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do.mes.ti.pho.bi.a

noun də-’mes-ti-’fō-bē-ə

:  the exaggerated, inexplicable and/or irrational fear of domestic life

Example:  Her fear of leading a stagnant, lethargic life devoid of personal growth and meaningful experiences could be described as a mild case of domestiphobia.

do.mes.tic

adj. də-’mes-tik

1   :  tame, domesticated <the domestic cat>

2   :  of or relating to the household or the family<domestic chores>

3   :  devoted to home duties or pleasures <leading a quietly domestic life>

My name is Katie, and I’m a domestiphobic.

I didn’t know it when I married my wonderful husband in 2006 at the ripe age of 23.  But, for reasons I didn’t yet understand, I slowly began to feel a terrifying sense of suffocation as all of the “expected” pieces of a “normal,” domestic life began falling into place.

Stable office career?  Check.

Fixer-upper in the ‘burbs? Check.

Couple of mutts?  Check.

Kids?  Now wait just one damn minute.

These were the things I was supposed to be doing, but did I really want them at all?  My actions were leading my life into a revolving door of repeated days, weeks, years.  The same morning traffic, the same weekly meals, the same company parties, the same family gatherings.  Maybe it’s because traditions are one of the most painful castrations in a divorce-torn family like mine, but my newfound sense of repetition provided me no comfort.

In fact, it was quite the opposite.

In what can now only be described as a quarter-life crisis, I quit my job in 2010 to travel to Costa Rica with a dear friend (and temporary blogging cohort) for a couple of months.  The experience only further spurred an itch I’ve been longing to scratch for a long, long time.

Now I realize some things.  I have some wants that lethargy simply won’t feed:  I want to be a better person.  I want to be a better partner.  I want to change, and grow, and experience new people and new cultures and new cuisine.  I want to learn how to play the guitar and become fluent in at least one other language.  I want to write and make people think.  I want to inspire.  I don’t ever want to leave without leaving something good behind.

I’m not afraid to say what I want.  I’m not afraid to be selfish or make mistakes.

Because, it turns out, I can’t be who anyone else needs me to be until I embrace who I need me to be.

Today, I still live in the ‘burbs with my (astoundingly supportive) husband, the mutts, and zero babies.  But now I’m trying to find that thing that feeds my wanderlust – both physical and emotional.

This blog is a journal of my domestic and non-domestic experiences – where I struggle to tie together the things I’m fortunate enough to have with the things I’m crazy enough to want – where you will find me learning to cook and working on home renovations when I’m not playing with ‘gators in the Everglades or jumping out of planes in Hawaii.

Want to know more?  See my first post or this fun little questionnaire.

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Comments

Anna Gard
Reply

Katie, you are a terrific writer! I love your expression and wit. You have a least begun something I’ve always dreamed/hoped/promised I would do…WRITE!
Good for you. I’m vicariously enjoying the ride. xo, Anna

jeremiahleblanc
Reply

I totally enjoyed the read and the dogs are simply great! May every good and perfect gift be yours today!

Katie
Reply

Thank you for the kind words and for stopping by, Jeremiah!

Jacque Thompson Flick
Reply

Katie,
I loved reading about some of your amazing adventures….! What an enjoyable and exciting life!!! Keep up the writing and the traveling… Who knows where it will lead you???!!!

Katie
Reply

Thank you, Jacque! I had no idea you read this. :) Rest assured that if I can feasibly (aka. financially) find a way to keep up the travel AND the writing, I most definitely will. Thanks for your support!

NovaBlast
Reply

Hi Katie & Erin its Eugene sorry been away for awhile but I am back (new account) hope you have both been doing well :) I have some catching up reading to do! I started my blog again its on a new social networking site that just launched on the o1 27 11. The system there it actually looks like your reading an actual piece of paper.

Nate
Reply

As an English major and a language lover I have to say that “domestiphobia” is probably my new favorite word. Thank you so much for this.

- Nate

Katie
Reply

This comment just completely made my day. Thank you!

sabjimata
Reply

Excellent. When I saw the two of you on the sidebar, I thought it was possible that you were…you know, a couple. Guess not ;)

Katie
Reply

Lol! If I were a lesbian, I doubt I’d be lucky enough to be with someone as hot as Erin. ;) And it’s too bad we’re not, because then at least we’d have found our more “unique” niche in the blogging world!

Blunt Delivery
Reply

okay 1. um, marry me?

crap, you already did that.

we are the same person. and i think with our phobias combined, and our love for photography and writing and travel and restlessness… we could be on to something brilliant.

i dont know what. but i think we should figure it out.

Katie
Reply

When you come up with our million dollar idea, let me know.

Because I’m IN.

Tracy
Reply

At first I thought it was strange your blog had both house related and travel articles….and this about section really cleared things up. This is a really original idea!!! You’re writing is also very clever and witty. Keep it up.

Katie
Reply

Ha, thank you! I think maybe it makes it hard to hang on to readers since when I write a travel piece, I might lose the ones who like the house stuff and vice versa, but since this is really just an outlet for me to spew out my randomness, I have to write what I have to write. :)

lesleycarter
Reply

Your post, Chasin’ Waterfalls, will be featured on my blog, http://lesleycarter.wordpress.com/, tomorrow. It will be live at 1:30 Pacific Time.

If you have any questions or would like anything changed, please let me know at lesleycater@live.com or by commenting below the post.

Also, if there are very specific questions directed toward you, I’d love if you could take a few minutes to answer them.

Thank you for submitting to Bucket List Publications. http://lesleycarter.wordpress.com/submissions/

Have a great day,

Lesley
https://twitter.com/#!/LesleyMCarter

Katie
Reply

Aw, thank you!! You’re super sweet. :)

Wanderlustress
Reply

Hey nice to meet kindred spirits like you! I’m celebrating my 10th year after quitting my banking job to travel and I can tell you that I am now living the life I’ve always wanted to live and that would have never happened if I hadn’t taken that risk.

Katie
Reply

That is so inspiring! I wish I’d planned it a little more before quitting, but I’m here now — I’m going to try to make it work. :)

Stephanie
Reply

How did I manage to never read your about page before? This is great! I love your attitude.

Katie
Reply

Aw, thanks! I think I need to read it more often to remind myself of why I’m doing this. :)

Stephanie
Reply

You’re a great writer! You think so much like me that it is mildly startling. I’m a bit of a domestiphobe, myself. It seems that each week, two more friends or couples I know are rushing into engagement, and I’m all like, “I’m moving to Israel, and then interning in DC, then doing grad school… and my boyfriend’s cool with it.” I wish I understood the rush, but I know my life will be more fulfilling in ways that others won’t have the opportunity to experience because I’m NOT rushing. It’s great to see there are other girls out there who think independently and rationally. I’m glad I’m not the only one who values my own life that my parents gave me over the idea of bringing another into the world. Cheers! You’re fantastic!

Katie
Reply

Why thank you! I’m glad to know I’m not alone as well. It doesn’t bother me when other people make decisions that are different from my own — what bothers me is when people feel like they need to validate their decisions by questioning mine. If marriage and babies and “settling down” is a woman’s dream, I’m not going to cheapen it by questioning her choices. And what I’m hoping to cultivate here is acceptance for all choices — even the less traditional ones. :)

Thanks Stephanie for stopping by and I hope you stick around!

kristayyc
Reply

Hi! I came across your blog via HuffPost and am so happy to have found you. :) I’m pretty sure I’ll be reading through the archives – you know, on a lazy weekend at a coffee shop or winebar in a perfectly leisurely fashion. :) Keep up the great writing :)

Katie
Reply

Haha, thank you for stopping by, Krista! I love it when people comment on archived posts because sometimes they bring an old one to mind that I’d long forgotten about – it’s like going through an old diary. Though the flip-side is that it’s sometimes hella embarrassing. ;)

Heather
Reply

I am so glad that I have found your blog. As a writer myself, a once military wife (still married just no longer in the Marines) and a wondering soul, I completely, 100 percent relate to you and your words. In another strange coincidence, we are child free by choice (with two dogs) as well. I love your writing and hope to see more.

Katie
Reply

I’m glad you found my blog, too! It’s so good to know I’m not alone – especially as the “oddball” military spouse. I hope you keep reading! :)

Sofie
Reply

Girl,

I’d visited your site before, but this is the first time I really took the time for it and I just wanted to say you rock. LOVE “Dwell” posts and the way you write!

Katie
Reply

Aww, thank you Sofie!! That really means a lot — especially coming from a “colleague.” :) I hope you’ll stick around!

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