The Scamp and the Gratitude Challenge: Week 21

This is all about summer.

There are a lot of things about summer that I am grateful for. Summer is usually when I have the most time off. The time when I can lay by the pool everyday, wear shorts and sandals, and enjoy the fact that my mom has three months off without school.

Summer=time to recharge

2013-07-18 13.11.49

This year summer means Scotland. Summer means traveling, adventure, and then going home after two very stressful years. I’m still worried about what will happen when I get to Scotland. I’m worried that my apartment will fall through and I will have to look again for a place to live. I’m worried about sending my stuff on to Scotland, and having clothes and shoes that are professional enough for work, but fun enough for vacation. I’m worried about finding a job when I get there, and being able to afford all of the upfront costs of the visa, my rent, food, and phone and internet.

I am looking forward to summer though. Summer in Scotland is something that I have yet to really experience. I’m excited for the festival, excited to sit in the park and read a book, excited to watch the military tattoo. I’m excited to hike up Arthur’s Seat and not get caught in the rain (or a snow flurry). I’m looking forward to sunny days to explore new neighborhoods, reaclamating to Scotland.

I have 11 days left in the US. Tomorrow I will start packing and get ready for the move, and for the trip to Spain. I’mm not looking forward to this part of the process. There will be tears…lots of tears, for all of the shoes that I am going to have to leave behind.

The Scamp and Some Queens

This has been a busy week. So busy, in fact, that I have a lot to say, and each needs to be its own post. I’ll start with The queens. No one loves drag queens more than I love drag queens. When I lived in San Diego, I was a frequent guest at Lips for Gospel Sunday Brunch, bitchy bingo, and two bachelorette parties. When RuPaul started RuPual’s Drag Race seven seasons ago, I was hooked. It was America’s Next Top Model meets Bad Girls Club. I had no idea that they taped the finale in Los Angeles, so when my favorite queen told me he had an extra ticket at the last minute, I cancelled my plans to lay in bed in my pjs all day to go see three queens lip sync for their life.

It was every bit as magical as I hoped it would be. Everything about the day was great. I got to spend some good quality time with my ride or die, his friend who was also a drag queen enthusiast was a blast and a half, and everyone that we met while waiting in line, and once we made it into the theater was great. The 18-year-old girls standing in line behind us made me feel old, and were the strangest groupies that I have ever met, and the group of 40-year-old men trying to look 20 in front of us laughed at my jokes, and provided some very colorful insight into how they thought the finale would play out.

Photo courtesy of I. Noe

Photo courtesy of I. Noe

Once we got into the theater, we got to watch the queens walk the red carpet, pose for pictures, and do interviews with Logo, and online blogs and fashion sites. Following the red carpet, the queens all went into a makeshift bar and lounge where they took pictures, chatted, and mingled with the guests. Of the 10 or so that we talked to, only one was bitchy. Everyone else was so fun and nice. Many of the girls made their own dresses, and some even offered advice about how to take a proper photo with a drag queen (Always have the flash on, and always put your arm around their waist). Ivan and Katie were starstruck, so while I snapped as many photos as possible with them and the queens, I failed to actually get myself into any of the photos.

Pearl, Violet, and Ginger Minnj, the Season 7 finalists. Photo courtesy of I. Noe

Pearl, Violet, and Ginger Minnj, the Season 7 finalists.
Photo courtesy of I. Noe

By far the best outfit of the night.  Photo courtesy of @rupaulsdragrace

By far the best outfit of the night.
Photo courtesy of @rupaulsdragrace

Season 6 winner Bianca Del Rio. This bitch stole the show with her opening acts.  Photo courtesy of @thebiancadelrio

Season 6 winner Bianca Del Rio. This bitch stole the show with her opening acts.
Photo courtesy of @thebiancadelrio

The taping was an interesting experience. As this was my first time ever being at a show taping, I was not quite sure what to expect. It was a bit strange to tape all of our reactions to different events before the taping even started. We laughed, we cheered, we looked shocked, we looked sad, we held hands and danced with the people around us….all before we ever saw any of the performances, or the show officially started taping. When the actual taping started, it was a lot of fun to see RuPaul try to read off cue cards, for the queens to lip sync their songs, and to see what their friends and family had to say about them making it this far in the competition. There was even a celebrity in the audience. To be honest, I thought she was one of the drag queens when she came in, but she was nice enough, and seemed very normal…a very drastic change from her usual public persona. It was quite nice to see her that way.

With goes to show you how tall RuPaul really is. Miley Cyrus is 5'4 Photo courtesy of @mileycyrus

With goes to show you how tall RuPaul really is. Miley Cyrus is 5’4
Photo courtesy of @mileycyrus

Posing with the Season 7 contestants. Photo courtesy of @mileycyrus

Posing with the Season 7 contestants.
Photo courtesy of @mileycyrus

I cannot wait to see the finale all edited together when it airs next week. I’m team Pearl all the way, but Ginger Minj made a strong showing, so it is anyone’s game. Here is a video from the walk down the red carpet for all to enjoy.

The Scamp and the “C” Word

Of the 15,500 obscure words in the dictionary for the International House of Loggorrhea, 1,317 words start with the letter “C.” Of course, if you take into account the simple, ordinary, everyday words, I am sure that the number is might be about 8,000 or so words that start with the silly little inconsequential letter “C”. Some of my favorite words start with the letter “C”….cat, chicken, cactus, can, courage, compassion, but there is one word that starts with the letter “C” that I just cannot stand.

Cancer. According to, cancer:




  1. a malignant and invasive growth or tumor, especially one originating in epithelium, tending to recur after excision and to metastasize to other sites.

any disease characterized by such growths

Word Origin
C14: from Latin: crab, a creeping tumour; related to Greek karkinos crab, Sanskrit karkata
Cancer sucks. Nothing ever good comes from the word cancer. All that being said, cancer and I have become good friends these last couple of weeks. It was not my choice to become friends, but cancer decided to move in with the one person who means the most to me in this world. Now, this is not the first time that my mom has battled cancer, and the sad thing is, it probably won’t be the last time, but it does not make it any less scary with each time that she has to go under the knife. She has given up quite a bit of nonessential space to cancer over the years (I mean, who needs lymph nodes, or a uterus, or even one of your auditory nerves?), and now she has to give up part of her leg to skin cancer. She has been largely silent while dealing with this, and I honestly went back and forth about whether or not I should make her struggle public. The thing is, writing about it helps me cope. I’ve written about horrible break-ups, deaths, being bullied, being expelled, dealing with horrible, soul crushing depression, so to write about my mom’s cancer seems only natural because it helps me cope.
I’m with my mom everyday. I can see that she is not dying, and I have a feeling that the doc will be able to scoop it all out tomorrow, and other than no longer being allowed to sit in the sun, my mom will be no worse for the wear. Logically, I know all of this to be true. There is still a part of me that is worried that they are going to take the leg, or that the cancer has spread in the month since they found it and are going to remove it. I’m worried that she keeps saying everything will be fine because she doesn’t want us to worry, when in reality, it is really bad. I’ve spent the last three years trying to learn to not borrow trouble before it is due, but it is times like this when I am sitting alone, it is late, and I have way too many things that need to be done, that my mind wanders and I start to think of all the bad things that might happen. It is times like this that I question my choice to move so far away. If she has to go through chemo, there is no one to sit with her and play scrabble, or make bad jokes. If she gets worse, there is no one here to make sure the house stays clean, to cook meals, and to watch bad reality TV with her. It would take me almost 24 hours to get home if something really bad happened. It makes me feel selfish that I am going off on this big adventure and doing something for purely selfish reasons when she could need the help here.
I already know that she would tell me that is ridiculous. She has my dad to help her, and she will be just fine. Well, I’ve been in the car with my dad, and I know how long it takes him to cook a meal, so things might go as well for her as she hopes….just saying.
While I am always a little bit afraid (okay, a lot a bit afraid) of the “C” word, I am also exhausted, and frustrated by it. How much more is one person supposed to take? When does my mom get a vacation from the health issues? Why can’t the cancer go bug someone else? Shoot, I’d take it this round instead of her. I can see how tired she, how ready she is to not have to deal with things like this. It makes me mad that she is carrying this burden, and for the most part, she is carrying it all by herself.
Since the procedure is not at the hospital, I am going to stay home and man the phones while she is at the doctor’s office. My time will be better spent here anyway. When she had brain surgery, it was the longest seven hours of my life, and we were camped out by the little room they took people into to tell them their loved ones had died. It was stressful. At least at home I can grade papers, watch TV, do yoga, and be distracted enough to keep my mind off things.
Tomorrow, I am hoping she goes into the doctor’s office with two legs and come out with 1.9 legs, laughing in the face of the skin cancer. I’m going to try and find local pet stores that sell parrots, just in case she comes home down a leg, and would like to transition into her life as a pirate immediately. I’d imagine it is hard to get your hands on a parrot, so it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.
A couple of weeks ago we had new family pictures done, and despite my mom’s hopes for normal, I think the photos capture us (and her cancerous leg) quite nicely.
 Aviary Photo_130762220554999908
You can see a person’s whole life in the cancer they get.”
― Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

I guess well educated sun goddess is a pretty accurate description

The Scamp and the Gratitude Challenge: Week 20

This week is all about friendship. I get to pick another friend that makes me feel grateful. The first one I was grateful for was my cat, Odin. He’s my favorite companion and he means a lot to me. Even as I try to get this out, he sits on my lap and drools all over my leg.

True story, here we are, me trying to write, him trying to figure out a way on to my pillow

True story, here we are, me trying to write, him trying to figure out a way on to my pillow

This week is hard only in the sense that I do not want to have to pick just one friend. Lately, all the ones that really matter to me have been amazing. Between baked goods and heart felt letters, to phone calls and reminders that I will be missed, and that I am loved, snarked with me, I am really feeling like I have made some good choices of people to have in my life. This was a good lesson for the week because in addition to being done with my job, and having to get serious about the packing, I have planned a little goodbye party. It is my last chance to see everyone before I go, and since this time is a little more permanent than the last time I left, I am taking it way more personally that some of the people that I have known for years are blowing me off. I’m not so sure why in a see of “yes” responses, I am letting the one or two “nos” really bother me. The wonderful thing about the friendships that I have made, is that when I voice this fear (and I have been moaning about it a lot), my friends have assured me that I am loved, and have reminded me to focus on the positive. These are the people that I cannot wait to Skype with, the people that I hope will come visit me, and the people that I know will be in my life for a very very long time.

and for that reason, and because the cat found his way to my pillow, I am going to refuse to just pick one friend that I am grateful for. Instead, I am going to look through the pictures on my computer, the photo album in the bottom of my nightstand, and my external flash drive from five years ago and take a walk down memory lane with some really good people.

The Scamp is Umemployed

in the United States anyway.

As of 8 pm Pacific Standard Time on May 13, 2015, I completed my contract with the community college. It is the last of my three jobs.

I got fired from the first one in January, except, no one told me. I worked hard as a research assistant, and now someone else’s name will go on the work. I quit the second job last week when I realized I spent more time hating the rude and horrid 13 year olds than helping them. They put me in a bad mood week after week, and I was unable to shut off my hatred of them and just do my job.

So I quit.

I only feel bad about quitting because my mom could use the help. I will say though, the yoga classes this week were a lot better because I wasn’t already frazzled when I got there.

The teaching job is a little different. I was actually a bit sad to see this job come to an end. The last time I was done with a job, it was to take the teaching job, so I was not the least bit sad to leave it. With this one, when I dismissed my students for the last time, I was sad to see them go. Many of them came up and gave me a hug, and a few of them who I have really gotten to know over the last year brought me gifts and really thoughtful cards. When a friend of mine asked me how I was feeling, and I gave him the honest answer.

I felt like I wanted to cry. I should be happy because now I have free time to sort out the packing and shipping, and really get into the literature I have found for the new project I am about to embark on, but when I was walking to my car last night, I was sad looking at the buildings and passing the library where I have spent the last month working with my students. I got an exit form, and when my grading is done, I will turn in my keys and the form. and be officially done with the campus. This job was my bright spot for the last year. Even when the rest of my world was falling down around me in flames, this job remained a bright spot. I liked my students for the most part, liked the people that I was working for and with, and thought that I was doing a pretty darn good job and teaching students how to write.

Earlier this week I got the written review of the class evaluation that I got in April. I was profoundly disappointed when I realized that I had simply been deemed “satisfactory.” I’ve never been just satisfactory at anything in my professional life. The thing is, nothing in the comments on the evaluation were bad. The couple of areas that needed to be improved were areas that I knew I was going to get dinged on (I mean, really, I have never used a rubric in my life). Satisfactory is good. Satisfactory is 80/100. The thing is, I do not feel like I am an 80/100. I’m a 100/100. I’m not sure why people do not see that. I know that the chair of the department was only in my class for an hour, but I have to say, I thought it was a pretty good hour. My mother patiently reminded me that I am a part timer, and that they had already offered me two classes for the fall, so I should be more than happy with my review. I was still smarting about my review at 8 pm last night when I let my class go for the last time. One of my students who I had both last semester and this semester came in and brought me a note that she had forgotten to give me when she saw me earlier in the day. This is what it says”

Dear Ms. Wilder,

    I wanted to write (type) you a few words before you leave overseas. Well, to start off, congratulations on getting a full-time job in Scotland! I am truly happy for you. You have told us many times that you wanted a full-time job, and now you have it, although I am sad about it as well. You are the best English teacher I have ever had! I have learned so much in your class. I was so nervous when I started attending school because I had not been in school for so long, but you were helpful, and guided us throughout the semester. I am so thankful that I was able to attend your class this semester too. When I first started coming to college, I knew that I wanted to major in English, but plenty of people tried to talk me out of it. The reassurance I needed came when you told us that that you had majored in English, and all of the experiences you had encountered on your way to achieving a higher education in Scotland. Learning all about your achievements in general made me realize that I should pursue something that I love. So, I thank you for that. You are an extraordinary professor, and I want you to know that: I love the way you teach, the communication that you have with your students, the way you organize your lectures, the clarity of your explanations when getting into a new essay, the comments you write in our journals and our essays to help us improve our writing, your dedication to each and every one of us, even the fact that you play music before class starts. That is what makes you stand out from other professors, the time you take to do the small things for your students that make a huge difference for us. You are original in everything you do. Wherever you go, please do not lose your unique style, both in teaching and in fashion. I am really going to miss you Ms. Wilder, I believe that I speak for the entire class when I say that. Those Scottish students are lucky! Good luck with your upcoming job.


Your English 100 student

That is all it took to remind me that I am anything other than satisfactory. This student has a bright future, and is going to do well in life, and I am going to take a little bit of pride knowing that I had a little hand in helping them along.

The Scamp in Limbo

  1. (in some Christian beliefs) the supposed abode of the souls of unbaptized infants, and of the just who died before Christ’s coming.
  2. an uncertain period of awaiting a decision or resolution; an intermediate state or condition.

I’m Kimbo in limbo.

I have 27 days left in the United States. I no longer have a car, have sold almost all of my old books, and the books from the program from CSUF, and have sold the dishes that I have owned since I was 19. The goal this weekend is to try and sell my desk, some fantastic pots and pans, and a very impressive Tupperware collection. This is just the start of my strange time in limbo. Friends I have had since I was 14 are suddenly strangers, and I have failed to keep up correspondence with my friends overseas. People all around me are making plans, and very few of them remember that I am moving away.

My plans in Scotland have been a bit derailed as well because of a mix-up with dates, so I have to rent a room before I can make it to my place. This means that I will not have my stuff shipped right away, so I have to make due with what I pack for Spain, and that means I have to pack more than I thought I would.

Basically I am throwing myself a pity party. I want people around here to miss me. I want someone to notice that I am leaving and be proud of the fact that I am finally getting back to Scotland and earning a PhD. Then I remember that I have done nothing but complain about living in the United States, and have done nothing but mourn, pine, and feel homesick for Scotland. I have done nothing here to warrant people missing me.

No wonder no one will miss me. It is an odd feeling to have everything that I want right on the horizon, and want to mourn the loss of the life I have here. I hate it here. I’ve been counting down the days until I can leave since I landed in Los Angeles almost two years ago. All the same, it is becoming very real to me that I am leaving and not coming back. So, while I do not quite belong in Scotland, I no longer belong here in California. I’m a stranger in a strange land, I’m living in limbo between two places.

I once told David that if we ever broke up I would never come back to the US again. Funny enough, he was the reason I came back, accepted a spot at CSUF, entered into a disastrous relationship with someone who emotionally abused me, and have gone to a deep deep deep dark and twisty place. Now I sit in limbo because of the choices I have made, and hope that the Scottish version of sunshine and rainbows is waiting for me when I get there.

“Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go.”
Brooks Atkinson

The Scamp and Gratitude Challenge Week 18 and 19

I am way behind in the challenge. Way way behind. I have been spending my time trying to get things ready for my move, and I have been trying to get some yoga sessions in before I leave. I was able to find a Groupon that allowed me 30 days of unlimited classes at a new studio by house, and so far, it has been a nice change from doing routines in my backyard.

I’m feeling a bit strange lately, which is why it is important to get back to the challenge. Today I handed over my car to the new owner, and I am starting to have to think about what to pack. I have 30 days left in the US and I think it is starting to set in that I am about to leave for good. I have a place to live, I finally have all the paperwork I need for my visa, and I have meetings and work set up for when I get to Scotland, and the people around me are starting to express their excitement. I am starting to feel very strange about it. I have spent almost three years trying to get back to Scotland,and now it is starting to become real that I actually get to go back.

So back to the challenge. Week 18 is all about the weather. This is easy. Right now the weather is just about perfect. The days are sunny and warm, and the nights are warm enough that I can have my window open and enjoy the breeze and fresh air while I sleep. Lately I have been able to work on my tan too, so by the time I get to Spain for vacation, I will look nice and golden. I am really going to miss the warm weather and the sun, but I am looking forward to the definitive seasons that Scotland offers. I’m looking forward to sunny days in summer, the leaves changing in fall, snow flurries in winter, and the cherry blossoms in bloom in the spring. I know that Scotland sees a lot of rain and wind, but I think the change will be nice. I’m looking forward to practicing yoga in the park, walking everywhere, and my umbrella turning inside out on a walk from the bus to campus. I will miss warm sunny days in California, but that will make visits home that much better.

Week 19 is health. This one is very important to me. May is Lupus Awareness Month. I was diagnosed in 2008, but I feel very lucky. This disease can be horrible, but so far, I have been able to manage my symptoms, and keep the bad days few and far between. For those who are not super familiar with Lupus, breaks it down:

What is lupus?

Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body). Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years.

In lupus, something goes wrong with your immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs (“foreign invaders,” like the flu). Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. Autoimmune means your immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues (“auto” means “self”) and creates autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These autoantibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body.

Lupus is also a disease of flares (the symptoms worsen and you feel ill) and remissions (the symptoms improve and you feel better).

These are some additional facts about lupus that you should know:

  • Lupus is not contagious, not even through sexual contact. You cannot “catch” lupus from someone or “give” lupus to someone.
  • Lupus is not like or related to cancer. Cancer is a condition of malignant, abnormal tissues that grow rapidly and spread into surrounding tissues. Lupus is an autoimmune disease, as described above.
  • Lupus is not like or related to HIV (Human Immune Deficiency Virus) or AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). In HIV or AIDS the immune system is underactive; in lupus, the immune system is overactive.
  • Lupus can range from mild to life-threatening and should always be treated by a doctor. With good medical care, most people with lupus can lead a full life.
  • Our research estimates that at least 1.5 million Americans have lupus. The actual number may be higher; however, there have been no large-scale studies to show the actual number of people in the U.S. living with lupus.
  • More than 16,000 new cases of lupus are reported annually across the country.
  • It is believed that 5 million people throughout the world have a form of lupus.
  • Lupus strikes mostly women of childbearing age (15-44). However, men, children, and teenagers develop lupus, too. Most people will develop lupus between the ages of 15-44.
  • Women of color are two to three times more likely to develop lupus than Caucasians.
  • People of all races and ethnic groups can develop lupus.

I have been lucky that I am mild. My health has been stable lately, and I have been fortunate enough to have access to doctors that can monitor me and keep me healthy. I know that I complain about Obamacare, but it is nice to have access to doctors and affordable medication. I am hoping that I can keep the trend of feeling good for a long long time.

This week’s gratitude challenge has temporarily calmed my fears and worries about the the coming month and moving to Scotland.

The Scamp and Bureaucracy

Hey Scotland…..I do not keep my old plane tickets….especially not from 3 years ago, so, no, I do not have any proof that I left the country before my visa expired.

Or, at least any proof that you would find acceptable.

Why Scotland, why do you think I am a criminal who is living on your fair land illegally?

The Scamp Has a Home

Today I found my home. One of my best friends from Scotland put me in touch with one of her co-workers who owns a one bedroom flat in an old bonded warehouse in Leith. While Leith is not near the campus where I will be working and going to school, it is near the water, it is safe and affordable, and it does not have to be a forever place. So far I have only traded emails with the owner, but she seems very nice, answered all of my questions, and seems to have a good sense of humor about the whole process. She tells me that she has had horrible renters in past, people that skipped out on two months worth of rent, people that have sold off all of the furniture that comes with the flat, and I guess the person living there is not really the best character.

I think the universe is rewarding me for all of the stress that I have been under lately. I still do not have my student number to apply for my visa, and I am still trying to figure out what to pack and how to get all of the things I need (and not necessarily all the things that I want) to my new home in time for me to get them.

I am very excited about my new home. I really haven’t seen it yet, but it already feels like it is my place. It already feels like this time I am going home after an extended leave. It will be the first time in two years that I live on my own, and while I am leaving behind my furniture, I am going to take some of my artwork and some pictures from my life here. I am excited to add my own personal touches, explore the area around the building, and find a library, a grocery store, and a good spot on the shore to sit and read books. This is the first time in a long time that I am excited to move, and I am not really worried about the packing, the shipping, and how to get the boxes once I send them to my new place. Knowing me, I will stress out about that as they come, but for right now, I am so excited that I can cross that off the list and that I will not be homeless on the 21st of June. Last time I did this I signed on to live in the dorms. At the time, I made the best choice I could, but this time I am 3 years older, and a whole lot wiser. No more dorms, no more snotty freshers, and no more awful food. The only awful food that will make it to my belly is the food that I cook.  I’m sure that my cooking will improve greatly when I get there because I will want to show off for my friends by cooking fancy, authentic Mexican food with kosher tortillas that I plan to smuggle in.

After two very long years, I am finally headed back to my home. Maybe this time there will be a puppy waiting for me when I get there.

The Scamp and the Gratitude Challenge: Week 14 and 15

As usual, I am behind on the challenge. Part of it is born out of pure laziness, and part of it is for the last couple of weeks I have felt like a petulant child who is one who is five seconds away from throwing themselves on the floor for a full on tantrum. I’m having visa issues, and that is really stressing me out. The stress, in turn, is making me cranky with anyone and everyone that crosses my path. When I am in that mood, it is hard for me to remember to be grateful.

Week 14 of the challenge is a talent that I have. This one is hard for me because I am not sure that I really have a specific talent. I guess lately my talent for grammar is really saving me at work, and out and about in the real world.

Week 15 is a little bit easier. This week is all about the reasons that I like spring. This is so easy for me. There are a lot of reasons that I love spring. I love that it stays lighter later. I feel less like a slave and hermit when I leave the library between classes and it is still light outside. I like that I can sit outside longer. I also love it when the weather starts to get warmer. Although California is in a massive drought, and it has been warm for the last two years, I like that the days are warm enough to allow me to sit in the backyard and work on my tan, it is warm enough at night for me to sleep with my window open, and when I am driving around, I can roll down the windows, open the sun roof, and not feel like a giant sweat ball when I finally reach my destination.  I like spring because flowers bloom. It also seems like people become a lot friendlier and a lot more willing to be nice around spring.

Well, most people anyway. Even my attempt to remain grateful has fallen short. I still have an “I hate the world” attitude, still want people to pull there heads out of their asses and give me what I need to be able to complete my paperwork. I wish that people understood the urgency of the situation, and were as worried about it as I am. I have less than 50 days to sort it out, and time is wasting. Hrrrrruuummmmpphhhh.

I also wish people would stop questioning my life choices. I am not leaving the United States to become a stripper crack whore. I’m leaving the US because I am much happier living in Scotland, and because I was offered the perfect position, and a chance to actually earn a PhD. People act like I am crazy, friends that I have had for years have stopped calling, and people act like I am being selfish for moving so far away from my family. Sometimes I swear it is like I told them that I want to drown babies and kick puppies for the rest of my life.

This should not bother me. My friends who are in the UK are excited for me to come back, and have bent over backwards to help me. My immediate family has no problem with my choice to officially become an expat, and those of my friends that I really care about and love already know that they have an open invitation to come stay and see the sites. Some of them have already talked about coming to see me and bringing their dogs for a romp around my fair city. Deep down I know that I have made the right decision, and I know that I will be a lot happier with work, school, life in general. California did me dirty for the last two years, and it is time that we break up for good this time.