By the time you read this, I will be in Iceland. Or maybe I’ll already have returned from Iceland. Either way, the important thing to note is that I am sitting on my bed writing this blog post rather than packing my suitcase in preparation for my 7:45 am trip to the Pittsburgh International Airport the day after tomorrow.
If Marla’s blog were written by me, it would be a cultural hub for procrastinators. Possible topics to include: “How to procrastinate the required reading for your trip to Iceland by writing a blog post,” “How to procrastinate packing for said trip to Iceland by writing a blog post,” “How to procrastinate packing up your campus apartment by watching DVDs of Will & Grace Season 6 and eating spoonfuls of Nutella while mourning the passing of your first year of grad school,” etc. etc.
In fact, if you look at my own blog, you’ll see that I have a talent for procrastinating making posts there by taking part in extracurricular activities. Or napping. The only thing I don’t procrastinate is tweeting.
I like to put off change. Which is odd to admit, as a person who’s constantly looking for new ways to change his life. I dream of moving to another country or getting a tattoo or finally starting a long-term relationship. In other words, I fantasize about trading in my restlessness for setting up roots somewhere. The scary part is, I think it might already be happening.
When I moved to Pittsburgh from suburban New Jersey this past August, I was entering an MFA program to put off becoming a member of the “Real World.” I was simultaneously seeking a way to leave home and try a city on for size, albeit a very laid-back city (which is kind of like riding a bike with training wheels.) Manhattan was too close to home and too fast-paced. DC was too foreign from my past experience. Pittsburgh was the healthy middle ground—a thriving cultural arts scene, which was new for me, but the same neighborhood feel that I was used to. Maybe the gay scene isn’t as lively as it is at home and maybe there aren’t as many drag shows as I’d like, but Pittsburgh seemed (and still seems) like a nice compromise. A good next step.
I didn’t think I’d want to stay. I mean, I knew I’d be here for two years to get my MFA. But then I made awesome friends. I added concentrations to my degree so that I’ll be here for an extra semester. I started realizing I could make a life here. And then, beyond all explanation, I started to like the idea of staying.
Pittsburgh did me dirty in a way I never expected. It wasn’t a quick hookup with no call the next day. Pittsburgh was a good cuddler who made me breakfast in the morning. All it asked in return was that I stop being such a playboy. That I start a new life of “strings attached.”
So now, as I get ready for a 10-day trip to Iceland and a two-month visit home, I don’t want to leave. I don’t want to say goodbye to friends for two-thirds of the summer. I’m contemplating handcuffing myself to the radiator in my living room and staging a sit-in.
Sure, I’ll be happy to see my family and college friends. I’ll still entertain the idea of one day living in the UK. I’ll picture what it would be like to move to San Francisco or Seattle or Atlanta. But, in the back of my head, I’ll always hear Pittsburgh calling.
What I’m saying is I think I’m growing up. What I’m saying is, for a twenty-something, that idea is a little terrifying.
So maybe if Marla’s blog were written by me, it would be about Peter Pan syndrome. Maybe it would be about finding yourself along the way. Maybe it would be about life’s little “unexpectations.”
I’m not really sure. All of the pieces are still coming together, so I don’t want to slap a label on them just yet. But they are, in a seemingly providential and yet wholly accidental fashion. I guess life can be pretty miraculous that way.
I’m Dakota Garilli, originally born under a different name that didn’t seem to suit my distinct brand of absurdity. I’m currently a graduate student at Chatham University pursuing my MFA in nonfiction and poetry. I recently moved to Pittsburgh from Bergen County, New Jersey for school and I love the city so far.
Questions? Raves? Rants? Email this wonderful blogger at firstname.lastname@example.org, or do like Marla does and go obsess over his blog for awhile: Dakota Garilli
Traveling Marla is unplugged for three weeks while she prepares for her move to South Africa. She put out a call for guest posts (see original request here), and is grateful to receive so much support! Please see the full list below.
Please support these writers by reading each of their guest posts and checking out their own blogs!
Thanks, as always for taking time to read my blog and comment. Although I’m offline right now, I will return in a few short weeks when we’re settled in South Africa and I promise to read all of your comments!
Love, MarlaBaz – The Landy (Out and About and Having Fun) Brandon: my quirky, brilliant, dashing nephew Dallas, of Crazy Train to Tinky Town CultFit Caroline, of Currer and the Bells Dakota Garilli Trophos, of The Dancing Professor Leo, of Doggy’s Style Kayla, of Encounter Peru Benjamin Prewitt – Expression of my life – An evolution of art Kriscinda, of Heavy Metal Homesteading Lynne, of Home Free Adventures Jeff: my witty and hilarious ebberlubbinbrudder Jody, of Human Triumphant Julie of J-Bo.net Ingrid, of Live Laugh RV Ned Hickson of Ned’s Blog Rose, of On the Go Fitness Pierr Morgan Leslie and Amanda, of Survival is Relative Colin of Uber Beast Mode Robyn, of You Think Too Much