One would think that riding naked in a parade would be enough sharing for a year. However, I realized after Betsy wrote her post last week giving you a deeper insight into who she is that I have yet to provide you with a similar back-stage insight into Warren Talbot. Be warned, it is scary to see how my mind works but for you who are adventurous here is a view into my life and what guides my decisions and how I approach each new day:
- My father was killed by a drunk driver when I was 10 and he was 32. I have become who I am today because of this reality and it has shaped many of the decisions and attitudes I hold dear to this day. One of the strangest days in my life was the day I realized I was older than him at his death and that I would have an opportunity at experiences he never could realize. As a unintended consequence I discovered that my mother is the most amazing person I know for raising us while dealing with the loss of her spouse and partner. While I would never wish this upon anyone, the truth is that I would not change it either as the resulting relationship with my mother is something I deeply cherish.
- I live my life by the credo “live life with no regrets”. My theory is that there is nothing I can do to change the decisions I have made or the things that have happened around me, so the only thing I can control is how I will respond to it.
- While I am an atheist, I read constantly about different religions to understand their origins and belief systems. I believe that religion will be the ultimate downfall of society and that deeply troubles me. Logically I cannot understand why so many beliefs based on the same principles could create such strife and misery in the world, but each day I read more in hopes to discover the rationale.
- I love dogs…ok I love ALL animals. I am worried that when we get on the road my heart will be broken by all the dogs on the streets and I will constantly try to convince Betsy to let me take them all home.
- I love to debate virtually any issue. I find that in debate you have the opportunity to learn how other people think and to understand their perspective on an issue or life in general. It seems to me there is no better way to learn about an issue (or a person) than to dive into a healthy and honest debate.
- In my life I have never taken a vacation longer than 1 week. This seems rather odd when you consider we are about to embark on a 3+ year trip around the world. I often worry how I will handle this much down-time and my ability to adjust to a life OF vacation and not a life FOR vacation.
- I am a staunch supporter for same-sex marriage. While I am not gay myself I see absolutely no logical reason why we should not allow 2 consenting adults that love each other to share the same rights that Betsy and I have available to us. I will debate this point with anyone, at any time, much to the chagrin of my wonderful wife.
- My career is not who I am. Until 2 years ago I could never imagine uttering these 7 words. I have defined myself by my career for almost 20 years, but today I sit here comfortable with the idea of not letting my career say who I am. The challenge now becomes creating a new definition for myself, and that scares the shit out of me.
- The movie, book, and soundtrack of “Into the Wild” engrosses my interest to an almost manic level. I am mesmerized by the story of wanting a simpler life and the extremes to which some people will go to pursue their adventure. While I never expect to wander off into the wilderness, the story inspires me to want more from the life I have.
- I am jealous of people that can walk up to any stranger and break the ice without effort. The character Hank Moody on “Californication” has the attitude I aspire to for my life. Carefree and willing to think the best of people at all times, and I know I must push myself outside of my comfort zone to be better.
- I have a disproportionate sense of fairness and deplore people who feel they are entitled to better treatment or that the rules of society do not apply. My list of pet peeves (and there are many) all center here. Put your shirt on when you are driving, mowing, running, yoga etc. Do not use your cell phone in a restaurant. Respect pedestrians when you are driving. Ah, this is but a glimpse and I wish it did not bother me so much.
- I count myself lucky have found my perfect partner in life. I cannot imagine finding a more perfect person to spend my life. Every day I wake up next to her I smile and know it will be a good day. She makes me a better person just being with her.
- I always assume that the high point of my life is ahead of me. I have never been happier than I am at this point in my life, but fully expect to be happier tomorrow.
- I do not pine to be a different age than I am right now. I cannot recall ever wanting to go back to my 20’s or even remotely considered the idea of going back to high school appealing. I am 39, cannot change this, and frankly would not want to if I could.
- I am a great storyteller, but as evidenced by the length of this post, I can get deeply engrossed in the narrative. I find that stories help me to be a better communicator as well as bring life to my experiences as I relay them to others.
- The Pacific Northwest is a gorgeous place to live and I will miss it while we are gone. Many people believe that I am running away from here but the truth is I simply want to experience more of what the world has to offer.
- I have signed a contract that forbids me from telling the story of how Betsy and I met. It is still my favorite story…
- I struggle to stay focused on any project and my mind rarely slows down.
- In my life I have used the snooze alarm less than 5 times. I realize this may seem blasphemous to many of you and I hope you still respect me. I am here today to announce to you all: “My name is Warren Talbot and I am a morning person”.
- For the first time in my life I cannot tell you where I plan to be or what I will be doing in 6 months. This idea both excites and terrifies me.
- I feel most alone in a crowd of people. While I am an incredibly social person, I will not walk up to strangers and start making conversation. However, once the ice is broken I could sit and chat for hours.
- In the last 4.5 years I have not driven to work and I would be happy to never drive a car again. I find that I am most stressed in my life when behind the wheel and thus can go weeks/months without driving. Public transportation is my friend.
- I do not know what I will DO when we return from the trip, and I have finally come to peace with this. My lack of concern is now freaking me out.
- I want this trip to help me become the person I aspire to be. I have created a list of things I want to get out of the trip (be more patient, more willing to let go, more spontaneous (ok, any spontaneity)) and will share more in an upcoming post.
The experiences that have shaped me are varied and accumulated over almost 40 years. Sitting down with a blank page and thinking about sharing who I am has been emotionally exhausting. Creating the list above (and a much longer list of things I did not include) caused me to confront the difference between the facts of my life versus why I am the man I am.
The end result is that I am proud of who I have become and deeply grateful for all the experiences (good and bad) that molded me to this point.