaningful if I don’t have family and friends to relay it to later. This blog offers me only so much comfort if I’m the only one reading it.

I need my home. And I need to travel. And I’ll find a way to make it work.

(Thanks, Fr Doll, for all the great photos. ©2013 Don Doll, S.J.)