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Don’t Let ‘Em Drag You Down

“Stay safe, keep faith, and don’t let ’em drag you down.”

That’s what the gate guard said to me when I was headed back to the installation from my lunch break a few weeks ago.  Okay, so he says that to everyone.  Every car – always, “Stay safe, keep faith, and don’t let ’em drag you down.”  It’s his mantra – that thing he repeats over and over again just to get himself – and others – through the day.

But that day, for some reason, it meant so much more.

Those of you who’ve been keeping up with us have seen that Erin has had a busy couple of weeks – getting hired, getting fired (err… quitting), and cultivating an overall level of squirreliness that’s borderline-scary.

Even for her.

But I’m about to explain this, since it’s finally come to the point where I actually can.

See, I gave notice at my place of employment last week as well.  And while it didn’t involve high-heel shootouts or greased piglets, it did involve a certain amount of uncertainty.  After nearly 2 1/2 years at the place, it’s the longest I’ve consistently worked anywhere.


In fact, one year I had to file taxes for 7 jobs in 3 different states.  So this?  This was a feat.

What’s crazy is that it was a good job.  A very good job.  Oh, and that whole deal about getting a paycheck was pretty great too.  But somewhere along the ride, it went from newness and excitement to this and this.  And while most people would still be grateful to even have a job, what I’m looking for is something else.  Experience.  Stimulation.  Life.

How’s that for introspective?

I know I have a passion for something, but it definitely isn’t this:

(I stole Erin’s picture because the sad reality is that mine looks pretty much the same.  But cheaper.)

And I’m pretty sure it’s not government work.  So after 27+ years on this earth, I still can’t tell you what my passion is.  But after 12 years of thorough research, I can definitely tell you what it isn’t:

  • Washing dishes
  • Selling jewelry
  • Waiting tables
  • Wearing suits
  • Fixing watches
  • Giving tours
  • Hanging clothes
  • Making spreadsheets
  • Kissing asses
  • Watching children
  • Flipping burgers
  • Sorting CD’s

In fact, the only commonality I actually liked with each of these jobs was the people.  Be it the people I worked with or the people I helped, I always enjoyed them.

So after much thought and consideration about what I actually wanted to do, I eventually approached my equally professionally-dissatisfied friend with a proposition:

How about we take this blog on the road?

All it took was a weekend trip to Frederick, sushi bribes, lots of alcohol, and a quote from Thoreau (“How vain it is to sit down to write when you haven’t stood up to live.”) to convince her we both needed this adventure.  And I might have let her see my boobs.


Actually all it took was a quick Skype session with her husband, and we were ready to roll.  The rest was just for fun.

So that’s what we’re doing.  Actually, we’re not driving.  We’re flying.  Then busing.  Then walking.  Then riding.  But we’ll get there, and there we will stay for 61 days.

Where?  Well it’s taking a bit of planning (not exactly my forte), and all will be revealed very shortly.

In the meantime… Stay safe, keep faith, and don’t let ’em drag you down.


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No, it was definitely the boobs that won me over. ;)

(PS: It’s really a sad testament that those are two of the most normal-looking photos I’ve seen of myself in a while… despite my freakish forehead and gigantor nose, of course.)


Yeah the boobs usually do the trick…


That, or shoving your way devil-may-care style to the front of any situation, regardless of the rage it inspires in fat, bald bastards. ;)


Katie! You quit your job!?? Wow, we need to catch up. :)
Also… obviously your passion IS writing – so I know you’ll eventually find the right thing to do with it. Helping people is another thing you’re amazing at. So, how you put those 2 together? Maybe a book is in store? In the meantime- keep up the great blogs! You both are excellent writers! xoxo – Leah

P.S. – can you guys please sign your names at the bottom!? This one was pretty obvious who it was, but while reading one on my phone, I couldn’t figure it out for awhile. :)


Aww, thanks cousin. :) It’s pretty nerve-wracking, but just something that needs to happen. I love your ideas, but somewhere in there it’d be nice to make some money, too. There’s the rub!

When you read it on your phone, doesn’t it say the author right below the title of the post? But you’re right – it wouldn’t hurt us to sign them. :)

Jaime Grant

OMG…Katie nooooooo. It sounds like a great adventure for you but OMG what about ME???? Well I’ll alwayss hve this blog (which I love); Keep it up… I can’t wait to read about your new journey.


Jaime where have you been??? Maybe we can squeeze in one more pedi before I leave. ;)

the other Mrs. Barstow

Katie, you and Erin are doing what almost everyone only dreams about doing. A REAL adventure!! I don’t know if I would’ve been willing to give it a try. Well MAYBE when I was in my 20’s, haha. But my fate was sealed 37 years ago – it was wife and mother for me!! (And I love my boys- no complaints) You GO girls!


While most of us have to go looking for our callings, sounds like you were lucky enough for your calling to find you. And I must say, you’ve done a GREAT job! Erin’s always telling me how lucky she is – and we all know who really gets the credit. ;)

Thanks for the encouragement – I’m going to need it!


I know my sister, and I am learning about you through her and this blog, so I honestly believe that there isn’t anything either of you cannot do (except possibly things involving a pokey-outie, though I’m just venturing a guess there). Together, you’re crowd-parting wedge of energy and talent.

Hopefully you both know that I’m here to help as needed.


That is about the nicest thing (pokie-outie reference aside) that anyone has said to me. And you know me – at least you know I like “shoving [my] way devil-may-care style to the front of any situation, regardless of the rage it inspires in fat, bald bastards.”



You are so my hero (you too Erin, I suppose). I wish I had the courage to do what you’re doing. I can’t wait to read all about it. But here’s the deal…if your adventures get a movie option at some point…my name better be worked into the negotiations. ;)


Haha, well I think there are enough people who have done this that we won’t stand out for a movie option (unless something horrible happens, so let’s hope not…), but we will definitely keep that in mind. :)


Read Katie’s post today and you just may get the inspiration to take the leap… (And I want to be played by Uma Thurman!)


That is SO not fair – you know she’s MY favorite!!!

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